Impossible to believe early British mystery based on a novel from 1907 by someone who calls herself Rita. It involves a family curse, blackmail, malaria and an old painting,
Lord Ronnie Rollestone (John Stuart) is told by his father about the family curse. It involves a painting of an Abbott that’s been hanging on the wall for many generations. The curse says when the Abbott points his finger at the eighth Earl, that Earl is toast.
Dad wonders when Ronnie is going to settle down with Lady Mary Stewart (Viola Keats). Mary and Ronnie go to the balcony and decide that they’ll be pals and that’s as far as it’ll go. Ronnie is off to Africa for a big game hunt. Plotting against him is the family ne’er do-well James Mallory. He goes to see Ronnie’s friend Pat Lafone. James offers him a thousand quid to make sure Ronnie doesn’t come back. That way James inherits the estate when the father dies.
In Africa a hostile tribe attacks the bearers on Ronnie’s safari. Pat chickens out and runs for his life. Back in England Ronnie shows up just in time to see his father before he dies. His father looks at him and says, “No,not Ronnie” and expires. Mary gets suspicious when Ronnie doesn’t remember things including a pet name she used to call him.
Mallory is more than upset at Pat thinking that he didn’t go through with their deal. Pat writes Mary and has her come to his place. He’s blackmailing her about Ronnie and she pays up. Later there’s a big party at the estate. Mary is shocked to see Pat. Mallory is also there. He wants Pat to make sure Ronnie is a fake. Pat tells Mallory Ronnie is for real and Mary that he’s an imposter.
Now things get weird. The ending has to be seen to be believed. It gives a whole new meaning to the word ridiculous. That makes the movie fun to watch because it’s hard to believe what they thought they could get away with.