as Robert Conway

Lost Horizon (1937)

An exquisite film and perhaps the one for which Colman is best remembered. Certainly the role of Robert Conway was one that Colman himself said was closest to his own character and personality.

Director Frank Capra took James Hilton's best-selling 1933 novel and crafted a soaring, uplifting cinematic poem - one that appeals to all who search for peace and harmony within their own worlds.

A then-unprecedented $2,000,000 was poured into the project - an exhaustive study was done of Tibetan culture and lamaseries, books, photographs, and engravings; Robert Riskin wrote the screen adaptation, the magnificent sets were designed by Academy Award winner Stephen Goosson. And, an absolutely essential element of the film is its music - never has there been more atmospheric or evocative film music than Dimitri Tiomkin's Lost Horizon.

The story begins in war-torn Chinese Baskul. Renowned British diplomat Robert Conway (Colman) is evacuating European residents of the city before it is overrun by an army that has become a mob. Boarding the last plane to leave the flaming airport are Conway, his younger brother George (John Howard), Barnard (Thomas Mitchell), a businessman who has absconded with his stockholder's funds, Gloria (Isabel Jewell) an embittered young woman dying of tuberculosis, and a fussbudget of a paleontologist named Alexander P. Lovett (Edward Everett Horton). The exhausted group collapses once the plane takes off, without any way of knowing that their pilot was 'exchanged' at the last moment.

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