Mr. Moto's Gamble (1938)

71 mins | Drama | 25 March 1938

Full page view
HISTORY

The working title of this film was Mr. Moto at the Ringside . MPD reviewed this film under the title Mr. Moto's Diary . According to news items and information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Theater Arts Library, this film was developed after production on Charlie Chan at the Ringside was halted. The studio began production of the latter film on 10 Jan 1938 with Warner Oland starring as Chan. Production was halted on 17 Jan 1938 after $93,820.59 was spent, due to a disagreement between Oland and the studio. At that time, news items speculated about a successor to Oland in the role. On 24 Jan 1938, production began again as part of the "Mr. Moto" series, with all but two of the original cast: Oland, who was replaced by Lorre as Moto, and Paul Hurst, who was replaced by Harold Huber. According to correspondence from producer Sol Wurtzel, $46,341.10 was salvaged by converting the story to the "Mr. Moto" series. Wurtzel suggested that the bill for the remainder, $39,979.49, should be sent to Oland. No information has been located to determine whether this was done. Oland subsequently died before another "Charlie Chan" film was produced. Chick Chandler was originally scheduled to be in Charlie Chan at the Ringside , and John Carradine was listed in HR production charts for both films, but neither appeared in the final film. For further information on the "Mr. Moto" series, please see the entry below for Think Fast, Mr. Moto and consult the Series ... More Less

The working title of this film was Mr. Moto at the Ringside . MPD reviewed this film under the title Mr. Moto's Diary . According to news items and information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Theater Arts Library, this film was developed after production on Charlie Chan at the Ringside was halted. The studio began production of the latter film on 10 Jan 1938 with Warner Oland starring as Chan. Production was halted on 17 Jan 1938 after $93,820.59 was spent, due to a disagreement between Oland and the studio. At that time, news items speculated about a successor to Oland in the role. On 24 Jan 1938, production began again as part of the "Mr. Moto" series, with all but two of the original cast: Oland, who was replaced by Lorre as Moto, and Paul Hurst, who was replaced by Harold Huber. According to correspondence from producer Sol Wurtzel, $46,341.10 was salvaged by converting the story to the "Mr. Moto" series. Wurtzel suggested that the bill for the remainder, $39,979.49, should be sent to Oland. No information has been located to determine whether this was done. Oland subsequently died before another "Charlie Chan" film was produced. Chick Chandler was originally scheduled to be in Charlie Chan at the Ringside , and John Carradine was listed in HR production charts for both films, but neither appeared in the final film. For further information on the "Mr. Moto" series, please see the entry below for Think Fast, Mr. Moto and consult the Series Index. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
19 Mar 1938.
---
Daily Variety
12 Mar 38
p. 3.
Film Daily
11 Apr 38
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Jan 38
p. 3, 19
Hollywood Reporter
22 Jan 38
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Jan 38
p. 5, 11
Hollywood Reporter
7 Feb 38
p. 11.
Los Angeles Times
21 Jan 1938.
---
Motion Picture Daily
23 Mar 38
p. 7.
Motion Picture Herald
12 Mar 38
p. 35.
Motion Picture Herald
19 Mar 38
p. 46.
New York Times
8 Apr 38
p. 17.
Variety
13 Apr 38
p. 15.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
George E. Stone
Edward Marr
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dial dir
Dial dir
Dial dir
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Orig scr, Orig scr
Orig scr, Orig scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Gaffer
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Asst cutter
COSTUMES
Ward girl
Ward man
MUSIC
Mus dir
MAKEUP
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Unit mgr
Scr clerk
Asst grip
Asst prop
Asst prop
Still photog
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the character created by John P. Marquand.
DETAILS
Series:
Alternate Titles:
Charlie Chan at the Ringside
Mr. Moto at the Ringside
Mr. Moto's Diary
Release Date:
25 March 1938
Production Date:
10 January--mid February 1938
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
25 March 1938
Copyright Number:
LP8170
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
71
Length(in feet):
6,565
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
PCA No:
4053
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

