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''Lost Horizon'' is a 1937 film by Creator/FrankCapra, starring Creator/RonaldColman, based on [[Literature/LostHorizon the novel of the same name]] by British author James Hilton (of ''Film/GoodbyeMrChips'' fame).

Soldier, adventurer, and proto-Franchise/IndianaJones hero Robert Conway (Colman) is sent off into a remote part of China to rescue a group of Americans caught in a war zone. He and his brother George (John Howard) rescue a motley group that includes paleontologist Alexander Lovett (Edward Everett Horton), swindler Henry Barnard (Creator/ThomasMitchell), and Gloria (Isabel Jewell), a hooker with an IncurableCoughOfDeath. However, Conway and his charges soon discover that they have been kidnapped by a person pretending to be their pilot. The plane crashes in the Himalayan mountain range along the border of China. The dying pilot's last words indicate there is a lamasery near by at Shangri-La and they will find help there. The passengers go to the lamasery and uncover a mystery.

The novel was filmed again in 1973 as a spectacular star-studded musical flop.

When the negative of the 1937 film was restored in TheSeventies, it was decayed so badly that [[DeletedScene seven minutes could not be salvaged]]. However, an intact soundtrack was found. The film as it exists today uses still pictures along with dialogue to illustrate those seven minutes.
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!!The 1937 film provides examples of:
* AdaptationalNationality: Father Perrault was from Luxembourg in the novel but it's changed to Belgium here. Also the novel's Lo-Tsen, who's Chinese, becomes the film's Maria, who's Russian.
* AdaptedOut: Miss Brinklow, a Christian missionary, is a member of the group who goes to Shangri-La in the book but doesn't appear here. Ross Hunter reportedly wanted to reinstate the character for the 1973 version with Creator/BarbaraStanwyck in the role, but she said no, so Brinklow didn't appear there either.
* AgeWithoutYouth: Averted - you live long and age proportionately in Shangri-La.
* {{Bowdlerize}}: One of the reasons that the film now exists in mostly complete form was due to the studio reissuing the film in periods where some elements would be considered controversial. The first re-release was in 1942, and the anti-war elements were toned down for WWII-era audiences. 10 years later, the film was reissued again, though since it was at the height of the RedScare, the studio eliminated anything that would give the illusion that the film was "pro-Communist."
* CanonForeigner: Lovett, Gloria and Sondra aren't in the book.
* TheChosenOne: Conway was specially selected to go to Shangri-La, and the other passengers were considered wonderful, accidental additions to the lamasery who all (excepting Conway's brother George) find reasons to be happy there.
* TheComplainerIsAlwaysWrong: George doesn't trust the people of Shangri-La at all, never warms up to the place's ways, and is desperate to get back to TheOutsideWorld, and Maria is also bored with her life there and makes the arrangements for them and the reluctant Robert to escape. For this, both George and Maria end up dead -- when she succumbs to RapidAging thanks to NoOntologicalInertia, he is DrivenToSuicide. Robert survives only to return to Shangri-La as soon as is possible.
* DarkAndTroubledPast: Henry (Sam in the 1973 version) isn't upfront about who he is to his fellow travelers. After some time in Shangri-La he admits that he was, once, a notorious corporate bigwig whose business dealings eventually collapsed around him. He's spent his life as a fugitive since his downfall, no longer having any purpose in his life except perhaps rebuilding his fortune. He turns his original talent for engineering towards improving life for the people of Shangri-La (he designs an irrigation system for their crops), and finds true fulfillment.
* DespairEventHorizon: George charges over it after seeing Maria age half a century and die in a matter of hours after leaving Shangri-La, and runs headlong over a cliff to his death.
* {{Determinator}}: When Conway is rescued, he is absolutely determined to return to Shangri-La, and in the film's pentultimate scene, Lord Gainsford tells the members of the Embassy Club in London the stories he has heard of Conway learning to fly and stealing an Army plane, making six attempts to cross a supposedly uncrossable mountain pass, fighting off six guards to escape from a Tibetan jail after being imprisoned for stealing food and clothing, and leading the local military on a wild goose chase through their own country.
