Lost Horizon ()

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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?

  • Won 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 6 nominations.
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Complete, Cast awaiting verification

Robert Conway
George Conway
High Lama
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Norman Ainsley ...
Embassy Club Steward (uncredited)
Porter (uncredited)
Missionary (uncredited)
Passenger (uncredited)
Hugh Buckler ...
Lord Gainsford (uncredited)
Boy Being Carried to Plane (uncredited) (unconfirmed)
John Burton ...
Wynant (uncredited)
Tom Campbell ...
Porter (uncredited)
Matthew Carlton ...
Pottery Maker (uncredited)
Eli Casey ...
Porter (uncredited)
David Cavendish ...
First Pilot (uncredited)
Chinese Priest (uncredited)
Darby Clark ...
Radio Operator (uncredited)
Embassy Club Steward (uncredited)
Robert Cory ...
Englishman (uncredited)
Beatrice Curtis ...
Passenger (uncredited)
Jack Deery ...
Englishman (uncredited)
Mary Lou Dix ...
Passenger (uncredited)
White Dove ...
Minor Role (uncredited)
Val Duran ...
Talu - Hijacking Pilot (uncredited)
Neil Fitzgerald ...
Radio Operator (uncredited)
Bandit Leader at Fuel Stop-over (uncredited)
Moning Gonzales ...
Porter (uncredited)
First Man (uncredited)
Antonion Herrera ...
Porter (uncredited)
Joe Herrera ...
Candle Maker (uncredited)
Glenn Howard ...
Porter (uncredited)
Boyd Irwin ...
Assistant Foreign Secretary (uncredited)
Leader of Porters on Return Journey (uncredited)
Manual Kalili ...
Servant (uncredited)
George Kaluna ...
Porter (uncredited)
Harold Lishman ...
Porter (uncredited)
Shanghai Airport Official (uncredited)
Robert Lugo ...
Porter (uncredited)
Richard Master ...
Servant (uncredited)
Margaret McWade ...
Missionary (uncredited)
John Miltern ...
Carstairs - Man at Club (uncredited)
Ray Mitchell ...
Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Joe Molina ...
Porter (uncredited)
Henry Mowbray ...
Englishman (uncredited)
Foreign Secretary with Prime Minister (uncredited)
Meeker (uncredited)
Englishman (uncredited)
Milton Owen ...
Fenner (uncredited)
Passenger (uncredited)
Ruth Robinson ...
Missionary (uncredited)
Richard Robles ...
Porter (uncredited)
Alex Shoulder ...
Servant (uncredited)
Joe Shoulder ...
Porter (uncredited)
James Smith ...
Porter (uncredited)
Missionary (uncredited)
John Tettener ...
Montaigne (uncredited)
Ed Thorpe ...
Porter (uncredited)
Prime Minister (uncredited)
Eric Wilton ...
Englishman (uncredited)
Barry Winton ...
Englishman (uncredited)
Bandit Leader (uncredited)
Ernesto Zambrano ...
Servant (uncredited)

Directed by

Frank Capra

Written by

Robert Riskin ... (screenplay)
James Hilton ... (novel)
Sidney Buchman ... (contributor to screenplay) (uncredited)

Produced by

Frank Capra ... producer (uncredited)
Harry Cohn ... executive producer (uncredited)

Music by

Dimitri Tiomkin

Cinematography by

Joseph Walker ... (photography)

Film Editing by

Gene Havlick
Gene Milford

Art Direction by

Stephen Goosson ... (as Stephen Goossón)

Set Decoration by

Babs Johnstone ... interior decorator (uncredited)

Makeup Department

Jack Dawn ... makeup artist (uncredited)
Rhoda Donaldson ... hairdresser (uncredited)
Charles Huber ... makeup artist (uncredited)
Helen Hunt ... hair stylist (uncredited)
John Wallace ... makeup artist (uncredited)

Production Management

Sidney W. Pink ... assistant production manager (uncredited)

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director

Arthur S. Black Jr. ... assistant director (uncredited)
Milton Carter ... assistant director (uncredited)
Charles C. Coleman ... assistant director (uncredited)
Robert Farfan ... assistant director (uncredited)
Andrew Marton ... assistant director (uncredited)

