Friday, March 6, 2015

Moto, in Toto

Moto in Toto

by Donald B. Benson

“Think Fast, Mr. Moto’s” about
A man who the law seems to flout.
But Moto, by end
Is shown to be friend –
He’s top billed, so was there a doubt?

In “Thank You” he lines up his ducks
As Mongol and man in a tux.
A treasure is lost,
But count not the cost,
For Moto’s not in it for bucks.

In “Gamble” a boxer had slipped
And traded the ring for the crypt.
“So how was it done?”
Asks Number One Son
(They salvaged a Charlie Chan script).

“Takes a Chance” makes him a spy, and
Assigns him to jungles of Thailand.
Here the material
Plays like a serial
Filtered through “Gilligan’s Island.”

“Mysterious” Moto’s no loony.
He plays it a little cartoony.
As murderer’s butler,
He comes off much subtler
Than “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” Rooney.

“Last Warning” was in ’39,
A fact that we must underline.
The good guys rely
On Japanese spy –
Back then it seemed perfectly fine.

Puerto Rico did not mean a rest.
“Danger Island” was smugglers’ nest.
The scriptwriters threw
A murder in too.
Mister Moto was up to the test.

And now “Moto Takes a Vacation”
Presumably for the duration.
Said Lorre, “I’m done;
To Warners I’ll run
For all things in (pause) moto-ration.”

There's simply no stopping Donald B. Benson, who writes. " I felt a need to at least take a shot at the whole series." His shot hit the target. Image: Harold Huber, Edward Earle and Peter Lorre in Mr. Moto's Gamble (James Tinling; 1938).

No comments: