Broken Blossoms or The Yellow Man and the Girl (1919) - Plot Summary Poster

Plot Summary

  • Cheng Huan is a missionary whose goal is to bring the teachings of peace by Buddha to the civilized Anglo-Saxons. Upon landing in England, he is quickly disillusioned by the intolerance and apathy of the country. He becomes a storekeeper of a small shop. Out his window, he sees the young Lucy Burrows. She is regularly beaten by her prizefighter father, underfed and wears ragged clothes. Even in this deplorable condition, Cheng can see that she is a priceless beauty and he falls in love with her from afar. On the day that she passes out in front of his store, he takes her in and cares for her. With nothing but love in his heart, he dresses her in silks and provides food for her. Still weak, she stays in his shop that night and all that Cheng does is watch over her. The peace and happiness that he sees last only until Battling Burrows finds out that his daughter is with a foreigner.

    - Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>
  • Fifteen year old Lucy, the illegitimate daughter of boxer and alcoholic Battling Burrows, was raised and still lives in the rough and tumble Limehouse District of East London. She is the lowest of the downtrodden in the neighborhood, often physically and mentally abused, especially by her father. The one person who treats her with respect is Chinese immigrant and shop owner Cheng Huan, who can see the beauty in her humanity. He originally moved to London to spread the word of Buddhism, however had been caught up in the debauchery common to the Limehouse before meeting Lucy, who transforms his life back to what it was. He nurses her after the latest beating by her father. Despite the purity of his love for her, a relationship of any kind between the two cannot be endorsed by society because of differences in age and especially race. When Battling discovers where his daughter is located, he comes to show the two his version of what is right.

    - Written by Huggo
  • Young Lucy Battling lives under her father's iron rule. Out one day, she falls in love with Cheng Huan, newly arrived in London from China. This does not please her father, who attempts to break the bond by brute force.

    - Written by John J. Magee <magee@helix.mgh.harvard.edu>
  • A frail waif, abused by her brutal boxer father in London's seedy Limehouse District, is befriended by a sensitive Chinese immigrant with tragic consequences.

    - Written by Gabe Taverney (duke1029@aol.com)


Cheng Huan (Richard Barthelmess) is a Buddhist missionary living and working in the Limehouse district of London...

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