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||IMDB Rating: 7.8/10 from 8,826 votes
||Release: 24 September 1937 (Netherlands) /
||Genre: Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Mystery
||Director: Frank Capra,
||Stars: Edward Everett Horton, H.B. Warner, Isabel Jewell, Jane Wyatt, John Howard, Margo, Ronald Colman, Sam Jaffe, Thomas Mitchell
||Synopsis: British diplomat Robert Conway and a small group of civilians crash land in the Himalayas, and are rescued by the people of the mysterious, Eden-like valley of Shangri-la. Protected by the mountains from the world outside, where the clouds of World War II are gathering, Shangri-la provides a seductive escape for the world-weary Conway. Written by Marg Baskin <[email protected]>
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Watch Lost Horizon - Alternative Versions.
There is an aura that seems to surround classic films made before the days
of computer generated visual effects and intense marketing campaigns. It was
a time when motion pictures depended on grand stories, superb performances,
and great direction to catapult their success. This was exactly the case of
`Lost Horizon,' a film from director Frank Copra (`It's A Wonderful Life').
With elaborate set designs, excellent performances by Ronald Colman, Jane
Wyatt, John Howard, Thomas Mitchell, and Edward Everett Horton, `Lost
Horizon' is a story of survival and ultimately finding a way home, that
cannot be forgotten.
`Lost Horizon' is a tale of five castaways who inadvertently find themselves
in Shangri-La after their plane crashes in the mountains of Tibet. They are
lead into the place of eternal youth, natural beauty, and free from strife
by members of the region. They are treated as guests, and although they want
to leave and find their way back to the world as they know it, porters are
hard to find. It all leads to a notion that none of them want to admit; that
they were meant to be in Shangri-La.
Out of the thousands of movies that have been produced in the past 100
years, only a few afford of the privilege of remembrance. What's more, only
a few seem to survive due to the nature of celluloid prints breaking down
over time. A similar problem plagued `Lost Horizon,' in that after decades
of worthy theatrical re-issues, the prints depreciated, with many withering
away. As such, a preservation program was set in place to save copies of the
film. Thanks to the works of countless individuals, this classic has been
restored, to a certain degree, with some of the footage missing, replaced by
still shots of the actors and recorded dialogue. From a critical standpoint,
`Lost Horizon' has stood the test of time to be one of the greatest
adventure classics ever produced by Hollywood.
What is astonishing about this film is the attention to detail. As the film
begins, a battle is taking place somewhere in China where we meet our
protagonist, Bob Conway (Coleman). As the film continues, the scene changes
to a scene on an airplane where our characters are trying to leave the war
torn region. At one point, the crew is at a high altitude where the
temperature is very cold. As such, we can see their breath in the shot as
they speak. Normally, this kind of feature is ignored as the scene is short,
but it adds a touch of realism that can't be denied.
Incredible detail went into the creation of Shangri-La. With its large sets,
beautiful costume design, the film takes on an epic proportion only rivaled
by the grand designs of such Biblical epics as `Ben-Hur,' and `The Ten
Commandments.' Truly, director Capra wanted to create an image that
audiences would be astounded by
and he truly succeeded.
One can't help but admire the characters-they are all a bit naïve, but all
intriguing in their own ways. Conway (Coleman) is a British diplomat and
explorer whose fame is well deserved. His brother, George (Howard) presents
a great deal of fear for the unknown Shangri-La. The characters of Henry
Barnard (Mitchell) and Alexander P. Lovett (Horton) add a real sense of
humor to the film.
There are some minor inconsistencies in the story and various tasks that the
characters try to pull off, but it's hardly worth complaining about because
the film is such a treasure among other films. After 66 years, `Lost
Horizon' remains far better than most of the adventure films that play in
cinemas nowadays. One can only wish that they could have been present to see
this in a theater during its original run. How amazing it would have been to
see this epic tale of survival and the human struggle against itself back in
1937. `Lost Horizon' is indeed a remnant from the golden age of cinema.
Tags for Lost Horizon Full Movie
Edward Everett Horton
, H.B. Warner
, Isabel Jewell
, Jane Wyatt
, John Howard
, Ronald Colman
, Sam Jaffe
, Thomas Mitchell
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