Upon being kidnapped, world famous British diplomat Richard Conway (Peter Finch) is taken to Shangri-La, a mystical, magical Himalayan kingdom where the art, culture and the accumulated knowledge of the world are treasured in anticipation of the day when an all-out war will destroy civilization. Abducted along with Conway are his younger brother, George (Michael York), who wants only to escape the Himalayan retreat; Sally Hughes (Sally Kellerman), a cynical newspaperwoman who comes to love exotic surroundings; Sam Cornelius (George Kennedy), an engineer who falls in love with both Shangri-La and Sally; and Harry Lovett (Bobby Van), a mediocre vaudevillian who finds in the local children are his best audience. Living in Shangri-La, Conway finds Catherine (Liv Ullmann), a woman who teaches him about peace and serenity; Tibetan monk Brother To-Lenn (James Shigeta); Chang (Sir John Gielgud), spokesman for the idyllic kingdom's High Lama (Charles Boyer); and Maria (Olivia Hussey), a woman who wants George to take her away from the mountain hideaway. Just before his death, the High Lama tells Richard that he's been chosen to succeed him as the leader of Shangri-La. Though he feels obligated to help his brother and Maria escape, Conway promises Catherine that he will someday return to Shangri-La. © 1972 Ross Hunter Productions, Inc., renewed 2000. All Rights Reserved.