Produced by Preferred Pictures; Released 11/11/22 by Al Lichtman Corp.; Director: Tom Forman; Producer: B.P. Schulberg; Screenplay: Eve Unsell and Hope Loring, from the story Ching, Ching, Chinaman by Wilbur Daniel Steele; Cinematography: Harry Perry; 7 reels (7,040'); Print Source: Library of Congress, Film Preservation Associates
CAST: Lon Chaney (Yen Sin), Marguerite De La Motte (Sympathy Gibbs), Harrison Ford (John Malden), John Sainpolis (Nate Snow), Walter Long (Daniel Gibbs), Buddy Messenger ("Mister Bad Boy"), Priscilla Bonner (Mary Brent), Frances Raymond (Emsy Nickerson)
SYNOPSIS: The story is set in a quiet fishing town where Sympathy Gibbs lives with her brutish husband Daniel. After a great storm, Daniel's ship is lost at sea, and he is believed dead. The storm also washes up on the shores a Chinaman, Yen Sin, who sets up a laundry aboard a boat on which he lives. John Malden, the hamlet's new minister, is attracted to Sympathy and, believing her husband dead, she eventually agrees to marry him. Malden continually tries to convert Yen Sin to the ways of Christianity, but the Chinaman steadfastly retains his "heathen" philosophies. Nevertheless, Malden and Yen Sin become close friends, and the minister visits him often to discuss philosophy. Another of the Chinaman's regular visitors is a young boy who Yen Sin calls "Mister Bad Boy." Malden begins to receive notes from Daniel Gibbs, saying that he is alive and that he will expose Sympathy as a bigamist if Malden does not pay him. Yen Sin is gravely ill, and calls several of the townspeople to his boat. There he exposes a plot by Nate Snow, a local banker and jilted suitor of Sympathy's, who has been forging the letters from Daniel Gibbs. Malden and Sympathy realize that their fears were only "Shadows" and Snow is denounced. Dying, Yen Sin asks that his boat be cut loose so that he may float out to sea and die with his ancestors.
"Lon Chaney as 'the heathen' assumes a role that tempts overacting; but he subdues this temptation to the extent that this Chinaman grips you with a human chain that is unbreakable. This role clinches the claim of friends of Chaney that he is the greatest character man on the screen, for his is as fine an example of realistic acting and makeup as this writer has seen reflected on the sliver sheet." ---Moving Picture World
"A decidedly grim and morbid tale, directed and presented without any lighter relieving moments...Lon Chaney as the Chinaman gave a corking performance and successfully withstood the strain of dying through about 2,000 feet of film." ---Variety
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