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Mr. Moto Collection, Vol. 1 (Mr. Moto Takes A Chance / Mysterious Mr. Moto / Thank You Mr. Moto / Think Fast Mr. Moto)
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**All available for the first time on DVD plus The Mr. Moto Collection Volume One**
Episode Description: Disc 1: Mr. Moto Takes a Chance Disc 2: Mysterious Mr. Moto Disc 3: Thank You Mr. Moto Disc 4: Think Fast Mr. Moto
- "The Mysterious Mr. Lorre" featurette
- "Sol Wurtzel: The Forgotten Mogul" featurette
- "The Dean of Hollywood: A Conversation with Harvey Parry" featurette
- "Directed by Norman Foster" featurette
- Restoration comparisons
Top Customer Reviews
1. featurettes on Peter Lorre, Director Norman Foster, Producer Sol Wurtzal, and Lorre's personal stuntman Harvey Parry. The same crew that did the excellent featurettes on the Chan collection did these as well.
2. Trailers for two of the films
3. a clip of the Ritz Brothers doing a skit while impersonating Lorre, Karloff, and Laughton (attached to the end of one of the featurettes)
4. Restoration comparison (the prints used for the DVDsare said to look excellent)
Fox has followed up their great Chan box with the even more rare Moto series. Hopefully Moto Vol 2 will be out before the end of the year.
The films have nothing to do with the stories at all, save for a title or two and the character of Mr Moto. That's fine with me. The stories appeal to me for their writing, not for their plots, but I wanted to see what the US film world of the 1930s was doing with this fine fictional character. I was a bit anxious, because I had obtained and watched volume 1 of the Charlie Chan DVD collection, and although I liked the "talking heads" portion of the DVD set, I thought the films only barely watchable.
What a delightful surprise. The films seem to have a slightly higher production value (they're not quite so tied to the soundstage environment of the B movies of the day), but what makes them such a wonderful experience to watch 70 years later is the portrayal of Mr Moto by Peter Lorre. I think that the scripts are better than the Chan movies, too, but time and time again it is the impressiveness of Lorre that saves a hokey scene or adds the necessary touch of seriousness to a situation frought with camp.
I won't get a second volume of Charlie Chan, but most assuredly will buy the second volume of Mr Moto, if it is produced. Might I add that the restoration of the films is also most remarkable. They look better on my widescreen TV than they ever did in the movie theater.
The only negative comment involves Amazon's pricing practices of late. Like many others, I preordered this from Amazon and was punished for doing so by being charged $42...today, the price went down to $36! Pick it up for this price, by all means. I will be cautious of preordering anything from Amazon in the future. I would recommend that you do the same.
Addressing the issue of inherent racism and stereotyping first, yes, these films present Asians as outsiders, very different and strange, but gifted with near superhuman powers of observation. However, it must be admitted that these characters are a far cry from the black Stepin Fetchits and gay Franklin Pangborns of the same period. Asians would suffer greatly at the hands of Hollywood before, during and after the Second World War, but these products of the '30s are considerably more benign, than, say, the Fu Manchu series, presenting an Asian as an arch demon.
Twentieth Century Fox has released four of the earliest films from each of the series, and while they are, frankly, B-movies, they are surprisingly well-made and entertaining. We follow Chan through London in the first, Paris in the second, Egypt in the third, and finally Shanghai, where the sleuth solves a variety of killings with patient observations and little interaction. On the other hand, Mr. Moto, who must think fast, take a chance, be simply mysterious, and then allow a thank you, seems something more of a hands-on secret agent than just a detective. Moto actually kills people, usually in self defense, and uses a bundle of disguises and subterfuges to solve his cases, which usually point more to international conspiracies than merely murder.
It's interesting than Chan was played by Warner Oland, a Swedish actor, and Moto by Peter Lorre, a German actor.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great old detective stories and the film quality is very good.Published 13 days ago by Stephen Hart
Overall an enjoyable set of movies that pack a lot into their one hour format. Peter Lorre is always interesting to watch and good to see him in a leading role strutting his... Read morePublished 3 months ago by DC
Having heard of these movies for many years and as a fan of Peter Lorre's, I was looking forward to finally seeing them, especially in a restored DVD format. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Carl N.
|Topic||From this Discussion|
|Does this box set have English Subtitles please!!!!!||
Yes, all four of the Moto films are subtitled in English -- and the subtitles are easy to read, too.
Jan 16, 2007 by A Lorre Fan | See all 5 posts
|Mr Moto Collection||
May 22, 2006 by Manolo | See all 3 posts
|Mr Moto Collection||
I must agree with Joseph so many titles are shown without details, Yesterday I received a title Hollywood Musicals 3 discs 10 movies which when ordered did not detail the titles which if I had known what was on the disc I would not have ordered same. Amazon I think your service is great but you... Read More
May 19, 2006 by Barry J. Christie | See all 3 posts
|Peter Lorre||Be the first to reply|
|Mr. Moto Collection Details||Be the first to reply|
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