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|Index||84 reviews in total|
38 out of 44 people found the following review useful:
Least Horizon, 21 March 2005
Author: ptb-8 from Australia
I have a confession to make.....in August 1974 I re-opened an old cinema and this was the premiere attraction. The sound gargled away from behind the flabby screen and the invited audience sat on the lumpy seats. I looked like Top Cat in a tuxedo, and this film unfolded across the joins on our cinemascope presentation. What a night! Unforgettable in its mangy charm and an intro into the glamorous world of second rate showbiz to which I am still magnetized today. As a result I have a special place in my heart for this gloriously awful musical. All I can say was that the opening night crowd fled into the darkness after the last reel flapped off the projector. Some even promised to return and asked what was on next week: "MAME ...with Lucy" I grinned as I locked the door. Somehow the business survived and I even got to showcase AT LONG LAST LOVE the next year. LOST HORIZON was quite successful in Australia and was first released in Sydney as presented in 70mm for 13 weeks.... families liked it and for a while it was considered the sort of Brady Bunch family sort of musical. I just wanted to open my crummy seaside cinema with something nice. So I did and thank Neptune the locals forgave me. I deliciously look forward to the DVD release with the infamous deleted scenes, especially the legendary diaper dance with the guys swinging teapots and extended versions of Bobby Van leaping about with Liv Ullman. Am I correct in believing this was Ross Hunter's last production?
38 out of 49 people found the following review useful:
Those Dancing Fools, 3 March 2000
Author: Jamie Moffat (firstname.lastname@example.org) from Melbourne, Australia
As Bette Midler used to say, "I never miss a Liv Ullman musical". Here is a
film which attempts to inspire and uplift, and I guess it succeeds, if for
reasons quite different from those intended.
Unless they attempt a musical version of "Schindler's List" this will probably be the all time champion in the "Play it straight" stakes. James Hilton's novella, heaven knows, was a piece of fluff which tantalised rather than explored its themes. The 1937 film was a winner because, hey, what Frank Capra film in the '30s wasn't?
But if we had to have a musical version, wouldn't it have been a good idea to hire a couple of musical stars?! Okay, at a push Bobby Van passes muster, and thank God that he's meant to be that annoying, because after five minutes the idea of him being lost in a snowdrift seemed eminently satisfying. But as for the rest - George Kennedy, Peter Finch, Sally Kellermann, John Gielgud, Olivia Hussey - well we aren't going to see them in a revival of "42nd Street" now are we? My favourite definitely has to be Kellermann and Hussey thumping around a library, the former looking bored, the latter very pregnant, singing what seems to be a 70s New Age version of the "Green Acres" theme.
But its Liv who suffers most. Swinging those bovine limbs of hers, singing some nonsense about the world being a circle which never ends - an apt description of the song - she seems light years away from Bergman. Actually she bears a striking resemblance to Bill Clinton in some of her long shots.
Only Michael York emerges with any credibilty. And that's mainly because his character keeps nagging everybody to run away. And who could blame him?
29 out of 33 people found the following review useful:
Why isn't this movie on DVD?!, 8 December 2004
Author: (email@example.com) from United States
Much better than it is generally given credit for, this version of "Lost Horizon" not only had great music and beautiful scenery, but also some stunning mountain photography. A special edition laser disc was released some years ago which added more than 30 minutes of previously deleted material, extra music, and lots of bonus material. So why isn't this on DVD?! Hard to figure the studios out sometimes. Certainly the roles could have been given to people who could sing better than Peter Finch, Liv Ullman, George Kennedy and Sally Kellerman, but what do you want in a movie, good acting or melodious pipes? Song and dance man Bobby Van is great fun, Michael York is a suitably tragic villain, and seeing Sir John Gielgud decked out as Chang may sound silly but actually works very well on screen. Trust me, you need to check this movie out - if you can find it!
29 out of 36 people found the following review useful:
Great Music, 16 January 2001
Author: skip_184 from Uniontown, Pa
This movie is one on the forgotten musicals. The Burt Bacharach-Hal David music alone is worth the price of the film. Almost all reviewers say it is a bomb, but after seeing it three times it grows on you. The music is TERIFFIC!
21 out of 23 people found the following review useful:
Not Lost on the Right Audience, 4 August 2004
Author: jbdean from California
While the songs and dance numbers, in general, aren't as strong as many
would have them be, the film's storyline and message are still there and
ring out loudly above the simple 70s-style musical numbers.
Keeping in mind that this film was made after the Hollywood Musical had nearly died out (with few exceptions being rock musicals), the audiences that went to see it new didn't appreciate the fact that it was a brave attempt at something that hadn't been done to date. Audiences that see it today will tend to judge it against the films and musicals of today and, perhaps, the huge all-star casts of musicals gone past. But to do that to this film, or any for that matter, is an injustice to the film itself.
There are some good musical moments in the film. The first is that of Bobby Van. Mr. Van took his role of Harry Lovett just after closing a 2 year Tony nominated (for best actor) run of the Broadway revival, "No, No, Nanette." He is a song-and-dance-man from way back and, honestly, the only one in the cast that was truly talented and experienced for musicals. He never misses a step in his "Question Me An Answer" and rightly so ... he was totally at home as Harry. Other pleasant numbers are done by Olivia Hussey when she welcomes the new visitors and while the lyrics are weak, James Shigeta shows his strong voice in the "Family" song, as well as a nicely done staging of the full piece.