* HairTriggerAvalanche: Both versions have this in the final stretch as the Conway brothers and Maria try to return to TheOutsideWorld.
** In the 1937 film, it is caused by the porters playfully fooling around with the brothers' guns and shooting them off.
** In the 1973 film, because they're busy helping Maria, who is too weak to walk (in hindsight, she's RapidAging) the brothers fall behind the porters and call out to them to stop. ''Oops.''
* HeterosexualLifePartners: Lovett and Barnard don't even know each other at the start of the film but quickly become VitriolicBestBuds and seem well on their way to becoming this.
* HiddenElfVillage: The people of Shangri-La are not exactly disdainful of the outside world, but their attitude can rather succinctly be summed up as smiling, shaking their heads, and saying, "What silly people."
* HurtingHero: Robert Conway, though he is professionally successful, admits to feeling a great emptiness in his life, and the fact that this comes through in his writing is what leads the higher-ups at Shangri-La to bring him there.
* IceCreamKoan: Surprisingly averts this. The High Lama is philosophical but straightforward in his way of expressing things. Chang is very cagey but that's mainly because he knows that it takes a while for everyone to understand what's happening in Shangri-La.
* IncurableCoughOfDeath: Subverted, in that Gloria's incurable cough of death actually is cured by the magic of Shangri-La.
* LostWorld: The high mountains all around mean that no one ever goes to Shangri-La except the porters that visit once every few years.
* MacGuffinLocation: Shangri-La may be the setting of most of the film and the ultimate goal of most of the characters, especially Conway, but the film is more about how Shangri-La affects the characters (such as Gloria recovering from her tuberculosis, Lovett learning to relax and enjoy himself, and especially Conway finding a sense of purpose in life) than about the place itself.
* MightyWhitey:
** Featuring a modern MightyWhitey in the 1930s, when the old-fashioned version was still in vogue. The mostly Chinese and Tibetan monks there prove themselves to be wise, intelligent, competent, and well-rounded characters. However, the white Conway turns out to be better at being a monk than the best of the Tibetans, and it turns out that the founder and leader of the monastery is a European who arrived in the 15th century. Unfortunately, the 1973 version keeps all of this.
** Also applies to the Henry/Sam subplot in both versions in that it takes a white guy to finally bring a crop irrigation system to the Asian peasants of Shangri-La!
* NoImmortalInertia: The inhabitants of Shangri-La do age, but much more slowly there than they would do in the outside world. As Maria demonstrates, if they leave the village, they quickly advance to the age they would be if they had never been to Shangri-La.
* TheOutsideWorld: Shangri-La is hidden from the rest of the world in the Himalayan mountains. Visitors can come and go (though due to its location very few visit) but natives face a terrible price for leaving.
* RapidAging: Happens to Maria when the Conway brothers take her with them as they attempt to return to the outside world. As they trek through the mountains after their porters have been buried in an avalanche, a horrified George screams, "Bob! Bob, look at her face! Her face, look at her face!", and we see a lifeless, wrinkled old woman's face.
* RelatedInTheAdaptation: Conway's aide Mallinson from the book becomes his brother George here.
* TheShangriLa: Shangri-La fits the description perfectly, a mysterious yet idyllic village nestled in the Himalayas tended to by people who have cast off the stresses and strains of the world beyond, accessible only with the help of insiders.
* {{Skinnydipping}}: Including a rather daring scene for 1937, in which Jane Wyatt's body double actually leaves the pool while nude. Shot from a considerable distance away, but still.
* StockFootage: A few shots of snowy mountain peaks from a documentary were used to make this film more realistic.
* {{Utopia}}: Shangri-La. Through moderation in all things moral and material, the inhabitants are all (with one or two exceptions), to quote Chang, "more than moderately happy."
* {{Yellowface}}:
** The very British H.B. Warner plays Chang, the #2 man at Shangri-La.
** In the 1973 film, Chang is played by another Brit, Sir John Gielgud. (The producer wanted Toshiro Mifune, but he turned it down.)

