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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)
Reviews
Popularity
2,835 ( 7,338)

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Won 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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After a plane crash five foreigners find themselves in a place called Shangri-La, a mysterious village deep within the Tibetan Plateau and in the middle of an experiment into the perfect society.

Director: Zaza Urushadze
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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:

Frank Capra's Mightiest Production 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

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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

"Academy Award Theater" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on November 27, 1946 with Ronald Colman reprising his film role. See more »

Goofs

When Lovett and Henry debate directions, Lovett has the box in front of him, and in the next cut his coat and arms are on top of the box. 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

The original ending shown in theaters had Sondra waiting at the cave entrance for Conway, waving to him as he comes down the mountain, and sending one of the villagers to notify Chang that Conway has returned. After just a few days in theaters, the ending was replaced with the one of Conway coming down the mountain and seeing the entrance to the cave leading to Shangri-La, but no one is there waiting for him. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Are You Being Served? Again!: American Tourists (1992) 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
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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