View the film for what it is ... a fantasy about a place where you never grow old, hidden in the ice and snow covered mountains of Tibet, found by a group of unsuspecting modern-day people wrapped up in the strife of any modern culture. Take this and compare it to reality and you get a film that falls short of a goal. But ... take this film for the message of love and peace and tranquility and brotherly love and you get a warm and refreshing message and a positive one at that.
To some this film may seem corny to others a welcomed release from the hectic pace of reality. To the first, try to not judge and just enjoy the message. To the second, you have discovered the secret of Shangri-La!
19 out of 24 people found the following review useful:
The "director's" version was better, but ..., 6 July 2005
Author: robertm-12 from United States
I was 19 or 20, years old at the time and living in Salt Lake City, Utah and I still remember the new dome theater, called the century 21. Layback chairs that rocked and a new sound system, large screen and huge open space between the screen and the packed theater. We felt all the excitement of a new preview screening of a film. Ta da da daa da ta da dada dada... I can still hear the opening music ringing trumpet and the crash of cymbals. I loved the interplay of characters and the filmed vistas. I know Peter Finch and Luv and Sally had some trouble with the lip-sink but hey, this was a feel good, go feel better about things film! What I regret is the way they cut the meaningful heart out of it, showed the cut version and then called it a flop. I saw the cut version and I can see it lost its view of the vision it had in the preview edition. Yes I wince a bit at Peter's effort to make love through music but, you know I didn't see it that way when I left the theater. when they surveyed us as we left I regret any comment I made that may have altered the original. I liked it then and still see it while I listen to the music on my LP. Most of my family has heard me sing much of the sound track and I can use the films monologues in our games of "what movie is this". I wish a director's cut on DVD was available. It is available on VHS but its not quite the same. I would particularly like a full serious lord of the rings style commentary about its origins, struggles and triumphs. Picky people should leave things well enough alone. Bring it back!!!!
14 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
Can't get it out of my head!!!, 4 July 1999
Author: jms (firstname.lastname@example.org) from Singapore
I watched this film when I was a young girl in Taipei, Taiwan. I loved the film! From the wonderful cast, to the scenery and the musical scores! It has stuck with me throughout the years as being one of my favorites. My sister and I had the sound track and played it all the time during our teenage years. If I had it today, I would still play it.
16 out of 20 people found the following review useful:
Shlocky, cornball 70's musical at it's finest!, 13 March 2000
Author: niknak99 from Cleveland OH.
I came across this moldy on AMC and was riveted! Suddenly I was taken back to my grade school years where I was forced to sing an ever so cheesy "The World is a Circle"! For the first time in years I'm seeing and hearing where these rediculous tunes from my youth have come from - and loved it. John Geilgud's perpetual grin and his pointy-head costumes had me in stitches. Not to mention some truly silly dance numbers AND a cast including actor extraordinaire George Kennedy! What's not to love? View it for what it is - guilty pleasured silliness.
10 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
A much maligned film, 11 October 1999
Author: boofull (email@example.com)
A huge cast gathered for this remake which sadly was a box office failure notwithstanding a great sound track. I can't say it was riveting entertainment, nor a cure for insomnia. Nevertheless I enjoyed the film - it provided the escape I was after one afternoon. A good look for those of us looking for the ideal life, albeit a fantasy. Expect some corny moments, few thrills, and an occasional laugh.
11 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
What "so bad it's good" really means!, 15 July 2005
Author: Eric Nicholas Andrews from West Lafayette, Indiana
Usually when a film is hailed as the above description, it has to be
considered watchable enough to enjoy the film's ineptitude. Some films
like this are bad, but to watch them would be asking a whole lot of the
viewer. LOST HORIZON certainly does not fit that last description
because while CITIZEN KANE it is not, it certainly does not deserve to
By the time LOST HORIZON came along, the movie musical was already considered a dead genre, save for the occasional import from Broadway that actually turned out well (OLIVER! & CABARET come immediately to mind). However, the age of the musical where songs were written especially for the movie had long been buried. That did not matter to producer Ross Hunter, who always was a safeguard of Old Hollywood even after the advent of the MPAA allowed for movies to be made of subjects that the studios would not have touched with a ten-foot pole. Hunter may have succeeded in bringing back old-fashioned soap operas with the Douglas Sirk movies, but as THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE showed with its original songs that paled in comparison to the classics it stood alongside (well, almost), the musical was perhaps not a genre in need of a revival.
You certainly could have fooled Hunter, who went full-steam ahead with his musicalization of a property that should have been left alone to begin with. Casting actors with little to no musical training & badly dubbing them was bad enough, but choosing a project that worked best in its original format was double trouble. That is certainly not to fault Burt Bacharach & Hal David's music, which is fine enough, though certainly not up to par with their Dionne Warwick spectaculars. But you get the idea that maybe even they were doubtful of this project's bankability. Supposedly the film led to the break-up of their previously infallible partnership, as well as Hunter's film career (he mostly worked for TV afterwards).
Apparently, Hollywood likes to keep its megaflops very secret because LOST HORIZON has not been seen much since its theatrical debut, and has not even made it onto VHS, let alone DVD in the U.S. (I found my copy courtesy of eBay). But if even Ed Wood's hilariously bad movies can be released & enjoyed by people even for all the wrong reasons, then certainly LOST HORIZON can. So I hope that Columbia Pictures can find it in their hearts to bring this movie back into circulation so we can enjoy it (even genuinely because it appears some people actually did). Heck, if only for the camp value, it would be a surefire hit. With CHICAGO & MOULIN ROUGE having indicated the musical is making a comeback, then it would be good to have LOST HORIZON out on the market again to educate people in how not to make one. But it sure is hell of a lot of fun along the way.
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