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George W. Hill
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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
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This interesting movie is very much a mixed bag. Lon Chaney gives another outstanding performance as Yen Sin, a Chinese man. With very little makeup, and a very expressive body, he gives us a sympathetic portrayal of a Chinese man who is not always treated nicely by the local townfolk. The screenplay is very daring for the time, as Asians were mostly portrayed as slant-eyed villains at the time, and Chinese were referred to as "Chinks". This is a very impressive production for a film that was not produced by a major studio.
On the other hand the direction of the film is mediocre. Director Tom Forman stages much of the action in long-shot. We rarely get a close-up view of Chaney or even Marguerite De La Motte, the heroine of this story.
This film is highly recommended for Lon Chaney, Sr. fans, and for those studying how American Cinema portrayed minorities in the 1920's.
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