Every once in a while, I’ll come across a word or phrase–like Shangri-La–and then I’m off and running.
Which is always fun, but sometimes, as in the case of Lost Horizon, a lost afternoon. So here, a very brief look at the classic novel, Lost Horizon by James Hilton. (Don’t blame me if your interest is piqued and you’re off and running, too):
You might recognize James Hilton as the author of another highly acclaimed novel, Goodbye, Mr. Chips.
Lost Horizon (1933) is famous in the publishing world for being the first book in the Pocket Books line (1939). It was not the first paperback ever published, but it was instrumental in the paperback revolution.
The story was adapted to the screen in 1937 and directed by Frank Capra (of It’s a Wonderful Life fame). The film was both a critical and commercial failure at the time, but is now often considered a timeless classic.
In 1973, the book was adapted as a musical with music by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. It wasn’t nominated for any awards, unless you count the Golden Raspberry Award where it was listed as one of the One Hundred Most Enjoyably Bad Movies Ever Made. Still, on those rare occasions when I come across Shangri-La, thanks to this incredibly bad movie, I know the reference. And it moved me to read this classic novel (which is quite different from the movie). And I’m probably one of the few people on the planet who actually liked a couple songs in the movie. And so I bring you this one, from Lost Horizons (1973). (You have been warned.)