One of the BFI's 360 Classics selection, regarded by many as De Mille's finest, and it's not hard to see why. By turns light and elegant, dark and suspenseful, then gripping and dynamic, it's a well made film, with inventive lighting. Just a pity the smooth dastardly villain trying to take advantage of a frivolously extravagant married woman has to be Japanese (converted to Burmese in intertitles a few years later)
This drama has two assets that helped it rise from obscurity: DeMille's direction and use of lighting and Hayakawa's performance that has a brooding lead-man quality that surely won over many viewers back in the day. Unfortunately the (now dated) story and the only-adequate performances from the remaining cast bring the film down somewhat.
Made in the same year as The Birth of a Nation, and while (almost) equally as racist and used to indict fear for another race, it lacks the cinematic element that Birth contained in order to make it a passable film.