Lon Chaney portrays Chinese laundryman Yen Sin who is shipwrecked by a raging storm and tossed ashore in a small New England town. Sin is viewed as a heathen and treated as less-than-human by the majority of the "good Christian" town-folk. The exceptions are the minister (Harrison Ford) and a lovely young widow (Marguerite De La Motte) of a cruel fisherman. Yen Sin plays matchmaker for the young couple, and then defends them when plans of ill-intent come to light.Filmed in a period when Asian characters were only villains or comic relief, this movie dared to have an Asian protagonist. Although it was originally poorly received, it was later awarded a special commendation from the National Board of Review. Lon Chaney received international acclaim the following year for his portrayal of Quasimodo in The Hunchback Of Notre Dame.