Skip to content
MUSEUM AND NWFC CLOSED: The Portland Art Museum and Northwest Film Center are closed in an effort to further stem the spread of COVID-19. All public programs, screenings, and events are canceled until further notice. Stay connected to art, film, and more by signing up for our newsletter.

Directed by Frank Capra

United States 1937

Written by acclaimed screenwriter Robert Riskin (It Happened One Night, Meet John Doe), and using a great deal of Columbia’s annual production budget, Capra’s fantastical film had a troubled production and even more troubled history, replete with lost footage, multiple endings, piecemeal restorations, and a place in film history as one of the wildest products to emerge from the classical Hollywood system. Fleeing a war-torn Chinese city during a Japanese invasion, Robert Conway (Ronald Colman), a diplomat and writer, falls in with a ragtag group of expats, but their plane, caught in a storm, crashes into the Himalayas. Upon their discovery by a bizarre caravan led by Chang (H.B. Warner), they are taken to Shangri-La, a mountain Utopia, where everything is peaceful and war is non-existent. However, Robert feels they have been captured and brought there for a very specific reason, one that only the mysterious High Lama (Sam Jaffe) can relate to him. Academy Awards for Best Interior Decoration and Best Editing.