A convict hiding in Chinatown assumes the identity of a cripple to track down a businessman who framed him 15 years previously. He discovers that his daughter has fallen in love with the businessman's son.
In this early collaboration with director Tod Browning (Dracula, Freaks), Chaney delivers a dual performance of dramatic intensity, starring as Ah Wing, a kind-hearted student of Confucian ... See full summary »
Oliver's mother, a penniless outcast, died giving birth to him. As a young boy Oliver is brought up in a workhouse, later apprenticed to an uncaring undertaker, and eventually is taken in ... See full summary »
James A. Marcus,
Yen Sin, a humble Chinese, is washed ashore after a storm and finds himself an outsider in the deeply Christian fishing community of Urkey. Yen Sin elects to stay, despite his status as a despised 'heathen', only to reveal hypocrisy amid the self-righteous township. Written by
In a title card, the minister says it's been "over a year" since he learned that Daniel was still alive on the day his daughter was born, yet in the final scene the baby is no bigger than she was at birth. See more »
Pray, or get out! We are all believers in Urkey. We want no hethens.
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Chaney's Performance Takes Everyone Else to the Cleaners!
Wow! If you had any doubts at all, any - about Lon Chaney's skills as an actor, then Shadows should make a believer out of you as Lon gives one of his very best performances as a meek, hobbling Chinese cripple who does laundry in a small fishing village. Yen Sin is a very complex character for a film so early as he is kind and Christian in reality but to most of the village he is seen as a non-believing heathen and an Oriental. Prejudice flys all over this film as those that demand Yen Sin convert openly defy the very principles they want to force on him, and Yen Sin sees no reason to convert because of this very reason. He sees people for what they truly are - at least that is what I got out of it. Chaney's performance rises way above the source material here as the main story is not about Yen Sin, but rather about a young, principled minister marrying a woman whose husband was recently declared dead at sea. But wait! Just like any good melodrama, some one is very unhappy and secretly loves the young woman. Is it her husband who really was not dead at all? Maybe it was the minister's deacon and best friend? Perhaps is was Yen Sin himself, or maybe the little fat boy that had befriended Yen Sin because he gave him his Lychee nuts? Tune in to find out!
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