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Think Fast, Mr. Moto

Think Fast, Mr. Moto

Think Fast, Mr. Moto is a 1937 film directed by Norman Foster and featuring a mysterious Japanese detective named Mr. Moto. It is the first of eight films in the Mr. Moto series, all based on the character Mr. Moto created by John P. Marquand. The film stars Peter Lorre as the title character, Virginia Field, Thomas Beck and Sig Ruman. Mr. Moto works to stop a secret smuggling operation.

Plot

The film opens with Mr. Moto in disguise as a street salesmen and selling goods to passers-by. He sees a man leaving a shop with a tattoo of the British Flag on his arm. Moto enters the shop to sell a rare diamond to the owner. However, Moto sees a body stuffed into a wicker basket in the store, and using his mastery of judo takes down the shopkeeper. Later, he reserves a berth on a freighter headed for Shanghai. Also on the freighter is Bob Hitchings Jr., son of the owner of the freighter. Before leaving, Hitchings Sr. gives his son a confidential letter for the head of the Shanghai branch of the company. Hitchings and Moto become friends (Moto notices the letter), and Moto helps Hitchings cure a hangover. Hitchings complains to Moto that he has not met any beautiful women on board. After a stop in Honolulu, a beautiful woman named Gloria Danton boards the ship, and she and Hitchings fall in love. But Gloria is a spy for Nicolas Marloff, who runs a smuggling operation out of Shanghai. She periodically sends him notes and leaves without saying goodbye to Hitchings. Moto finds a steward looking for Hitchings’ letter and confronts him, knowing he was the person who killed the man in the wicker basket, as he wears the tattoo. Moto throws the man overboard and takes the letter.