Soap opera in an oriental setting, with the background of Chinese history and mores keeping a boy-meets- girl theme from slipping into the rice paddy. One gets what seems an authentic picture of opium addiction, of primitive marriage rites an explanation of Chinese writing, and a portrait of a fraudulent seeress, a tough old harlot whose lustful designs are directed towards the young hero, Chang Iron Lock. Between the old dame's attempts to seduce him and the evil machinations of the Mayor in the Li Family Village, Chang is kept on the griddle. But ultimately he escapes back into the arms of his pure and loving wife, having conquered all but the true villain of the piece, the numbing, hopeless poverty that stalks the ""children of the black-haired people"". This is no ""Good Earth"", but it is a rather simple story that happens to be set in a backward Chinese village, in the 16th year of the Republic.