!!The 1973 film adds the following tropes:
* AllMusicalsAreAdaptations: In fact, this is the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shangri-La_(musical) second attempt]] at a ''Lost Horizon'' musical.
* BetaCouple: Sam and Sally have a much easier time falling and being in love than Richard and Catherine -- while the former couple is content to stay in Shangri-La forever, Richard keeps being urged by his brother to leave, which would mean leaving Catherine behind.
* BookEnds: The TitleThemeTune opens and closes the film.
* CrowdSong: Several -- "The World Is a Circle", "Living Together, Growing Together", and "Question Me an Answer" once the kids join in.
* DuetOfDifferences: "The Things I Will Not Miss" crosses this trope with IWantSong for Sally and Maria, who agree to disagree about what they want out of life. The chorus even features the phrase "Different people look at life from different points of view". Interestingly, the film passes UsefulNotes/TheBechdelTest because of this song.
* GrassIsGreener: Inverted for Maria, who wants to leave peaceful, contented, simple Shangri-La for the glamorous, exciting [[TheOutsideWorld outside world]] (this is thanks in part to her conversations with George). Sally warns her that though there are some nice things out there, there's also war, corruption, etc.; this leads into "The Things I Will Not Miss".
* IfItBleedsItLeads: Sally's career as a photojournalist ended up having to work under this trope. Witnessing and recording atrocities for the titillation of readers who wouldn't give much thought to the horrors they represented resulted in her becoming depressed and ultimately drug-addicted.
* InterruptedSuicide: Sally (this film's equivalent to Gloria) is a depressed, drug-addicted journalist whose state of mind is not improved by the events of the first act. As everyone is settling into Shangri-La, she reaches a DespairEventHorizon and prepares to jump out of a window into the chasm below, only to be interrupted by Chang, who talks her down. With the lamas' help, she gradually gets better from here.
* IWantSong: "The Things I Will Not Miss". Sally wants to stay in Shangri-La while Maria wants to see TheOutsideWorld; each is tired of the very things the other wants.
* MoodWhiplash: Arguably the film's main problem. After a non-musical opening stretch, it goes from scenes that are okay (if a bit slavish) modernizations of the original film's into musical numbers patterned after ''Film/TheSoundOfMusic'' or ''Theatre/TheKingAndI'', totally breaking the flow.
* MusicalWorldHypotheses: Mostly Alternate Universe. Not counting the TitleThemeTune performed by an offscreen singer, there are no musical numbers in the opening and closing stretches of the film, which are set in TheOutsideWorld. Only in Shangri-La do characters sing. There are also two Diegetic numbers in Shangri-La, "Share the Joy" and "Living Together, Growing Together".
* PluckyComicRelief: Harry, an unsuccessful nightclub entertainer in this version, serves as this among the five travelers. His happy ending is finding a receptive audience for his hijinks in Shangri-La's children, rather than his becoming their teacher.
* PopStarComposer: Burt Bacharach and Hal David were sort of in this vein. While not pop stars themselves, they were household names for writing countless hit songs. Their experience in composing musicals was limited to just ''On the Flip Side'' (an obscure 1966 made-for-TV musical that's sometimes considered an early RockOpera) and ''Theatre/PromisesPromises'', however, and the failure of this film broke up the team.
* SecondaryAdaptation: While it's officially credited as an adaptation of the novel, it's self-evidently a musical remake of the 1937 film, including importing the [[CanonForeigner Canon Foreigners]] that were added to that film with some minor changes.
* SettingUpdate: To TheSeventies, which was ThePresentDay at the time. One of the problems that critics had with this version was that merely updating the setting only emphasized ValuesDissonance (such as the MightyWhitey nature of Shangri-La's leadership).
* ShotForShotRemake: The first half-hour is a tight re-enactment of the opening scenes of the Capra film, right down to the way some specific shots are framed. Even after they get to Shangri-La and the musical numbers start up, it still doesn't stray all that much from the original, especially in the final stretch as the Conways try to return to civilization.
* TitleThemeTune: The ''only'' song in the film's opening quarter, to boot.
* WelcomingSong: "Share the Joy", the first in-story musical number.
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