The second of the eight films comprising the MR. MOTO series. The League of Assassins is a group of vicious European killers. Lorre is out to break the gang by infiltrating it. He poses as a prisoner on Devil's Island and gets in good with gang member Ames. The pair escape from the infamous
prison and Lorre becomes Ames' houseboy. This makes him privy to all the goings on, which he relays back to Scotland Yard. After witnessing a few murders, Lorre realizes that the gang leader always has a street musician play the tune "Madrid" whenever he wants to signal other members to commit
murder. The League tries to blackmail rich tycoon Wilcoxon but he refuses to listen to their demands. Rhodes, the gang's secret ringleader, gets a position as Wilcoxon's assistant. At an art opening, he is to signal the gang when the time is ripe for murder. But Lorre, disguised as a little German
man (which, in fact, he was), sets off the tune "Madrid" prematurely and Rhodes is the murder victim. The gang members are arrested and the League destroyed. This was a clever entry in Lorre's very popular "Mr. Moto" series. The Japanese detective was one of those super sleuths in the mold of
Sherlock Holmes or Charlie Chan. Moto could pull off any disguise, take any punch, and outwit the cleverest of criminals. Though little more than formula material, THE MYSTERIOUS MR. MOTO is loads of fun, with a sly performance by Lorre. Stock shots of London are well blended with the realistic
studio settings, reflecting a budget higher than studios normally put into a film like this. The direction is efficient, though perhaps not as lively as possible.
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