No relation to the landmark talking picture of 1928, Vitagraph's The Lights of New York is a barely credible tale of romance and redemption. Hoping to improve his financial lot, petty thief Hawk Chovinski (Walter McGrail) hires a dancing instructor to teach him how to bear himself like a gentleman. His lessons completed, Hawk then poses as a European nobleman, intending to trap a wealthy wife. Heroine Yolande Cowles (Leah Baird) sees through Hawk's pose but falls in love with him anyway. Given the film's idiotic plot and barely literate subtitles, it was little wonder that leading lady Baird turned to writing her own screenplays.
by Hal Erickson synopsis