Mr Moto (Peter Lorre) works as harmless archeologist in Indochina when
he sees girl pilot Victoria Mason's (Rochelle Hudson) plane crash not far
from where he's digging for artefacts. Fortunately, the girl is unhurt
though and soon accepted as a guest of honour on the court of Rajah Ali
(J.Edward Bromberg). Moto finds evidence that the girl's planecrash was no
accident but staged by her, but keeps mum about it.
Enter two newsreel
reporters, Marty (Robert Kent) and Chick (Chick Chandler), who want to
film Victoria's arrival at the Rajah's court, but then one of the Rajah's
wives (Gloria Roy) is killed while they are at it, and they are
immediately accused of the crime by the Rajah's high priest Bokor (George
Regas) and convicted to death. Moto finds evidence that the woman was not
killed by the camera - as Bokor insists - but by an arrow, but again he
The two newsreel reporters are to be executed at an old
temple when an eccentric and mysterious guru shows up and convinces Bokor
to release them. Bokor, you have to know, plans an uprising against both
the Rajah and the French colonial forces, and he has long seen through
Moto's disguise as a harmless archeologist and knows he's an agent in the
French's employ, but can't do anything against him since Moto is under
protection of the Rajah. The mysterious guru though promises to get rid of
Moto ... but is later revealed to the audience to be none other than Moto
himself who has taken on the persona of the guru to investigate the old
temple in peace - which indeed serves as Bokor's arsenal.
Victoria is exposed as a British spy working on the same case as Moto - to
destroy a ring of gunrunners that supplies Bokor with weapons - and before
you know it, she, Moto and the two newsreel reporters find themselves
holed up in the old temple surrounded by Bokor's men. Sure, they have
access to Bokor's arsenal, but are grossly outnumbered ant thus won't be
able to hold out too long.
Then the cavallery arrives, the Rajah's army
that quickly overpowers Bokor and his men - but they haven't come to save
Moto and company but merely to take possession of Bokor's arsenal so the
Rajah can lead a revolution against the French himself.
In the end,
though, Moto blows up the temple and all the baddies with it, the good
guys manage to make their escape, and Indochina is saved - for the French
to rule another day ...
From today's point-of-view the
pro-colonial rule attitude transported in this film is somewhat
questionable - but then again, it's not exactly a good idea to judge a
decades-old film by today's standards of political correctness.
he politics of this film aside, this is a lively jungle adventure in which
things like realism, plausibility or ethnic and ethnological authencity
don't get in the way of telling a fun little story. Sure from an
intellectual point of view, this film is above all else sim´ply silly,
but it's good if mindless entertainment nevertheless.