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Posted October 1, 2010
I Also Recommend:
Visually Magnificent, Unfortunate Undertow.
I might have liked Lost Horizon better if I had not recently watched Things to Come. I have watched Lost Horizon several times before, but this time I took a more critical stance. However, as a spectacle in and of itself, the film is beautiful, and Capra's masterful direction is put to full use. The acting is fine, and the substitution of stills for missing footage in no way harms the finisheed product. Nevertheless, there is a disturbing message in this film, which Ronald Colman condenses in a speech about war. What if, he opines, we just lay down our arms? The other fellows would see we were unarmed, and by example lay down their arms as well. You would end up with, he implies, Shangri-La. Lost Horizon premiered two years before WWII, and in hindsight, its Chamberlain approach and attitude is chilling. There is a tacit nod toward collectivism, communism, and by fiat, pacifism instead of freedom. Enjoy the visuals, but don't succomb to the opium smokers vision. I recommend Dragon Seed.
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