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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:

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

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

Maria was born in 1868. 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 »

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 »


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 guidon7See 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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