A Tale of Two Worlds

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This is one of a number of silent pictures in which a young American is raised as a Chinese girl, and even though she has no Asian features to speak of, she never guesses she's white until the film's end. While they are visiting China on business a curio collector, Carmichael (Dwight Crittenden) and his wife (Irene Rich), are killed during a Boxer uprising. A servant, Ah Wing (E. A. Warren), saves their baby, which he takes to America and raises as his own. Sui Sen (Leatrice Joy) grows up in Chinatown really believing that Ah Wing is her father. A wealthy American, Newcombe (J. Frank Glendon), sees Sui Sen and falls in love with her on the spot. But Ling Jo (Wallace Beery) -- the same man responsible for the Carmichaels' deaths -- is living in the very same Chinatown and is determined to make the girl his wife. Ah Wing tells Ling Jo that if he can get him the scepter of the Mings -- a supposedly impossible task -- then he can have Sui Sen. But Ling Jo comes through and Ah Wing has to honor the promise. Newcombe finds out about it, however, and goes to save Sui Sen. But he is captured and taken to the steel room to be crushed to death. With the help of a Chinese boy, Newcombe is able to escape, and Ling Jo winds up being crushed in the steel room instead. Finally Sui Sen learns that she is American as apple pie and weds Newcombe. This picture was the first time author Gouverneur Morris wrote a story directly for the screen, and it was part of producer Samuel Goldwyn's "Eminent Authors" series.

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