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CHARLIE CHAN & MR. MOTO ON DVD IN 2006

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Although not officially announced it is rumored that FOX will finally be releasing the Warner Oland CHARLIE CHAN films and the Peter Lorre MR. MOTO films on DVD the early part of 2006. I am not familiar with the Moto series but I remember the Chan series as being a lot of fun.

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The Moto films are great, especially the second one: "Thank You, Mr. Moto". It has an Indiana Jones sort of plotline, with Mr. Moto searching for the treasure of Genghis Kahn by following a map laid out on seven scrolls.

 

The Moto films on DVD? Wonderful news! But how did you hear of it?

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Great news! It will be so much fun to see Mr. Moto again, I haven't seen those for 30 years. I'm not really up on Charlie Chan but they sound like fun, as well.

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They had a symposium on the Charlie Chan movies on Fox Movie Channel a year or two ago. The panel consisted of Chinese-Americans actors/personalities, who protested that the Chan movies were racist. How could the portrayal of a brilliant person like Chan be negative, or racist? Other than being brilliant, he quotes Confucius, which promotes Chinese philosophy/culture. No word was mentioned about Mr. Moto, though.

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Apparently, they were offended by the idea of a white man playing an Asian character. They regarded it as "yellow face". They felt the same about Peter Lorre, a Hungarian, playing a Japanese character.

 

But Peter himself had a different view, which that Moto was simply a character he was playing. In the new Lorre biography, "The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre" by Stephen D. Youngkin, there is a very nice "Mr. Moto" section, including quotes from Peter about his approach to playing a Japanese. " As a man thinks, so he moves. Well, I think about the character, and what I do is right. I did not need to study a real Japanese man."

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