In the past, I’ve had many a spirited argument with fellow movie buffs about the film that is celebrating its 75th anniversary today—Frank Capra’s adaptation of James Hilton’s classic novel Lost Horizon (1937). A few detractors don’t care for it at all, calling it “boring” and all sorts of other silly adjectives…but I’m a huge, huge fan. I remember the first time I watched the movie; I got to rent it (for free, baby!) as one of the perks of working as a lowly CSR at
Ball Blockbuster Video back in the late 1980s, and I revisit it every now and then to find that it’s still a marvelous movie experience. There are cracks in the production, to be sure (the Asian characters do not come off at all well, seeming blissfully content to wait on a civilization consisting of nothing but white folks) but no matter how cynical I become as I get older, there’s still a teensy bit of an idealist in me that would fill out change-of-address forms should I ever find myself in a place like Shangri-La. (What’s more, Lost Horizon is my favorite Ronald Colman film. Yes, I know I’ve said in the past that it’s The Talk of the Town, but that was last week.)
Despite looming deadlines ready to step on me like a bug, I was able to complete an essay on the movie at our pal Edward Copeland on Film…and More, so while you’re waiting for the next thrilling chapter of Jungle Queen to get posted, you are more than welcome to mosey on over and check it out, if you so desire. In the meantime, I swear I will have the adventures of Bob and Chuck and Pamela and Lothel up as soon as I can (though this may stretch our normal Saturday matinee into the evening hours).