On a freighter going from San Francisco to Shanghai Mr. Moto solves mysteries caused by a gang of smugglers.
Think fast, Mr. Moto, Marquand's third novel constructed around the Mr. Moto character, became the basis for Twentieth Century-Fox's first film entry of the same name. In all, Think Fast, Mr. Moto was followed by seven more Mr. Moto entries starring Peter Lorre in the lead role. In 1965, Twentieth Century-Fox revised the series and produced a ninth film starring Henry Silva, The Return of Mr. Moto, a film that was probably better left unmade.
During celebration of the Chinese New Year's in San Francisco's Chinatown, Mr. Moto is first seen disguised as a street peddler. He carefully stares at a rug with a design of" a tiger that hangs in the window of a curio shop and a man in costume with a British Union Jack tattoo on his right wrist emerges from the shop whose door has a "closed" sign. Disregarding the sign, Moto enters the shop and inquires about the rug that bears the design of the tiger but the shop owner (Fredrick Vogeding) says it is not for sale. Moto counters by ottering some or his "treasures" tor sale but the curio dealer declines, saying that treasures are not sold by common street peddlers as "they have no proper setting," a remark that seems so out of place that Moto takes it as some sort of recognition code. However, Moto still presses on, offering to sell the store owner a large diamond he recently acquired. He asks $5,000 claiming that the stone is easily worth $20,000 but the store owner counters with a $2,000 offer...
Source: The Complete Mr. Moto Film Phile: A Casebook
By Howard M. Berlin