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Lost Horizon (1973) Blu-ray Review



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#21 of 81 OFFLINE   Rob_Ray

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Posted December 18 2012 - 05:59 AM

I've often wondered if "Lost Horizon" suffered by being released in a slow rollout just a few weeks before "The Sound of Music" went into a major exclusive engagement re-release. The two films were competing for the same audience and the 1965 classic showed in a painful manner how much the world had changed and the musical had fallen in just eight years.
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#22 of 81 OFFLINE   haineshisway

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Posted December 18 2012 - 06:05 AM

Lost Horizon suffered because people didn't want to see it - the word of mouth was poisonous as were the reviews. Whatever charms it may hold forty years later for people who miss this kind of film, does not make the film good. It's not good. It's fun to watch in a certain way, and outside of the film I'm fond of the music and the songs, but the film's failure upon its release had nothing to do with what else was playing. Had it been a masterpiece or had the audiences that did go come out of the theater raving, it would have found an audience - but it didn't and that is because in the end it's a lumbering thing that audiences weren't having. This happens with so many films, though, especially musicals that were failures on the initial release. Somehow cults build up around these films - even Mame and Man of La Mancha and Star have their rabid defenders, even though each failed with critics, at the box-office, and with most people who saw them.

#23 of 81 OFFLINE   GMpasqua

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Posted December 18 2012 - 08:11 AM

Originally Posted by Rob_Ray 

I've often wondered if "Lost Horizon" suffered by being released in a slow rollout just a few weeks before "The Sound of Music" went into a major exclusive engagement re-release. The two films were competing for the same audience and the 1965 classic showed in a painful manner how much the world had changed and the musical had fallen in just eight years.

Yes, but "The Sound of Music" had a successful Re-release in 1973 (as did "Mary Poppins) "Cabaret" had just won 8 Oscars and was also playing in the 1st quarter of 1973 and "Fiddler on the Roof" was still bringing them in during it's general release (Dec 1971 - March 1973) which was very successful


These of course, are classic films and audiences loved them.


"1776" "Man of La Mancha" "Godspell" "Lost Horizon" and "Tom Sawyer"( all released around the same time) couldn't compete - and many had already seen "Sound of Music/ Mary Poppins" by the time of their re-release


So it wasn't that audiences didn't want to see musicals ("Oliver" and "Funny Girl" had also been successfully re-released in Quarter 4 of 1972)  they just didn't want to see bad musical films


(Though) "1776" was a hit at Radio City thanks to the school trade, the rest of the country didn't want to see it.


I personally love the film of  "Man of La Mancha" but I can understand why audiences weren't happy with it. Most of the reviews criticized the source material (Which was a hit on stage) many went in expecting "Don Quixote" which was unfair to the film.


Also criticized was the singing of Peter O'Toole (who's voice was dubbed by Simon Gilbert) this was a fault of the film makers and the prodcers should have hired a vocal double who had a more pleasing baritone



#24 of 81 OFFLINE   Cineramic

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Posted December 18 2012 - 08:28 AM

LOST HORIZON is a finely produced and lavish film. It is a good film. Just because it's different doesn't mean it's not good. Lost Horizon made money overseas. It's not the global failure people think it is. I find it interesting how there are people who want to come to a blu-ray review post for the film only to say bad things about it. What does it say about them?

#25 of 81 OFFLINE   Moe Dickstein

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Posted December 18 2012 - 09:16 AM

Lost Horizon is not a good film.
Yes, these strange things happen all the time - PT Anderson, Magnolia

#26 of 81 OFFLINE   bujaki

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Posted December 18 2012 - 09:26 AM

Let's not stoke Cineramic's love for this film any further. Another thread became very contentious due to his and opposing opinions. To each his own.

#27 of 81 OFFLINE   haineshisway

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Posted December 18 2012 - 09:40 AM

We all know about his love for the film, which is fine. But reality is reality - the film did little business overseas, that's the real fact of the matter (musicals are not huge overseas, other than Tokyo, unless it's a blockbuster like West Side Story or The Sound of Music) - it was a complete money loser for its studio. It's fine to think it's a great movie, that's just opinion and everyone's entitled to an opinion. But it's not fine to belittle others with differing opinions, and yes, that other thread became contentious for just that reason. It's happened with the same person on any number of other boards and always about this film. I believe I was the first person here to post about the Blu-ray (in one of my "Sneak Peek" threads) and I was completely laudatory about the disc itself and completely honest about my feelings about the film, which I am not in the minority about. That it is somehow an interesting failure - sure. There are things in it that appeal to me, especially Mr. Bacharach's underscore and many of the songs. But no one is going to convince me that it's a well-directed, well-choreographed film, because, for me, it isn't. That does not mean I did not enjoy watching the Blu-ray, because I did. It's a superb transfer and it sounds great and I recommended it highly.

