Amazon Vehicles Oct16 Amazon Fashion nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc Electronics Holiday Gift Guide Starting at $39.99 Halloween Candy Cozy Knits Book 2 or More Hours of House Cleaning on Amazon fin fin fin  All-New Echo Dot Starting at $89.99 All-New Kindle Oasis hhnsweeps Shop Cycling on Amazon
Customer Review

99 of 105 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A first-class DVD from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, October 16, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Lost Horizon (1973) (DVD)
Much has been said about the film already, so I will limit my thoughts to the DVD itself, which is a real treat.

SPECIAL FEATURES (as written on the packaging):

Original Song Demos by Burt Bacharach (with photo gallery)
Ross Hunter Short - a 36-minute film
Original Trailers and TV Spots
Ross Hunter on the way to Shangri-La - 10-minute featurette
Alternate Scene - "I Come To You."

The language is listed as English, Dolby Digital. No mention of a new 5.1 mix anywhere, so this was likely a mistake in the press release, sadly. The audio is actually 2.0 Mono, 48 khz, 192 kbps. Video is 2.40:1 Anamorphic Widescreen. Running time is listed as "approx." 149 minutes. Region 1.

Starting with the audio, even if it's not a new 5.1 mix, as an advance Sony press release (and subsequently many websites) indicated, it's a wonderfully robust mono soundtrack, fully restored. Crystal-clear high frequencies and rich full bass sounds. As for the video, the movie looks fantastic. It's 2.40:1 Anamorphic widescreen. Colors are saturated, skin tones are natural, and detail is incredible. I noticed things I'd never seen before in the set decoration, the costume fabrics, etc. The vibrant green for the interior of the airplane hull, the crimson of the monks' robes, the eye-popping hues of the flowers during "The World Is a Circle." Detail holds up really well in the shadows, too, during the darker scenes. Noise is kept to a minimum, but I see no obvious use of noise-reduction. This is just an incredibly good remastering job. Short of having the disc in HD, I don't think it could look any better. I'm thrilled that all of the cut footage has quite obviously been restored from the original negative as well, so there's no "jump" in quality between the wide release footage and the restored scenes, as there was with the Pioneer laser disc release in the '90s. It all looks and sounds equally great here.

A quick rundown of the extras:

The TV spots aren't restored, but look and sound fine. The Teaser and Theatrical Trailer are fully restored. I loved the full theatrical trailer, which is in widescreen and narrated on-screen by Ross Hunter! There is a "wavering hum" present in the audio of the full trailer, but it isn't too distracting.

The Bacharach demos: I noticed different lyrics on "Question Me An Answer," references to Greta Garbo and Don Ameche, etc. The video is an animated presentation of static photos sliding by the screen on a moving "film strip" background. Some GREAT behind-the-scenes shots, literally hundreds altogether that, after a while, repeat throughout the demos. There are QUITE a few song demos, too, almost the entire score, and all seem to be complete versions of the songs with Burt singing (and croaking a bit) and playing piano beautifully. The sound quality of these mono demos is excellent.

The 10-minute Ross Hunter short film is in widescreen as well. It's in very good shape, although it's not color-corrected, so it has a faded, vintage look (which I like). Ross shares some great behind-the-scenes info about making the film, too. On the packaging and in the advance press release, this is listed as a 36-minute Promo film, but because the clips from the actual movie have been excised, it really clocks in around ten minutes in length. I didn't miss seeing an extra 26 minutes of the movie again, especially right after watching it. I was more interested in what Mr. Hunter had to say about making the movie. So the leaner running time wasn't an issue with me ... although they should probably correct it on the packaging.

The 10-minute "Ross Hunter on the Way To Shangri-La" vintage featurette is excellent, with great behind-the-scenes footage and narrative. I'm so glad they included this on the DVD! It's a 4x3 presentation, not restored, but in fine shape regardless.

Lastly, the "alternate version" of "I Come To You" is taken from the Pioneer laser disc, with different staging than seen during the film on the DVD. It's not restored visually (if you remember the laser disc look), but the song is in stereo, since the producer of the laser disc did his own stereo mix of the film.

And one last note that has caused some minor confusion among the hardcore fans of the film: With the inclusion of previously cut scenes, the publicity release and packaging mention a never-before-seen reprise of "Living Together, Growing Together." After the Fertility Dance (which has not been seen in a home video release until this DVD and is quite exciting and wonderful), there is a very short reprise of the song "Living Together, Growing Together," which ends the "ceremonial" scene. However, there was also a (second) reprise of this song later in the film, sung by Sally Kellerman and George Kennedy while they are working on the new irrigation system. That reprise is still sadly missing. But the packaging notes are correct in saying a reprise of the song is included "for the first time" on this DVD.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has done themselves proud with this release. It comes as somewhat of a surprise to me, since almost all of the MOD (manufactured on demand) DVDs from Sony, Warner Archives, and MGM have been "bare bones" discs. Most haven't even been restored. With "Lost Horizon," they have treated it as a first-cleass "Special Edition" project, and fans of this film shouldn't hesitate for one second about buying it.

