James Hilton's novel Lost Horizon proposes a perfect hidden community within the uncharted Himalayas, a land where peace reigns and the inhabitants live for hundreds of years. So indelible is this mythical land that its name has entered the culture: Shangri-La. Director Frank Capra, riding high during his mid-'30s hot streak, spared no expense in creating Hilton's paradise onscreen, taxing the coffers of Columbia Pictures and the patience of mogul Harry Cohn. The results, however, are magical: shimmering, seductive, and maybe a bit foolish, truly the creation of an idealist (understandably, the spectacular art direction won an Oscar). And Capra's hero is an idealist, too. Ronald Colman, at his most marvelously elocutionary, plays a wise diplomat whose plane crashes in the snows of Tibet. He and the other survivors are guided to Shangri-La, where they wrestle with the invitation to stay. The young Jane Wyatt plays Colman's love interest, but leaving a more lasting impression are H.B. Warner, as the benevolent Chang, and Sam Jaffe, in great old-age makeup, as the wizened High Lama. This version has been restored as closely as possible to Capra's original cut; the film had circulated for many years in a trimmed form. Lost Horizon was remade, notoriously and hilariously, as a big-budget musical in 1973; it was a complete flop. --Robert Horton
It seems almost inconceivable that a film as great as Lost Horizon would be nearly lost to the ravages of age and studio neglect. Fortunately, Columbia has compensated for past misdeeds with this superlative DVD release, which restores Capra's classic to near-complete form and provides a thorough--and thoroughly fascinating--account of the film's production and eventual restoration. Of particular interest to film buffs will be the engaging photo essay and accompanying narration by film historian Kendall Miller, whose affectionate (and infectious) obsession with Lost Horizon is expressed here for the benefit of posterity. Equally engrossing is the full-length restoration commentary by UCLA film preservation expert Robert Gitt, whose efforts to restore this film were nothing less than heroic. Unfortunately, Gitt is teamed in the commentary with retired Los Angeles Times film critic Charles Champlin, whose contribution is amiable but superfluous. That quibble aside, this edition of Lost Horizon is one of the most rewarding DVDs of any classic Hollywood film. Although several of Frank Capra's other films have achieved a higher profile, Lost Horizon just gets better as the years go by, and with its wealth of supplemental features, this DVD is a definitive archival tribute. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A timeless classic and now with a restoration which is a wonder in itself. One of my favourite films of all time !!!Published 7 months ago by Gregory C.
It is my husbands favourite movie of all time, because it is a hopeful plan in our time of greed and corruption.Published 15 months ago by mary trott
One of my favorites movies and one that does give hope in finding Shangri-La.Published 15 months ago by K. Mccoy
I had seen this many times on TV while growing up. It was the truncated version so seeing the 'restored' movie with still images in places where film had been too corrupt or... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Avenger7
Frank capra was not always thought of in the U.S. as having been its greatest of filmmakers. By the 50's with a new group of writers in hollywood and its neo realism, the maker of... Read morePublished on July 27 2013 by Anthony Marinelli
LOVE this film - even though it was written in 1935 or so , every moment of it is perfection . I read the book in highschool as required reading , and love the film even more. Read morePublished on Dec 8 2012 by Maria Schatz
One of the all time great four hanky tearjerkers, "Random Harvest" (1942) is a bittersweet tale of love and sacrifice, set against that mythical backdrop of jolly ol' Britain that... Read morePublished on Jan. 21 2005 by Nix Pix