Lost Horizon (Capra, 1937)

Lost Horizon (Frank Capra, 1937)

The major problem I had with what could have been a very good film is that it is uneven or unfocused. Capra is toying with fantasy, adventure, political drama, and romance all in one, but doesn’t give the appropriate amount of focus on any of the genres. I found myself really interested in the first half of the film. With a premise involving a plane crash in a remote area which turns out to be not-so-remote, I couldn’t help but think of Lost. Of course, this is really nothing like that, but the setup was, at times, somewhat similar. And the whole hidden city idea was intriguing to me. Additionally, I thought the sets were fantastic. Entirely too little time was spent outside considering the great aesthetic appearance of the city.

The film really spins out of control during the second half. I know this has an original source material, but the film really could have done without the protagonist’s brother. Or perhaps a different actor was needed. Every one of his lines is rushed and overacted. His only purpose seems to be to provide conflict. I would have much rather seen the film’s main romance blossom, but instead it is basically abandoned as a result of this conflict. It just felt sort of sloppy. So while there was a lot that perked my interest, this film wasn’t as great as it seemed it was going to be.  6.75/10

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