#28 of 81 OFFLINE   GMpasqua

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Posted December 18 2012 - 11:56 AM

Other than the Fred Astaire/Ginger Rodgers films (which Astaire had control over) what other films did Hermes Pan choreograph that had good dance sequences??

( "From This Moment On" from "Kiss Me Kate" was choreographed by Bob Fosse, and Coppola Fired Pan from "Finian's Rainbow" before the film was finished, and there is hardly any dancing in "My Fair Lady")


His work apart from Astaire was never very good (IMO)



#29 of 81 OFFLINE   John Skoda

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Posted December 18 2012 - 01:15 PM

When watching LOST HORIZON this time, I was reminded that Pan was the choreographer for Mankiewicz's CLEOPATRA. Parts of the "Living Together" spectacle sequence reminded me of Cleopatra's entry into Rome.

#30 of 81 OFFLINE   Matt Hough

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Posted December 18 2012 - 02:15 PM

Originally Posted by GMpasqua 

Other than the Fred Astaire/Ginger Rodgers films (which Astaire had control over) what other films did Hermes Pan choreograph that had good dance sequences??

( "From This Moment On" from "Kiss Me Kate" was choreographed by Bob Fosse, and Coppola Fired Pan from "Finian's Rainbow" before the film was finished, and there is hardly any dancing in "My Fair Lady")


His work apart from Astaire was never very good (IMO)


I thought Fosse only choreographed his portion of "From This Moment On" which certainly does have his signature style. The other two sections don't much resemble what he typically did but do look like the other dance numbers in the movie.



#31 of 81 OFFLINE   Cineramic

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Posted December 18 2012 - 04:17 PM

I never linked the two. Yes, LIVING TOGETHER, GROWING TOGETHER is very CLEOPATRA

#32 of 81 OFFLINE   Cineramic

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Posted December 18 2012 - 04:18 PM

Lost Horizon is an entertaining film. To those who say, "it's not a good film". It's not good to THEM. They, nor anyone else hold the monopoly on what ones perception should or should not be concerning ANY film.

#33 of 81 OFFLINE   haineshisway

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Posted December 18 2012 - 04:38 PM

I thought Fosse only choreographed his portion of "From This Moment On" which certainly does have his signature style. The other two sections don't much resemble what he typically did but do look like the other dance numbers in the movie.

If you watch the other choreography in that number, it's all designed by the dancers who are doing it - Fosse, Rall, and Van - each one in their distinctive style. So I think it's safe to assume if Fosse designed his section, then Rall and Van designed theirs - I'm sure Mr. Pan was there watching, but a simple look at any of his choreography without Mr. Astaire tells one everything.

#34 of 81 OFFLINE   haineshisway

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Posted December 18 2012 - 04:40 PM

Lost Horizon is an entertaining film. To those who say, "it's not a good film". It's not good to THEM. They, nor anyone else hold the monopoly on what ones perception should or should not be concerning ANY film.

Just as you loving it is YOU loving it. You, nor anyone else hold the monopoly on what one's perception should or should not be concerning ANY film. People who don't like the film are simply stating their opinion, just as you are when you state yours. No one's wrong and NO ONE should be berated or belittled for having their opinion, something which you know you have done in the past. I can't see anyone doing that to you here, can you?

#35 of 81 OFFLINE   Cineramic

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Posted December 18 2012 - 05:13 PM

haineshisway, or Bruce Kimmel, Excuse me, but I have better things to do with my time than spending it going to sites of movies I don't like just for the sake of trashing and putting them down. I don't dwell in the negative like that. Frankly, I don't have the time. I'm far too busy.

#36 of 81 OFFLINE   Robin9

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Posted December 18 2012 - 05:41 PM

Other than the Fred Astaire/Ginger Rodgers films (which Astaire had control over) what other films did Hermes Pan choreograph that had good dance sequences??

My Gal Sal, recently released on DVD-R. Hermes Pan also has a dance number with Rita Hayworth. If you're interested in his other work, I suggest you start there.