At the end of one of detective Mr. Moto's classes in criminology, student Lee Chan, the son of the famous Honolulu detective Charlie Chan, notices that his watch has been stolen. Horace "Knockout" Wellington, another student, confesses that he is the culprit and reveals, to the mirth of all, that he cannot help taking things that attract his eye and later cannot remember where he purloined the objects. Moto invites Lee to accompany him and Lieutenant Riggs to a boxing match between Bill Steele and Frankie Stanton to decide who will fight world champion Biff Moran eight weeks later. Before the fight, gambler Nick Crowder bets $10,000 with bookie Clipper McCoy that Stanton will not last until the fifth round. Because he has already taken similar bets from gamblers in six other cities, Clipper warns Stanton's manager, Jerry Connors, that Stanton better not throw the fight. Riggs, Moto and Lee sit with Philip Benton, whose company owns the arena, and Benton's snooty daughter Linda, who is interested in Bill even though he likes sports reporter Penny Kendall. After Stanton's eye is cut, the referee threatens to stop the fight. Connors applies collodion to close the wound, and in the next round, Bill knocks Stanton out. When the doctor pronounces Stanton dead, Moto recovers a dried bit of collodion. Connors, who threw the bottle he used out a window, gives Moto another bottle to examine. Benton, who earlier told Riggs that he never bets, calls Clipper, who has lost $130,000 on the fight, to say that he will send a check for $10,000 to cover his bet. The poison that killed ... +


At the end of one of detective Mr. Moto's classes in criminology, student Lee Chan, the son of the famous Honolulu detective Charlie Chan, notices that his watch has been stolen. Horace "Knockout" Wellington, another student, confesses that he is the culprit and reveals, to the mirth of all, that he cannot help taking things that attract his eye and later cannot remember where he purloined the objects. Moto invites Lee to accompany him and Lieutenant Riggs to a boxing match between Bill Steele and Frankie Stanton to decide who will fight world champion Biff Moran eight weeks later. Before the fight, gambler Nick Crowder bets $10,000 with bookie Clipper McCoy that Stanton will not last until the fifth round. Because he has already taken similar bets from gamblers in six other cities, Clipper warns Stanton's manager, Jerry Connors, that Stanton better not throw the fight. Riggs, Moto and Lee sit with Philip Benton, whose company owns the arena, and Benton's snooty daughter Linda, who is interested in Bill even though he likes sports reporter Penny Kendall. After Stanton's eye is cut, the referee threatens to stop the fight. Connors applies collodion to close the wound, and in the next round, Bill knocks Stanton out. When the doctor pronounces Stanton dead, Moto recovers a dried bit of collodion. Connors, who threw the bottle he used out a window, gives Moto another bottle to examine. Benton, who earlier told Riggs that he never bets, calls Clipper, who has lost $130,000 on the fight, to say that he will send a check for $10,000 to cover his bet. The poison that killed Stanton is found on Bill's gloves, and he is charged with manslaughter and suspended by the boxing commission. Although Penny convinces her editor to put up the bond money, she finds Bill leaving jail with Linda, who has already paid with a check from her father. When Moto proves to his class that the poison was shot onto Bill's glove from someone outside the ring, Lee and Wellington leave to investigate. Moto finds that Wellington has taken his overcoat and left one he earlier took from the arena, which has a stain on the inside that matches the stain found on Bill's glove. Meanwhile, at Moran's training camp, Benton and press agent Gabby Marden overhear Clipper accuse Nick of placing bets in other cities to keep the odds up at the fight. As Gabby goes to call Riggs with the information, someone takes a shot at him. After Riggs and Moto find that the owner of the overcoat, John Howard, has died from the same poison that killed Stanton, Moto, believing that Howard was a fall guy, convinces the boxing commission to lift its suspension of Bill and promises to have the murderer arrested at ringside the night of Bill's fight with Moran. In his room, Moto is confronted with an armed man, but Moto's cat Lena knocks over a vase, which allows Moto to grab the gun before the intruder escapes. At the vacant arena, a mysterious figure places a gun attached to a clock under the ring, and aims it at Moto's seat. Before the fight, Penny kisses Bill and wishes him well and then berates Linda for only caring for a winner. With the gun pointed at him, Moto surveys his suspects as the fight proceeds. He then invites Linda to sit in his seat, and after Bill knocks out Moran, Moto announces that he will shortly produce Stanton's murderer. When he insists, despite Benton's attempt to get his daughter away, that Linda remain in the seat, Benton rushes to the ring and disconnects the gun before it fires. Moto explains that he investigated the arena before the fight, because he knew that the murderer would try to kill him to keep him from revealing his identity, and he took the bullets out of the gun. As Penny hugs Linda, Benton dashes to his office, where Clipper shoots and kills him for arranging the bets on Stanton from the other cities. The police then capture Clipper as Lee and Wellington arrive, having discovered the murder weapon, a water gun filled with poison. Back in his classroom, Moto explains why he suspected Benton and, as he goes to leave, discovers his timepiece missing. Wellington returns it, and Moto reveals that he now has Wellington's wallet, which, it turns out, Wellington stole from Lee. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.