Watch Thank You, Mr. Moto
- 1 hr 9 min
Thank You, Mr. Moto is a crime thriller released in 1937, directed by Norman Foster and starring Peter Lorre, Thomas Beck, and Pauline Frederick. The movie is based on the book by John P. Marquand, which features the titular character, Mr. Moto, as a Japanese detective. The film opens with a group of passengers on a ship traveling from San Francisco to Shanghai, each with their own agenda. There is Tom Nelson (Beck), a young American who has just quit his job and is planning to meet his girlfriend, Gloria Danton (Virginia Field), in Shanghai to start a new life. There is also a spy ring on board, hoping to intercept important documents from the British consulate in Shanghai. These spies are led by the ruthless Eric Norvel (Sig Ruman), who has already killed one of his own men to ensure silence.
The third character introduced is Mr. Kentaro Moto (Peter Lorre), a Japanese secret agent disguised as a wealthy businessman. Despite his unassuming appearance and quiet demeanor, it soon becomes apparent that Mr. Moto is far more than he seems. When one of the passengers is murdered, Mr. Moto begins his investigation, using his wits and martial arts skills to discover who is behind the crime.
As the plot progresses, Gloria Danton becomes a more prominent character, as she finds herself drawn into the intrigue and danger of the spy ring. She is a strong and intelligent character, making her own choices and taking risks to help Mr. Moto solve the crime. Although the film adheres to many of the stereotypes of the time, portraying Chinese and Japanese characters as exotic and mysterious, Gloria is treated as an equal by Mr. Moto and plays a vital role in the resolution of the plot.
The acting in Thank You, Mr. Moto is impressive, with Peter Lorre standing out as the enigmatic detective. Lorre delivers his lines with a quiet intensity, bringing a sense of depth and nuance to what could have been a one-note character. Thomas Beck and Pauline Frederick also give strong performances, with their characters growing and changing throughout the course of the film.
One of the film's notable features is its use of sound design. The soundtrack is punctuated by the haunting notes of a Chinese flute, adding a sense of atmosphere to the scenes set in Shanghai's alleyways and streets. The sound design also includes the use of Chinese and Japanese dialogue, which adds an air of authenticity to the film's settings.
Aside from its strengths, Thank You, Mr. Moto does have some flaws. The film's pacing can be slow at times, and the plot occasionally feels convoluted as characters move in and out of the story. Additionally, the portrayal of Asian characters may be off-putting to some modern viewers.
Overall, Thank You, Mr. Moto is an engaging and well-crafted thriller that showcases the talents of its cast and crew. The film's strong characters and attention to detail create a sense of realism that draws the viewer into its world, and its use of sound design is still impressive almost a century after the film's release. Although it may not be a perfect film, Thank You, Mr. Moto is a classic of its genre that is still worth watching today.