Synopsis by Nicole Gagne
This cautionary tale of drug addiction from director Tod Browning depicts the pianist Manfredi (Eugene Pallette), who performs in a Chinese café and has become addicted to opium. Manfredi swears to marry his common-law wife Zuletta (Lucille Young) after he returns from five years of study abroad. When he comes back he is still an addict, but his performances while in a drugged state are lauded as the work of a musical genius. Breaking his promise to Zuletta, he pursues a society girl who studies with him, and draws her into the spell of the poppy. Her boyfriend John Hale (Joseph Henabery) works for the Secret Service, and Zuletta, seeking revenge on Manfredi, reveals the opium den to Hale. He rescues his girlfriend from the drug dealers in a shoot-out which costs Manfredi his life.