#37 of 81 OFFLINE   haineshisway

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Posted December 18 2012 - 07:14 PM

haineshisway, or Bruce Kimmel, Excuse me, but I have better things to do with my time than spending it going to sites of movies I don't like just for the sake of trashing and putting them down. I don't dwell in the negative like that. Frankly, I don't have the time. I'm far too busy.

You see, you are doing exactly what you say you don't do - belittling people. This is a discussion board and we are discussing this film. Some like it, some don't (and I am hardly the most negative person about this film, Cliff). For someone who is far too busy you do seem to find any and all threads about this film. Do you really suppose that everyone should like every film ever made? You know, I'm quite certain there are films you don't like and I'm equally certain that you'd feel you have a right to express that. Who is putting Lost Horizon down? You willfully ignore the fact that I was the first person here to post about the Blu-ray and that post was extremely positive in terms of recommending the Blu-ray. Why is it that you ignore that and act as if I've been the only negative voice (my comments are hardly horrifying). To reiterate, last I heard this was a discussion board for - wait for it - discussion. Just like the Film Score Monthly board where you were banned for making some really obnoxious comments to users there, including homophobic comments towards me, which is amusing on some level, just because people there didn't agree with you. I'm sure you see the problem here, just as I'm sure others do. State your opinions and others will state theirs. No one is saying nasty things to you, Cliff, so I'd really advise not saying nasty things to others.

#38 of 81 OFFLINE   Matt Hough

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Posted December 19 2012 - 12:17 AM

Originally Posted by Robin9 


My Gal Sal, recently released on DVD-R. Hermes Pan also has a dance number with Rita Hayworth. If you're interested in his other work, I suggest you start there.


Hermes partnered Betty Grable in a lot of her Fox pictures. I just watched Sweet Rosie O'Grady a month or so ago, and there he was as her partner in a couple of numbers. I think aside from his work with Astaire, he did most of his work on Fox musicals which are not known for great choreography.



#39 of 81 OFFLINE   Jbug

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Posted December 19 2012 - 02:20 AM

I like LH well enough. It's also great to be able to hear the loss-less Bacharach/David score in full HD fidelity.

#40 of 81 OFFLINE   Cineramic

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Posted December 19 2012 - 05:25 AM

Bruce, I never made homophobic comments on any board towards you or anyone else. I said fans of the movie MAME are primarily Lucy fans and gay men. Hardly homophobic. I was responding to people who come to boards primarily to trash a film for no other reason but to be cynical. Frankly, I don't read all the comments on a thread. I was also responding to your comment about LH not being a good film. Not good in what sense? In the sense that it's not going to transcend the art of cinema, win awards or be embraced by critics or the mass public? Okay, then I agree with you, but then I don't believe those things are the definitive word on a films merit. If one can say LH is entertaining, diverting, nice to look at, funny, enjoyable to watch and nice to listen to, then for those reasons the film is good. Maybe for other reasons than what people who support AFI lists would agree on . "A good bad film" perhaps? Lost Horizon's biggest fault is it's elements don't mesh the way they should, but many of the criticisms launched towards it can be said for any number of movies. Would you say HELLO DOLLY is a good film? Is MAN OF LA MANCHA a good film or ON A CLEAR DAY YOU CAN SEE FOREVER, HALF A SIXPENCE, THE HAPPIEST MILLIONAIRE, DARLING LILI, STAR!, THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE, PAINT YOUR WAGON, SWEET CHARITY or TOM SAWYER? There are embarrassing dance movements in great musicals too, WEST SIDE STORY, THE SOUND OF MUSIC, ANNIE GET YOUR GUN, GIGI, etc. Lost Horizon is an ensemble piece. It isn't like MAME where as the entire film rests on the shoulders of one person being good. It was cast with foreign markets in mind. We all know that Ross Hunter wasn't happy with the score, nor did he want Bacharach for the job. Bottom line with Lost Horizon is if you don't like the music, you won't like the film. Lost Horizon singled the end of an era. Even if it had worked, dramatic big lavish musicals were not only going out of style but too expensive to make. Even great musicals like CABARET and FIDDLER ON THE ROOF weren't blockbusters. Richard Zanuck's quote about "THE SOUND OF MUSIC doing more damage to the industry than any other picture" can be argued. Yes, the studios poured millions into musicals that didn't recoup their costs, but many of these films grosses were big. They would have turned a profit if they hadn't been so exorbitantly expensive to make.





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