Lost Horizon (1937)
Director: Frank Capra
James Hilton, the author of Goodbye, Mr. Chips, a lovely and wistful novel about a beloved schoolteacher in an English boys’ school, imagines in Lost Horizon a secluded place in the glacial middle of Tibet, a place favored by what we would call an unusual micro-climate, where the nearby mountains shelter a valley and keep it warm and pleasant and perfect for human life. The valley is called Shangri-La. There’s no disease there, and none of the nasty habits that man indulges to shorten his life, so that people can retain their youth for ages and ages. And that is where a diplomat named Robert Conway (Ronald Colman) ends up, along with several of his fellow passengers on a plane, apparently by accident, but actually as part of the plan of the mysterious Grand Lama (Sam Jaffe) to preserve Shangri-La after he dies.
Everything’s lovely in Shangri-La. The lamas govern the people, says Chang (H. P. Warner), the man who is the Grand Lama’s right arm, with moderation, so the peop…
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