7.8/10
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119 user 43 critic

Lost Horizon (1937)

A plane crash delivers a group of people to the secluded land of Shangri-La -- but is it the miraculous utopia it appears to be?

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Won 2 Oscars. Another 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Barnard
Margo ...
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Gloria
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Storyline

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 <marg@asd.raytheon.ca>

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Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

1 September 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Lost Horizon of Shangri-La  »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(original) | (TV) | (general release) | (restored)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Studio head Harry Cohn didn't like Sam Jaffe's performance as the High Lama and insisted that Capra shoot it with another actor. Capra had to submit to this request and a test with Walter Connolly was made, with Cohn even insisting on an expensive new set being built specially for it. Despite loading the dice in Connolly's favor, the consensus was that his test wasn't anywhere near as good. So Jaffe won the part back, though he still had to re-shoot all his scenes as they were deemed to be far too lengthy and wordy. See more »

Goofs

The plane comes to rest with the fuselage in the air, but is half buried when everyone gets out. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Book Pages: In these days of wars and rumors of wars - haven't you ever dreamed of a place where there was peace and security, where living was not a struggle but a lasting delight? / Of course you have. So has every man since time began. Always the same dream. Sometimes he calls it Utopia - Sometimes the Fountain of Youth - Sometimes merely "that little chicken farm." / One man had such a dream and saw it come true. He was Robert Conway - England's "Man of the East" - soldier, diplomat, ...
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Crazy Credits

Bob Gitt of the UCLA Film & Television Archives claims the original opening sequence in 1937 had title cards "Conway has been sent to evacuate ninety white people before they're butchered in a local revolution" was changed in 1942 for a special reissue during WWII. The title cards read "before innocent Chinese people were butchered by Japanese hordes." This was to bolster propaganda against the Japanese. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Natural Born Killers (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Wiegenlied (Brahms' Lullaby), Op. 49, No. 4
(1868) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Johannes Brahms
English translator unknown
Sung a cappella by children at Shangri-La
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Wonderful Fantasy /Drama - - Just As Good 68 Years Later
10 June 2005 | by (Gulf Breeze, Florida) – See all my reviews

I have seen this film many times over the years and it never ceases to amaze me. Perhaps other Capra films are better known, but I don't think they can hold a candle to this one. The cast, every one, turn in stunning performances. In his secondary role as Ronald Colman's brother, I believe John Howard's performance was superb, even among this stellar cast. His career consisted of leads in "B" films (Bulldog Drummond) or usually the second man in "A" films (such as The Philadelphia Story). A talented, highly underrated actor in my view, he was of the opinion that he deserved better roles, such as those of Ronald Colman. I agree. And how about that musical score! THE BEST OF ANY FILM, in my humble opinion. What a treat it is to watch a real gem

  • - Lost Horizon. Incidentally the film is far better than the book by


James Hilton. Could another actor have portrayed Robert Conway as Ronald Colman has? I doubt it, even in that age of excellent actors. The scene where his brother George, aided by the Russian girl, try to convince him that Shangri-La is not what it is, is remarkable for Colman's reaction. He turns away and his face changes from disbelief to uncertainty then to acceptance of their arguments. All this without dialogue. Shortly after he turns to look at Shangri-La for the last time before plunging into the outside world and again, silently, his emotions touch us all. (At least they touch me!) We are very fortunate to have this masterpiece available to us. Now, will future generations recognize this film for what it is? Judging from today's "hits" I really wonder.


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