From the decks of a steamship, hundreds of immigrants strain to see the promised land. They see New York, the city of their dreams, apparently being consumed by flames, but their despair turns to wonder as they realise the flames are really the magical radiance of a million incandescent lights at Coney Island’s Dreamland. Among the hopefuls is a Eastern European stowaway, Kid Twist. He soon finds himself working as an enforcer for the ruthless gangster Gyp the Blood. When Kid is pressed to murder an informer in a police corruption investigation, he splits with Gyp and flees across the East River to Brooklyn, finding asylum with a Coney Island carny known as Trick the Dwarf. He meets a young seamstress, Esther, who is fighting her own battles against inhuman working conditions. Their love blossoms, the police investigation intensifies and Kid, no longer a ruthless scavenger, must prepare for a showdown with Gyp the Blood.