Mary Nolan, whose own private life was as sensationally scandalous as any of her screen roles, starred in this cinemadaptation of the stage play Drifting. Having spent several wasted months in a Shanghai opium dem, former prostitute Cassie Cook (Nolan) yearns to start her life afresh. Likewise, ex-convict Badlands McKinney (James Murray) also wants to clean up his act. Upon meeting one another, Cassie and McKinney each assume that the other is a pillar of respectability. This mutual self-deception eventually blossoms into love and opens the door for redemption. The fly in the ointment is Repen (Wheeler Oakman), an unforgiving detective who knows the truth about both Cassie and McKinney; fortunately for the plot, Repen is conveniently knocked off by one of the minor characters, a stereotypical Chinaman.
by Hal Erickson synopsis