A dastardly Chinese criminal in OLD SAN FRANCISCO schemes to possess a lovely señorita and her Spanish land-grant rancho.
Although replete with racial stereotyping, it must be admitted that this vintage Silent film is an awful lot of fun. Produced just before the onset of Talkies, the movie represents the high degree of expertise the Studios had attained in telling a story through the medium of filmed pantomime. Excellent production values, an exciting story and very good acting are all part of the mix in the film's success, while the climaxing special effects depicting the great 1906 San Francisco earthquake & fire are satisfying both visually and as plot development.
Beautiful Dolores Costello is exceptional as the privileged young lady who must survive a terrible adventure into San Francisco's criminal depths, her lovely face & eyes conveying every emotion her character experiences. Joseph Swickard gives a noble performance as her proud, patrician grandfather. High-spirited Charles Emmett Mack ably fills the requisite hero's role as the courageous young Irish lawyer who loves Miss Costello. Looking like evil incarnate, Swedish actor Warner Oland steals a few scenes as the malicious malefactor who plots Miss Costello's undoing.
Exotic Anna May Wong appears briefly as an Underworld minx. Tiny Angelo Rossitto is memorable as Oland's dwarf brother.
Movie mavens will recognize Sojin as a Chinatown elder, John Miljan as a slightly craven Spanish-Californian, and Willie Fung as a smiling servant, all uncredited.
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