Lost Horizon

(Charles Jarrott, USA, 1973)


The second musicalised film version of James Hilton's popular novel, starring Peter Finch and Liv Ullmann, explores a philosophical paradox that will be familiar territory to students of the classic musical Brigadoon (1954) – not to mention regular Star Trek viewers.

What if you arrived in a perfect society (here called Shangri-La), but slowly came to realise that its unending sweetness-and-light is unbearable, not to mention boring?

This is precisely the question that drives and twists most fictions of Utopia.

Those sceptical about current New Age mysticism will savour the hippie-era excesses of this film, which already seem ridiculously camp.

© Adrian Martin December 1992

Film Critic: Adrian Martin
home    reviews    essays    search