Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Movie Review - Lost Horizon

In my movie reviews, I give my brief thoughts on what I watched. Sometimes I will expound on those thoughts, but more often than not, I will just give a brief opinion. You can read plot descriptions on Internet Movie Database or on Amazon.

Lost Horizon. Starring Ronald Coleman, Jane Wyatt, Thomas Mitchell and H.B. Warner. Directed by Frank Capra. (1937).


An airplane full of escaping Americans crash-land and are saved by people who live in what seems like a utopia. However, things are not as they appear.

It is supposed to be a very good movie, but I found it confusing. However, I admit I was distracted.

There are several comparisons to It's a Wonderful Life, including the following:

  • It's a Wonderful Life begins with pages showing film credits being turned. Lost Horizon starts with opening credits, followed by turning pages.
  • Both films star Thomas Mitchell and H.B. Warner.
  • Mitchell's character in Lost Horizon tells another "don't take any wooden nickels." In It's a Wonderful Life, his character tells another "don't take any punk nickels."
  • Both films have bells ringing in them.

I watched a restored version of the film. At the beginning, they explained that over the years, the film has been shortened and many parts have gone missing or have deteriorated. During the restoration process, the entire soundtrack was located, along with some of the lost footage. That footage was re-inserted into the restored film in order to make it as complete as possible. In order to fill the blank areas where there was no film to match the soundtrack, still photos were used to fill the gaps. The method was distracting but understandable and appreciated. It was done in an effort to restore the film to as close to Capra's original vision as possible.

3 out of 5 stars.