Rowland V. Lee directed this mystery -- based on the novel by Richard Harding Davis, a popular author of the day -- in a crisp, easy-to-follow fashion. Brownwell, a bank cashier, has absconded with a lot of money and hightailed it to Zanzibar. Since he is known to have a beard, the similarly bearded Hugh Hemingway (William Russell) becomes a suspect when he arrives at the hotel. Even more suspicion is thrown on him when he shaves off the facial hair, until another hirsute fellow shows up and shaves off <I>his</I> beard. And these aren't the only folks who seem to be behaving suspiciously. Director Lee keeps the audience guessing throughout the picture; the only character not under suspicion is Russell's character because he's the star, but a lot of intrigue goes on before he is finally vindicated. Although the mystery element worked smoothly, Lee did make a mistake by allowing Harvey Clark do a comic portrayal of American consul Wilbur Harris -- there was really no place for funny stuff in this picture.
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