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Lost Horizon Reviews

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Ken S

Super Reviewer

April 19, 2007
Buddha Shrugged.
I think the story Gainesburg tells at the end would make a better movie than this one.

Super Reviewer

September 5, 2010
This is my favourtie movie of 1937. It's long, but it's worth it. It has a great story of a group of people who get stranded on an island and discover it's a utopia. I love it.
Michael G

Super Reviewer

August 21, 2007
It's easy to forget that Lost Horizon is a Frank Capra movie. It has very little of the concentrated feel good quality that most of his other movies have. It's definitely a good movie but definitely not his defining work. Sam Jaffe was incredibly frightening as the High Lama. Picture Mason Verger from Hannibal raping Yoda and this guy would be the baby. I don't like how the story seemed to get rushed in the last 15 minutes and just left at that or how some of the more major characters were just kind of cut short with hushed resolution. Even if the movie was fully restored I don't think that could save it. Don't get me wrong, Lost Horizon is still a good movie, just not quintessential Capra.

Super Reviewer

June 24, 2007
An absolute classic.
John B

Super Reviewer

December 11, 2013
Pieces of this are missing but it is nonetheless compelling. Ronald Colman's trip to Shangra La is helped with the black and white and mystery about a time from another place and era. Certainly not up to modern film standards but interesting.

Super Reviewer

April 25, 2011
Conway, kidnapped by Chang after a plane crash, is taken to a Tibetan Mountain Utopia where there's food for all, long life, unlimited gold, simplistic morality and refined British accents. But will he be persuaded to stay or will he go?.

CONWAY You have no disputes over women?
CHANG Only very rarely. You see, it would not be considered good manners to take a woman that another man wanted.
CONWAY Suppose somebody wanted her so badly that he didn't give a hang if it was good manners or not?
CHANG Well, in that event, it would be good manners on the part of the other man to let him have her.
Henrik S

Super Reviewer

November 5, 2007
A botched Capra that just goes on and on withou any story or character developmemt. The whole film revolves around one character and the decision he has to make, which is not enough to keep me interested, especially when there are no plot twists, no antagonists, no suspense and so forth. What is this ? Its not really a movie. Leave it be.
Anastasia B

Super Reviewer

November 3, 2009
The more I see of Capra, the more I like him. This movie is not the typical comic Capra. I wish the lost parts of this film were available to us, so that we could see his whole vision as he wanted it. You can feel his brilliance in the chaotic, early scenes and their arresting sense of danger (the generous budget enabled Capra to use large crowds, and he makes the most of them). Rarely, on screen, have large numbers of human beings, whether screaming, shooting or pushing, seemed so frightening. The trip with the airplane: masterful exposition here, so well done that one can scarcely find fault. The scenes of refueling in a remote village are electrifying, and one isn't sure at first what's going on. Are they being attacked? No, but it takes a while to figure this out. The soaring over the clouds is mesmerizing in its simple beauty; while the crash-landing of the plane at what appears to be the foot of the mountain that leads eventually to Shangri La, is highly effective. And Capra, ever the master of film climate, offers us, briefly, a quite pretty and at the same time literally chilling sense of what it would be like to die, snowbound, in the Himalayas. (re-written here with thanks to telegonus).
Marion R

Super Reviewer

May 7, 2007
This is a fantastical movie, if you can believe the premise, it just a entertaining film.
November 27, 2012
Enjoyable fantastical tale from Frank Capra, master of the optimism on film. I just wish it had survived to this day completely intact.
March 18, 2010
One must watch the fully restored version of the film to truly appreciate director Frank Capra?s vision. What a marvelous film. It was nominated for seven Oscars, Assistant director, Music Score, Sound and Supporting Actor (H.B. Warner), and won two, Art Direction and Editing. It certainly deserved the art direction win, the sets are magnificent and among the best from the 1930?s. Lavishly produced, well done special effects and great cinematography. The cast does a great job. Ronald Colman is ideal in the lead, Edward Everett Horton, Thomas Mitchell, Sam Jaffe and H.B. Warner all provide fine performances. The film is haunting, exciting and poignant and has numerous unforgettable scenes. There are a few slow patches, but the film?s grandeur makes up for that.
April 10, 2008
How can Pat hate Frank Capra?

This is my least favorite Frank Capra film. It is a good movie, but by no means is it great. Do you know what I blame? The runtime. This movie goes on for far too long and I got the message early on in the film. But that's kind of the problem with these kinds of spectacle films. You have these great, grandiose sets and hundreds of extras. By God, you better use them. And use them this movie does...a lot. Like a lot a lot. We see tons of Shangri-La that I was just waiting for them to escape.

But I did love the characters in this movie. Again, Capra presents people who change for the better, even if Pat claims that they are a little too sentimental even for old Hollywood. That part is great. Sure, the bad guy brother is a bit too evil and angry and I don't understand his Shangra-Laian girlfriend. Why did things happen the way they did. And why did she turn Asian when she got old. These are the questions you are forced to ask.

Since I did mention the lavish sets, I do have to compliment the scale of the film. It is a gorgeous looking set that harkens well beyond the era. The budget on this film must have been astounding. But that part of the movie was well worth it. After all, this lost city of Shangri-La had to look mythical and mythical it looked. I just wish there was a little bit more of that Lost quality to it where I had to keep guessing. (By the way, when I'm put on trial after my death for being a douchebag, that previous sentence will be used by the prosecution.)

Yeah, it's a good movie and Ronald Coleman always seems to impress me, but there's just too long of a runtime for such a short subject material. That's my two cents on the subject.
February 4, 2008
I really loved this movie, someone should redo it. I have not seen it since an kid. I will buy for collection.
November 20, 2007
It is unfortunate that some of the video portion of the film has been lost forever. All of the audio is intact. Worth watching.
July 10, 2007
This is a movie I thought I would not like and ended up loving. Out of old movies, this is one of my favorites and after this and pieces of Mr. Smith, I'm a Frank Capra fan for life.
June 23, 2007
Capra's usual message of hope during the Depression, only refreshingly taken away from Mom and Pop's America and into the mountains of Nepal. A powerful, tear-jerking, and non-sensical utopia.
June 3, 2007
Great movie. Shangrila lies somewhere in the Himalayas. It's classic, Capra was such a great director.
May 30, 2007
Carpa's masterpiece. It has adventure, romance, mystery, ideals, and a life affriming message. See it.
March 16, 2014
A wonderful film about all of our searches for the perfect life. Shangri-La is everyones dream, and for one man it came true.
August 19, 2013
a movie of transformation. Ronald Coleman at his best. Great supporting actors
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