The Return of Mr. Moto

I’m not one of the reviewers who apparently lined up to bash this movie; I think that 20th Century-Fox guaranteed it a hostile reception by inviting comparison with the fondly-remembered Peter Lorre series of thirty years before. On its own it’s a efficiently-produced crime thriller that moves along briskly and offers some genuine surprises and suspense to open-minded viewers. It’s been suggested by some (including Henry Silva himself, in the DVD’s audio commentary) that Silva is physically unsuited to play an oriental, but the same could be said of the Hungarian Peter Lorre in the earlier series, or the Swedish Warner Oland who became the definitive Charlie Chan. And it’s worth mentioning that Henry Silva has convincingly played characters of various nationality over the years.

A beautiful letterboxed transfer of this film can be found as an extra on the final disc of the Peter Lorre/Moto DVD series; I found it well worth seeing for its entertainment value as well as Henry Silva’s fascinating audio commentary.