Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Mr Moto's Last Warning|
Actors: Peter Lorre, Ricardo Cortez, Virginia Field, John Carradine, George Sanders
Director: Norman Foster
Genres: Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Special Interests, Mystery & Suspense
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Kenton Couch | Overland Park, Kansas | 11/11/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It is sad this movie is not available. Peter Lorre made a series of Mr. Moto films, and this is the only one I have seen in any format. I've owned a VHS copy for years, and have hoped someone would wake up, smell the coffee, and put out the Mr. Motto collection. I mean, Peter Lorre is the star.
Mr. Motto's Last Warning is an excellent thriller containing a great script and superb acting. Doesn't anyone in the industry think that his films should be saved? Well, I hope someday, someone, will put them out. Im sure they will sell. If you get a copy of this one, it is a great film, but you shouldnt be suprised by that. Im amazed no one else seems to care. Well, here is hoping.
P.S. Jan. 2009 - I was glad to see the Mr. Motto collection was put out in DVD format a couple of years ago. I bought both sets and have greatly enjoyed them. Thanks to whoever went to the trouble to save these films."
Where are the other Moto films?
honeggerfan | Seattle, WA USA | 01/05/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a good entry in the Mr. Moto canon, which comprises 8 films made between 1937-39. It is not my favorite, however--Mr. Moto Takes a Vacation, with excellent performances by Lionel Atwill and Joseph Schildkraut, is the best of those I've seen. However, they have been very hard to find, and I've only seen about half of them. Lorre is wonderful as the mysterious Mr. Moto, and the films are great fun and skilfully made, with a host of terrific character actors--in addition to Atwill and Schildkraut, Leon Ames, Jean Hersholt, Keye Luke, John Carradine, George Sanders, Virginia Field, Ricardo Cortez, Maxie Rosenbloom, and many others all turn in outstanding period performances. It is a real shame that more are not being made available--I know that art houses sometimes stage special showings, and I keep hoping that someone will release all eight on DVD. PLEASE!"
Thanking you very much
Steven Hellerstedt | 04/03/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"MR. MOTO'S LAST WARNING (1939) is an interesting and entertaining final entry in the Moto series that starred Austrian- born actor Peter Lorre as the Japanese super sleuth. LAST WARNING takes place in Port Said, Egypt. A scrum of scoundrels are scheming to surreptitiously blow up Allied battle ships and foment distrust between France and England.
Chief scoundrel being Ricardo Cortez, here playing a foreign agent masquerading as a ventriloquist - Fabian the Great & Alf is the name of his act. Rounding out the cast is a number of skilled Fox contracts players - John Carradine, Virginia Fields, and George Sanders being among the more recognizable names.
This Alpha discount dvd of a public domain movie is pretty chopped up. The black and white images are murky, there are a number of scratches on the print, and for some odd reason the opening title sequence is missing. It's a chore to watch a film that's this physically beat up.
To the best of my knowledge, LAST WARNING is the only Mr. Moto title in the public domain, so this is the only chance most of us will have to catch the Moto fever. Even though Lorre's Moto is an intelligent character, Moto's usually undercover, disguised behind thick glasses and a sing-song, Good evening, preeze, persona. I doubt the title-holder of the other five movies featuring such a politically incorrect character will be releasing them anytime soon.
Too bad. This one was fun and had a lot going for it, even going so far as to include a couple of underwater scenes with Moto fighting a helmeted diver in the murky depths under a pier. A fun movie.
