Shangri-La (1960) DVD
Shangri-La (1960) Director: George Schaefer Writers: James Hilton (novel), Jerome Lawrence (musical libretto) Stars: Richard Basehart, Claude Rains, John Abbott It was based on a flop Broadway musical that ran for about three weeks in 1956, with music by Harry Warren and lyrics by Lawrence and Lee. It tells the old Lost Horizon story relatively straightforwardly, and Basehart, in the Ronald Colman role, sings very badly. Rains doesn't sing at all. The rest of the cast is interesting: Ghostley, who had appeared in the Broadway version, has one not-bad song, and Gene Nelson and Helen Gallagher do an appealing pas de deux (choreography by Nelson). Marisa Pavan sings pleasantly, and James Valentine, as the young doubter, is excellent--he should have had more of a career. I've never quite understood the appeal of James Hilton's original story (and look how badly it was done in 1973), and this version is hampered by substandard production values, but it is probably superior to the Ross Hunter version, and that such a large Broadway failure could ever have landed on coast-to-coast television at all is kind of fascinating.