The Lure of the Orient (1921)

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While the producers bragged that this silent melodrama featured "many Orientals" in its cast, the story line is definitely not sympathetic to them, nor do any of them get screen credit -- a typical indication of the racial prejudices of the day. While visiting a Chinese opium den, an American reporter (Jack Conway) rescues a white man. He gets the man to pose as a millionaire to help him drum up some story material. He finally hears of a white merchant who is in dire financial straits and trying to marry off his ward (Frances Nelson) to a wealthy Chinese mandarin to cover his debts. The reporter goes to the mandarin's home and rescues the girl. He takes her onto the mandarin's ship, which is headed for Canada with a cargo of Chinese men who are to be smuggled into the country. One of the mandarin's servants comes on board and convinces the men to mutiny. With the help of a passing warship, the reporter subdues the throng. When they finally get to America, the mandarin continues to pursue the girl. Just when he is about to get her, he finds out he is being called back to China. Rather than return, he kills himself.