Art Department

Fay Babcock ... set dresser (uncredited)
Lionel Banks ... assistant art director (uncredited)
Ted Dickson ... set dresser (uncredited)
Paul Murphy ... assistant art director (uncredited)
Cary Odell ... set sketcher (uncredited)
Jim Pratt ... construction foreman (uncredited)
Jack Wrenn ... property master (uncredited)

Sound Department

Edward Bernds ... sound engineer (uncredited)
Irving 'Buster' Libbott ... microphone operator (uncredited)

Special Effects by

Ganahl Carson ... special camera effects
Roy Davidson ... special camera effects (as E. Roy Davidson)
Harry Redmond Jr. ... special effects (uncredited)


Buddy Roosevelt ... stunt double: Ronald Colman (uncredited)

Camera and Electrical Department

Elmer Dyer ... aerial photography
Roy Babbitt ... assistant camera (uncredited)
Schuyler Crail ... still photographer (uncredited)
Henry Freulich ... additional photography (uncredited)
George Hager ... gaffer (uncredited)
William Jolley ... assistant camera (uncredited)
Alfred S. Keller ... camera operator (uncredited)
George F. Kelley ... camera operator (uncredited)
Irving Klein ... assistant camera (uncredited)
Al Layter ... best boy (uncredited)
Irving Lippman ... still photographer (uncredited)
James Lloyd ... key grip (uncredited)
Sam Rosen ... assistant camera (uncredited)
Victor Scheurich ... camera operator (uncredited)
Rod Tolmie ... assistant camera: aerial unit (uncredited)
Alfredo Valente ... still photographer (uncredited)

Costume and Wardrobe Department

Ernest Dryden ... costumes (as Ernst Dryden)
William Bridgehouse ... wardrobe (uncredited)
Dan Grossbeck ... costume illustrator (uncredited)
Daisy Jefferson ... wardrobe (uncredited)
Eugene Joseff ... costume jeweller (uncredited)

Music Department

Max Steiner ... musical director
Robert Russell Bennett ... orchestrator (uncredited)
Peter Brunelli ... orchestrator (uncredited)
Hugo Friedhofer ... orchestrator (uncredited)
Jester Hairston ... choral director (uncredited)
Herman Hand ... orchestrator (uncredited)
Howard Jackson ... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Hall Johnson ... choral arranger (uncredited)
Bernhard Kaun ... orchestrator (uncredited)
Charles Maxwell ... orchestrator (uncredited)
George Parrish ... orchestrator (uncredited)
Max Rabinowitz ... music consultant (uncredited)
Max Reese ... orchestrator (uncredited)
William Grant Still ... orchestrator (uncredited)
Morris Stoloff ... musical director (uncredited)
John Tettener ... music consultant (uncredited)

Other crew

Hall Johnson Choir ... voices
Harry Cohn ... president: Columbia Pictures Corp. of Calif. Ltd.
Harrison Forman ... technical adviser
Archie Beckingsale ... bird trainer (uncredited)
Hyatt Daab ... press representative (uncredited)
Charles J. DeSoria ... dog trainer (uncredited)
Regis Gubser ... engineer: ice house (uncredited)
Al 'Doc' Guyer ... first aid (uncredited)
Eleanor Hall ... script clerk (uncredited)
Rennie Renfro ... dog trainer (uncredited)
Buddy Roosevelt ... double: Ronald Colman (uncredited)
Mary Wiggins ... double: Jane Wyatt (uncredited)
Harold Winston ... dialogue director (uncredited)


Jeanine Basinger ... special thanks (1985 restoration)
Frank Capra ... special thanks (1985 restoration) (as Mr. Frank Capra)
Irwin Danels ... special thanks (1985 restoration)
Dennis Doph ... special thanks (1985 restoration)
Joseph G. Empsucha ... special thanks (1985 restoration)
Stephen Gong ... special thanks (1985 restoration)
Felipe Herba ... special thanks (1985 restoration)
Lawrence F. Karr ... special thanks (1985 restoration)
Audrey E. Kupferberg ... special thanks (1985 restoration)
David Parker ... special thanks (1985 restoration)
Robert Rosen ... special thanks (1985 restoration)
Irwin Rosenfeld ... special thanks (1985 restoration)
Ralph Sargent ... special thanks (1985 restoration)
Anne G. Schlosser ... special thanks (1985 restoration)
Paul C. Spehr ... special thanks (1985 restoration)
Nick Vasu ... special thanks (1985 restoration)
Crew believed to be complete

Production Companies




Special Effects


Other Companies



Plot Summary

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

Plot Keywords
Taglines Frank Capra's Mightiest Production See more »
Parents Guide View content advisory »

Additional Details

Also Known As
  • Lost Horizon of Shangri-La (United States)
  • Horizons perdus (France)
  • In den Fesseln von Shangri-La (Germany)
  • Horizontes perdidos (Spain)
  • Horitzons perduts (Spain, Catalan title)
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  • 132 min
Aspect Ratio
Sound Mix
Filming Locations

Box Office

Budget $4,000,000 (estimated)

Did You Know?

