Interpol agent Mr Moto (Henry Silva) is assigned to guard the life of
oil magnate McAllister (Gordon Tanner), an old friend of his, before some
big London oil conference - minutes later though, McAllister ends up dead
at the hands of former SS-hitman Dargo (Martin Wyldeck). Moto is quick to
track Dargo back to Wasir Hussein (Marne Maitland), secretary of the
Shahrdar of Wadi (Harold Kasket), an oil rich dwarf country, but he fails
to see any motive. Eventually, Moto walks into a trap set up by Dargo, who
then tries to kill him, and though he manages to somehow save his life, he
manages to make Dargo (and the world) believe he has actually died. He
then dresses up as harmless Japanese delegate Takura and joins the oil
conference, after hooking up with Maxine (Suzanne Lloyd), secretary of the
American delegate (Henry Gilbert), convincing her to pretent she will drop
a bomb at the conference concerning McAllister's death. This results in
her being kidnapped by Dargo, but Moto is quick to track him down and kill
him, then he rounds up all the suspects and unveils the culprit and his
motives: The main villain of the story was of course Wasir Hussein, but he
was actually an accomplice of McAllister, because the two of them wanted
to get their hands on Wadi's oil reserves. And for some reason, the host
of the conference (Terence Longdon) was in league with them as well ...
said it before and I'll stick to it: Peter Lorre did not make a very
convincing Japanese when he played Mr. Moto back in the late
1930's/early 40's. But that's nothing compared to the unconvincing
Japanese Henr Silva portrays in Return of Mr. Moto: His makeup is
minimal and only makes him look awkward but not the least Oriental, his
stature and behaviour signals nothing but all-American guy, and his
pronounciation is distinctively American without a hint of Japanese - and
that's made all the more obvious when Moto disguises himself as Takura,
and this time he gets the looks and accent down.
This leads to one
question: Why was Silva forced to play a Japanese in this film, a
character that might have been an American just as well?
just the fact that Henry Silva doesn't look Japanese doesn't make this one
a bad movie, and apart form these discrepancies, the film starts out
rather weil, with a murder, a sadistic killer, his over-nervous driver
(Anthony Booth), and a chase over some rooftops. Then though an
over-convoluted plot kicks in, and the film immediately loses much of its
appeal, also because the baddie of the piece is revealed to the audience
way too early,and Moto's reasoning doesn't always make total sense.
still an ok low budget murder mystery I guess, but nothing to write home
about, and I'm less than surprised this was never made into a series (as
the ending of the film suggests) ...