The year; 1939.
The challenge; can you take a cast consisting of Peter Lorre, George Sanders, Ricardo Cortez, John Carradine, and Robert E. Lee’s cousin (Virginia Field) and prevent World War II?
Well yes you can……at least for a year or two.
It’s exotic, it’s silly, it’s Mr. Moto’s Last Warning.
Points of interest for this Z-movie freak;
- Virginia Field made a mini career of working with Asian detectives played by non-Asian actors. She appeared in three Mr. Moto flicks and a Charlie Chan.
- Ricardo Cortez is always a charming villain; always. As an actor…Ricardo Cortez is always a charming villain.
- In this epic, Mr. Cortez pumps air to an underwater diver with one hand while watching the French fleet though binoculars with the other and all the while his double-Windsor-knotted cravat and his Panama are never compromised. What style!
- But that’s lollygaggin’ compared Mr. Moto, our persistently bespectacled hero. Mr. Moto dives underwater (in his eyeglasses), KO’s George Sanders underwater (still in his eyeglasses), blows up the enemy land mines underwater (yes, still in his eyeglasses), climbs out of the water onto the dock (you guessed it, still…), beats up Ricardo Cortez, disarrays his Panama and double-Windsor, and flings him into the Mediterranean (IN HIS EYEGLASSES!) It’s an astounding spectacle (see what I did there?).
I loved it.