Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday's Favorite OTR

Mr. Moto: "Dry Martini" from 10/20/51

This was the last episode of Mr. Moto's short-lived attempt to move to radio.

Moto had an interesting career. In the original novels, he's an agent for the Japanese government. In the Peter Lorre films from the late 1930s, he starts as an importer who dabbles in detective work, then later goes to work for the "International Police," looking out for (ironically) the interests of the Western powers.

When he came to radio 5 years after the end of World War II, he became a Japanese-American, working to foil communist plots across the world.

In all these versions of the character, his basic personality is pretty much the same--he's very polite and patient, but also very intelligent--and absolutely ruthless when called upon to be so.

"Dry Martini" finds Moto investigating a smuggling operation. This quickly evolves into a murder case when the owner of an import company gets killed. What makes this episode particularly fun is both the good twist at the end and a collection of entertainingly annoying suspects. Mr. Moto's famous patience is put to a test several times as he deals with people who either won't tell him what he needs to know or tell him far more than he wants to know, but he (of course) figures it all out in the end.

Click HERE to listen or download.

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