A Guilty Pleasure
Michael A. Quebec | Union City, CA United States | 02/11/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I like this movie! I say it with a little bit of guilt & slight shame, because as an Asian-american, I shouldn't! First, for those who are thinking of getting this film, I should explain the plot!Mr. Moto (Peter Lorre), member of the International Police Force, is sent to the Middle East to foil a plot by saboteurs led by Ricardo Cortez (as a ventriloquist/mercenary) & George Sanders ("Mister Freeze" from the 1960's "Batman" tv show!) to blow up British ships on maneuvers. The bad guys are working for an un-named foreign power who want to strain relations between France & Britain, so that their alliance will crumble, clearing the way for the European aggressors (Germany & Italy?) to commence their territorial expansions. With the help of a double, a British agent (John Carradine), various disguises, his detective skills, & his martial-arts ability (jiu-jitsu!), Mr. Moto foils the plot!This movie, made before America's entry into World War Two, hints at Nazi Germany's growing aggression in Europe. That's one of the things that's...strange...about this movie. The protagonist, "Kentaro Moto", is supposed to be a Japanese national. The fact that Mr. Moto is working with the British (to secure their relations with France), in essence, would have been contrary to his own country's interests, since Japan in the 1930's was itself an expensionist nation (making incursions into China) & was negotiating an alliance with Germany, an alliance that was realized in September of 1940, with Japan's joining with Germany & Italy to form the 3-party "Axis Alliance." Japan went to war with Britain (after this movie was made), so Mr. Moto shouldn't have been on this particular mission. (Charlie Chan or Mr. Wong, on the other hand, being Chinese nationals, would have worked for Britian.)Another aspect that makes this movie strange to watch (for today's audiences) is the fact that Peter Lorre's "Mr. Moto" character is an example of "a white actor in Yellow-face." That's the reason why I shouldn't like this movie. By today's standards, the character is "racist" (or at least, politically incorrect!) However, I think the writers were aware of this peculiarity, because Mr. Moto, in order to throw off suspicion to himself, takes on the identity of an "oriental" antiques dealer, speaking in forced "ah-sos" & "thank you very much, please" types of phrasing. Later, however, when talking to his collegues, he speaks in perfect, intelligible English! (Robert Coote's character even says, "I say! You're talking different!")Alright, I said I shouldn't like this movie, but I also confessed that I do! Peter Lorre does a good job of playing Mr. Moto with a very subtle, but clear, satirical sarcasm. I really get the feeling that he was aware of the stereo-typical nature of the role. He actually seems to be satirizing (Hollywood's) racial attitudes with his portrayal. (It's kind of hard to explain with words. You need to see it!) The martial-arts ("Very simple, judo, often mispronounced by foreigners as jiu-jitsu!") is faked, but Peter Lorre does a good job of faking it! The pacing for the film, being an espionage thriller, is decent (for the 1930's), & Robert Coote provides excellent comic relief as a bumbling English tourist.The film-makers seem aware of the political peculiarties of the story by hinting at, but not naming, the Germans. At the end, the other characters ask Mr. Moto which country was behind the plot. Before Mr. Moto can answer, his collegue states, "You better not answer that, Mr. Moto. Otherwise, you'll be out of a job." Is this collegue implying that Mr. Moto, being a national of Japan, (a country who's interests are basically the same as Germany's), could be punished by the Japanese government for exposing the treachery of the Germans, potential allies of Japan?Oh well, I would have rated this movie 3 & 1/2 stars, but that's not an option. The reasons why I didn't rate it 5 stars are as follows:1. Lack of suspensful incidental music for key scenes. (Typical of the 1930's.)2. I wanted more of Viginia Field's character! She's Ricardo Cortez's girlfriend in the film. The story touches upon her feelings of betrayal upon finding out what Cortez plans to do. It was real interesting & I think the makers of this film should have expanded upon that relationship even more.3. Needs more close-up reaction shots for dramatic effect! (Typical of most movies in the 1930's.)4. James Cagney should have given Peter Lorre judo lessons! (The fight scenes are exciting, but using real martial-arts techniques would make them even better!)It's worth buying, so check it out!By the way, the actor playing Mr. Moto's double is a Japanese actor who I've seen in both "The Delicate Delinquent" (Jerry Lewis' first solo effort) & "You Only Live Twice" (the 1967 James Bond thriller.) He's not credited in this movie (Hollywood racism in the 30's!) Who is he?"