UPDATE: (November 14, 2011) The issue with the audio has been fixed! I received a replacement disc from Amazon today and tested it on my home theatre sound system. It's a fully-designed 5.1 audio mix. What a world of difference! It's now equally as impressive as the restored image. This is not just a stereo mix of the music fed to the back speakers. Sound effects, crowd noises, ambient sounds, etc., all fully designed in the discrete 5.1 channels. I'm so happy Sony fixed the problem and Amazon was quick to replace my disc. I would say, based on my experience that the problem is now solved, and I wouldn't hesitate to either order a copy or have your mono disc (if you received one) replaced. It was definitely worth the trouble!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in


Track comments by e-mail
Tracked by 2 customers

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 19, 2012 3:54:15 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 19, 2012 4:04:05 PM PST
Tom S. says:
Mr. Schneider--About your update of 11/14/11:

As of today, 1/19/12, the customer service departments at Amazon, Sony Home Entertainment, and Warner Home Entertainment are all still insisting that there is no such thing as a stereo remix of the LOST HORIZON DVD-R. All three groups say it is only available in mono. Where exactly did you get your 5.1 stereo version?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 19, 2012 4:13:57 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Jan 19, 2012 4:15:33 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 19, 2012 4:15:08 PM PST
Wow, Tom S., you sure received a strange response from them. That's terrible. And it's completely inaccurate. Here is a long message board thread on this very subject. It's somewhat tedious to wade through, but you will see that the course of events was as follows: 1) Sony announced the release and said it would have a brand new 5.1 mix in their press release, which was used for listings of the DVD on various websites. 2) I ordered the DVD from Amazon, and when it arrived I soon discovered it was a Mono soundtrack. As you can see from my review above, I figured the Sony press release had been inaccurate, so I let it go. 3) I read on the Home Theatre Forum the interview with Grover Crisp, Exec. VP of Sony Asset Management, Film Restoration & Digital Mastering, where he said it was a mistake in the authoring. The film did receive a new 5.1 mix. 4) I contacted Amazon, and they looked into it. I also sent them links to this interview. 5) They got back to me very quickly and agreed to exchange the disc per their usual exchange program, which was very efficient. 6) I received a brand new disc, and it was indeed in 5.1 surround, so I updated my previous review to indicate the error had been fixed.

I hope this helps you out. Below is a link to the thread and the specific page with Grover Crisp of Sony talking about this error. You can read through the rest of it as well. Many others have exchanged their discs. And the difference in the audio was well worth the trouble I went through to get it.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 20, 2012 10:09:28 PM PST
Tom S. says:
Paul--Thanks for your reply. I saw the interview on, and then I read your Amazon review. That's when I contacted Amazon the first time, but they said they only have it in mono. So I went to Warner and Sony, and they both said the same thing. Sony Home Entertainment insists there is no 5.1 stereo remix available for this title. My second query to Amazon was just before I posted to you on 1/19/12. I pointed out that other Amazon customers had gotten the new version from them, and they *again* replied that they only have it in mono. I give up--I'll just live with the mono version. But if you ever solve this mystery, let us know.

Posted on Feb 28, 2013 2:44:11 AM PST
MS says:
hey there. i'm getting ready to order this and wondered if you can tell me is there anything i can tell on the dvd case that would show me i received the bad sounding mix dvd of this movie before they corrected it? i hope that makes sense. thank you, marc

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 2, 2013 3:16:37 PM PST
Hi, MS!

There is nothing on the packaging that indicates which audio you have. It just says "English Dolby Digital," and since they don't elaborate, it could either be the 2.0 Mono mix or the 5.1 Surround mix. I can only say that if these discs truly are made "on demand," there should be no question after all this time that you would be getting the 5.1 Surround mix.

I'm sure that's not the answer you (or anybody) would want to hear, but perhaps if you do get a 2.0 mix, and you order it from Amazon (as I did), they will be quick to do an exchange. Still, this issue is almost a year and a half old now, so one can only hope these mono discs aren't surfacing anymore.

Either way, I think it's worth buying. Or perhaps you can "upgrade" to the Blu-ray version, which is spectacular and never had any "mono" release issue. Best of luck, and I'd love to hear what you end up getting!
‹ Previous 1 Next ›