The White Pearl (1915)

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Synopsis by Janiss Garza

The racial prejudices of the 1910s show up in this picture, which depicts a group of Japanese islanders as ignorant savages. When their Sacred Pearl of Buddha is stolen by a Chinaman headed for the States, they are convinced they will suffer bad luck. The pearl finds its way to Bob Alden (Thomas Holding), the son of a wealthy tea importer. He gives it to his sweetheart, Nancy (Marie Doro), but their romance is frowned upon by his father, who orders him to forget Nancy and take care of business in Yokohama. Nancy's father, a sea captain (Robert Broderick), takes her with him on his return trip to Japan, and they find that Bob has stowed away on the ship. But the craft sinks; Nancy's father dies, and Bob is picked up, unconscious by a ship headed for Japan. Nancy's raft floats onto the same Japanese island that lost its pearl, and when she comes to her memory is gone. Because she has the pearl, the islanders believe she is a goddess and name her the keeper of the pearl. She is then captured by Chinese pirates and is sold to a Yokohama tea house as a Geisha girl. Bob, meanwhile, has been working in the city and believes Nancy is dead. But he finds her when a rich captain tries to buy her from the tea house proprietor. Bob realizes her memory is gone, and outbids the captain for her. Eventually he brings her memory back and the couple are reunited.