Trivia An eccentric millionaire in Denver, Colorado had a mansion built that was an exact replica of the Shangri-La Lamasery in this film. It still exists today. See more »
Goofs Echoing the words of the critic, James Agate: 'The best film I've seen for ages, but will somebody please tell me how they got the grand piano along a footpath on which only one person can walk at a time with rope and pickaxe and with a sheer drop of three thousand feet or so?' See more »
Movie Connections Edited from Storm Over Mont Blanc (1930). See more »
Soundtracks Wiegenlied (Brahms' Lullaby), Op. 49, No. 4 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 »
Quotes High Lama: Good evening, Mr. Conway. Please come in. Sit here, near me. I am an old man and can do no one any harm.
Robert Conway: Are you the High Lama?
High Lama: Yes. I trust you have been comfortable at Shangri-La, since your arrival.
Robert Conway: Personally, I've enjoyed your community very much. But my friends do not care for this mystery. They are determined to leave as soon as -
[looks down at the Lama's amputated leg, amazed]
Robert Conway: It's astonishing - and incredible, but...
High Lama: What is it, my son?
Robert Conway: You're the man Chang told me about! You're the first - who - two hundred years ago -
Robert Conway: you're still alive, Father Perrault!
High Lama: Sit down, my son. You may not know it, but I've been an admirer of yours for a great many years. Oh, not of Conway the empire-builder and public hero. I wanted to meet the Conway who in one of his books, said, "There are moments in every man's life when he glimpses the eternal." That Conway seemed to belong here. In fact, it was suggested that someone be sent to bring him here.
Robert Conway: That I be brought here? Who had that brilliant idea?
High Lama: Sondra Bizet.
Robert Conway: [secretly pleased] Oh, the girl at the piano?
High Lama: Yes. She has read your books and has a profound admiration for you, as have we all.
Robert Conway: Of course I have suspected that our being here is no accident. Furthermore, I have a feeling that we're never supposed to leave. But that, for the moment, doesn't concern me greatly. I'll meet that when it comes. What particularly interests me at present is, why was I brought here? What possible use can I be to an already thriving community?
High Lama: We need men like you here, to be sure that our community will continue to thrive. In return for which, Shangri-La has much to give you. You are still, by the world's standards, a youngish man. Yet in the normal course of existence, you can expect twenty or thirty years of gradually diminishing activity. Here, however, in Shangri- La, by our standards your life has just begun, and may go on and on.
Robert Conway: But to be candid, Father, a prolonged future doesn't excite me. It would have to have a point. I've sometimes doubted whether life itself has any. And if that is so, then long life must be even more pointless. No, I'd need a much more definite reason for going on and on.
High Lama: We have reason. It is the entire meaning and purpose of Shangri-La. It came to me in a vision, long, long ago. I saw all the nations strengthening, not in wisdom, but in the vulgar passions and the will to destroy. I saw the machine power multiplying, until a single weaponed man might match a whole army. I foresaw a time when man, exalting in the technique of murder, would rage so hotly over the world, that every book, every treasure, would be doomed to destruction. This vision was so vivid and so moving, that I determined to gather together all things of beauty and of culture that I could, and preserve them here, against the doom toward which the world is rushing. 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. A time must come my friend, when this orgy will spend itself. When brutality and the lust for power must perish by its own sword. Against that time, is why I avoided death, and am here. And why you were brought here. For when that day comes, the world must begin to look for a new life. And it is our hope that they may find it here. For here, we shall be with their books and their music, and a way of life based on one simple rule: Be Kind! When that day comes, it is our hope that the brotherly love of Shangri-La will spread throughout the world. Yes, my son; When the strong have devoured each other, the Christian ethic may at last be fulfilled and the meek shall inherit the earth.
Robert Conway: I understand you, Father.
High Lama: You must come again, my son. Good night.
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