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Lost Horizon (1937)

Approved | | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy | 1 September 1937 (USA)
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?

Director:

Frank Capra

Writers:

Robert Riskin (screenplay), James Hilton (novel)
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Won 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Ronald Colman ... Robert Conway
Jane Wyatt ... Sondra
Edward Everett Horton ... Lovett
John Howard ... George Conway
Thomas Mitchell ... Barnard
Margo ... Maria
Isabel Jewell ... Gloria
H.B. Warner ... Chang
Sam Jaffe ... High Lama
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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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Mightiest of all motion pictures! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Mandarin

Release Date:

1 September 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Lost Horizon of Shangri-La See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (1952 reissue) | (general release) | (restored)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Frank Capra's first cut of the film ran for 6 hours. The first public preview took place in Santa Barbara when the film ran for 3 1/2 hours. Re-shooting and re-cutting followed immediately after this disastrous preview. See more »

Goofs

When Bob is entering Shangri-La, he is going down a mountain "upon which no man has ever set foot" but there are footprints in the snow in the foreground of the shot. 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, ...
See more »

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 »

Alternate Versions

When Frank Capra's Lost Horizon was first shown in March, 1937 it had a running time of 132 minutes. Over the years nearly 25 minutes of the film were removed, and various shortened versions were reissued. By 1967 the original nitrate camera negative had deteriorated, and no copies of the full length film were known to survive. The restoration of Lost Horizon began in 1973 when The American Film Institute conducted an exhaustive survey of archives around the world to identify all surviving versions of the film. As a result of the AFI's efforts, a complete 132 minute soundtrack was located, and all but seven minutes of the picture. The technical quality of the newly found material ranged from excellent to poor. For the current restoration, Sony Pictures Entertainment has completed an all digital restoration, starting from film elements restored in collaboration with UCLA Film and Television Archive in 1999, utilizing additional elements and incorporating one minute of newly located footage. Because the picture is still six minutes shorter than the soundtrack, the missing scenes have been filled in with freeze frame images from the film and with a selection of of surviving production still photographs. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Making of 'Lost Horizon' (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Here We Go Gathering Nuts in May
(uncredited)
Traditional children's song
Sung a cappella by Edward Everett Horton
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
"I believe it because I *want* to believe it.."
17 June 2005 | by darkpixie1980See all my reviews

"I believe it because I want to believe it". This one line speaks volumes about what the movie (and the original novel) was trying to say. The concept of Shangri-La, a place where people work and live in peaceful harmony, is as relevant today as it was in the post-World War I era that James Hilton wrote 'Lost Horizon', where the world was still in turmoil following a devastating war and another was on its way.

In these days of war, humanitarian devastation and disease, how many people are there who dream of getting away from it all and living out their lives in a remote paradise just like Shangri-La? The High Lama's words to Conway resonate strongly even today.

"Look at the world today. Is there anything more pitiful? What madness there is! What blindness! What unintelligent leadership! A scurrying mass of bewildered humanity, crashing headlong against each other, propelled by an orgy of greed and brutality." On a more cinematographic note, the movie is visually stunning in an age before CGI and astronomical budgets. The beauty of Shangri-La, the stunning mountain landscapes and the overall settings of the movie make us believe that such a wonderful place can exist. All the actors are commendable in their portrayals (though some characters are different to those in the original novel) and their interaction with each other add a real sparkle to the movie.

'Lost Horizon' is a beautiful adaptation of James Hilton's masterpiece and captures the very feeling of the novel and I would highly recommend it to anyone who has ever dreamed of escaping from the hectic world in which we live.


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