When it reviewed this simple little drama, the trade paper The Film Daily remarked (rather
awkwardly), "Ben Schulberg has never achieved a reputation previously for desiring a place among
the artistic producers, but...Shadows is one of the most artistically made pictures." Art was definitely
not one of B.P. Schulberg's fortes but every now and again he'd produce something with true creative
merit. Lon Chaney's fine performance as the Chinaman Yen Sin certainly enhanced this picture. Yen
Sin is washed up onto the shore of a fishing village inhabited by God-fearing white people. He runs a
laundry out of a houseboat, but because of his race and religion he suffers a lot of prejudice from the
townsfolk. Then John Malden, a young minister (Harrison Ford, also turning in a stunning
performance), comes to town and converts Yen Sin to Christianity. Malden wins Sympathy Gibbs
(Marguerite De La Motte), a young widow whose cruel husband has been lost at sea. but after they
marry he receives a mysterious note that is ostensibly from Sympathy's lost husband. The man
blackmails Malden, who loses his church and home. Yen Sin, however, knows that the man who is
tormenting Malden is actually deacon Nate Snow (John Sainpolis), who is bitter because he wanted
Sympathy. Yen Sin waits until the appropriate moment, then exposes Snow to the whole village.
Afterwards the Chinaman cuts the ropes tying his houseboat to the pier and sails off to his death.
Plot Synopsis from Janiss Garza, AllMovie.com
|Directed by: Tom Forman
Wilbur Daniel Steele - "Ching-Ching Chinaman"
Eve Unsell - adaptation
Hope Loring - adaptation
Lon Chaney ... Yen Sin - 'The Heathen'
Marguerite De La Motte ... Sympathy Gibbs
Harrison Ford ... John Malden
John St. Polis ... Nate Snow
Walter Long ... Daniel Gibbs
Buddy Messinger ... 'Mr. Bad Boy'
Priscilla Bonner ... Mary Brent
Frances Raymond ... Emsy Nickerson
Produced by: B.P. Schulberg Productions
Distribution Companies: Al-Lichtman Corporation
Music by: Louis F. Gottschalk
Cinematography by: Harry Perry
Art Titler: Renaud Hoffman
Presenter: B.P. Schulberg
Length: 7 Reels
Runtime: 70 Minutes
Released: November 10, 1922