Friday, February 20, 2015

Mr. Moto's Gambol

The moguls could not be forlorner
Sans Oland, they're left in a corner.
They rewrote the story
And gave it to Lorre --
The first part he got from a Warner.

Donald B. Benson

Image: Max 'Slapsie Maxie' Rosenbloom, Peter Lorre, and Key Luke in Mr. Moto's Gamble (James Tinling; 1938). More than you need to know, from Wikipedia: "It was originally written as a Charlie Chan film called Charlie Chan at Ringside, but Warner Oland, who had played Chan in previous films, left the set due to illness. (That was the end of Oland's film career, and he died months later.)

Fox had already spent $100,000 on the film. The script was rewritten as a Mr. Moto movie, featuring Keye Luke, in his one appearance in the Mr. Moto series, as Lee Chan, son of Charlie Chan. Lee Chan is Mr. Moto's student in his criminology class at San Francisco University. Mr. Moto mentions that he has heard from Charlie Chan in Honolulu. Mr. Moto says he and the head of the homicide squad are mere amateurs compared to Charlie Chan."

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