25 January 2001 | bjhsurfers
Adventure in the frozen Himalayas
STORM OVER TIBET represents the realization of a 20-year-old dream
independent documentary filmmaker Harald Dyrenfurth, and British film
producer Andrew Marton: to successfully utilize live on-location stock
footage from Dyrenfurth's unfinished documentary titled "MASK OF THE
HIMALAYAS", shot in 1934 during an unsuccessful expedition by his
to scale Mount Everest. Some of this footage was found and used by
film director Frank Capra in his classic fantasy,
LOST HORIZON (Columbia, 1937). Fast forward to 1951: Producers Andrew
Marton, Laszlo Benedek and Ivan Tors incorporate as Summit Productions to
make a new movie using the old footage and new studio production is
(excuse the pun). Rex Reason is cast in the lead role after screen tests.
His love interest is Diana Douglas, then the wife of star Kirk Douglas and
mother of Michael Douglas.
A minor league "LOST HORIZON", this film is more than just an old B-movie.
It features a hauntingly beautiful music score by classical composers
Honegger and Leith Stevens, magnificent B&W cinematography, and a solid
script with fine acting by an ensemble cast.
In fact, the stock footage Capra used is also in this film, with the
that Rex Reason appears to be wandering in the snowclad Himalayas just as
Ronald Colman had in the Capra film.
Rex made an auspicious debut performance, and went on to star in many
classics of the 1950s such as THIS ISLAND EARTH. The film is a fine
of classic studio entertainment. Perhaps Columbia Classics Home Video will
someday release it for the world to enjoy again.