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Monday, August 10, 2015

Video Beaverhausen: Lost Horizon... the Musical!

Bette Midler said, "Oh, my God! I never miss a Liv Ullman musical!" When I interviewed Sally Kellerman, she asked if I liked this film, I said I didn't. She suggested I might change my opinion if I saw it again, so I did. And I have.

At over 2 and 1/2 hours, Lost Horizon might have needed more pruning in the editing room. Still, the cast is fascinating. Peter Finch, Liv Ullman, Sally, Michael York, George Kennedy, James Shigeta, Olivia Hussey, John Gielgud, Charles Boyer (as the Holy Lama) and Bobby Van.

Lost Horizon is based on the 1937 film about a plane that crash-lands in the Himalayas and its survivors are welcomed to a Utopian society called Shangri-La. It may be a little hard to accept Gielgud, Boyer, Kellerman and ~ certainly Liv Ullman ~ as Asian, half-Asian or Asian-American, but suspension of disbelief is extremely important here.

With an exclusively action-film beginning, the songs are introduced suavely starting with Olivia Hussey singing "Stay and Feel the Joy" as a stage act for her guests in Shangri-La. Liv Ullman's next number ("Nobody Knows Where the Circle Begins"). The score is overall fabulous, frankly.

The photography is sumptuous as are the sets that seem Star Trek inspired. There's much spectacle in this movie musical to be savored.

Ms Kellerman is wonderful singing and dancing, and her dramatic moments are stunning. Peter Finch is surprisingly strong on vocals during his big numbers.

Screenplay by Larry Kramer (The Normal Heart). No wonder it has gay fan appeal! Despite the peacefulness of Shanri-La, much drama ensues in this film, including its famous, downbeat finale. Buddy B high;ly recommends viewing this film.

1 comment:

  1. The original "Lost Horizon" with Ronald Coleman, is still one of my all time favorites.