Random HarvestDirector: Mervyn LeRoy
At the close of World War I, shell-shocked amnesia victim Ronald Colman is sequestered in a London sanitarium; with no identity and no next of kin, he has nowhere else to go. Unable to stand the loneliness, Colman wanders into the streets, then stumbles into a music hall, where he is befriended by good-natured entertainer Greer Garson. That Colman and Garson fall in love and marry should surprise no one; what is surprising, at least to Colman, is that he discovers that he has a talent for writing. Three years pass: while in Liverpool to sell one of his stories, Colman is struck down by a speeding car. When he comes to, he has gained full memory of his true identity; alas, he has completely forgotten both Garson and their child. Returning to his well-to-do relatives, Colman takes over the family business. Having lost her child, the distraught Garson seeks out the missing Colman. Psychiatrist Philip Dorn helps Garson, advising her that to reveal her identity may prove a fatal shock for her husband. To stay near him all the same, Garson takes a job as Colman's secretary. "Strangely" attracted to Garson, Colman falls in love with her all over again. Will there be yet another memory lapse? Under normal circumstances, we wouldn't believe a minute of Random Harvest, but the magic spell woven by the stars and by author James Hilton (Lost Horizon, Goodbye Mr. Chips etc.) transforms the wildly incredible into the wholly credible (just one quibble: isn't Colman a bit long in tooth as a "young" World War I veteran?) The film was one of MGM's biggest hits in 1942--indeed, one of the biggest in the studio's history.
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Cast & Crew
|Randall Duell||Art Director|
|Cedric Gibbons||Art Director|
|Robert Kalloch||Costumes/Costume Designer|
|Jack D. Moore||Set Decoration/Design|
|Herbert Stothart||Score Composer|
|Edwin B. Willis||Set Decoration/Design|
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I love the movie and am especially fond of, and a longtime admirer of, its costars. Perhaps that is why I take exception to some inaccuracies that I found in the review from All Movie Guide. Colman doesn't meet Garson when he 'stumbles into a music hall'; he meets her in a tobacconist shop where he is rescued by Garson when the proprietor has gone to call the police on the unsuspecting Colman. She takes him to the music hall, where she is an entertainer. Colman did not travel to Liverpool 'to sell one of his stories'; he goes there to apply for a position with a Liverpool newpaper. Colman doesn't 'fall in love with her all over again,' which is the reason for her unhappiness. When all looks forlorn, he regains his memory naturally, and they meet at the country cottage where they lived as man and wife for a very romantic and happy conclusion. As for Colman looking 'a bit long in the tooth' to be cast as a 'young World War I veteran, I believe that his youthful spirit and enthusiasm overcome that defect, as well as his casting with the somewhat 'matronly' Garson (in the best sense of that description...who would believe that Miss Garson could carry off the role of a music hall entertainer as she does so well?).
Though a tale of very unrealistic circumstances, this film was brought to the screen very brilliantly, ''Random Harvest'' has made both Greer Garson and Ronald Colman two of my most favorite actors. It portrays the story of a war veteran with amnesia, who, after marrying singer/dancer (portrayed so preciously by Greer Garson), is involved in a car accident, bringing back his past memory but losing the memory of his wife and child. Through extroadinary circumstances, he again meets up with his wife, finally remembers her, and happily ever after. The script is wonderful, and the lines so well-delivered, this is a movie that, no matter if you're a don't-watch-black-and-white-movies person, you MUST SEE!
This a great love story that only Greer Garson and Ronald Coleman could bring to life. The story is typical, soldier loses his memory, beautiful music hall performer rescues him and you think that all will be okay. He regains his memory and Greer Garson is not in his memory. She finds him and he doesn't recognize her. She is heartbroken but in the end all is well when Ronald Coleman remembers her. Ronald Colemans's voice is so sexy and grabs you everytime. Great love story and a classic.
This is truly one of the best movies I have ever seen. Greer Garson is extraordinary and Ronald Colman is simply perfect as Smithie/Charles. Just when you think he'll never gain back his memory of Paula he does and the wait is well rewarded!
Pass the tissues...no matter how many times we view 'Random Harvest' the results are the same; especially during that time of the month when you need a good cry. A classic romance my teenage daughter and I enjoy watching together on TCM cable so this DVD is a definite buy. Thank you for reading this.
One of the greatest films I have ever seen. Ronald Coleman plays the role of an army officer who has lost his memory and is confined to a mental hospital. On Armistice day he escapes when everyone is celebrating. Fortunately he meets up with a singer, played by Greer Garson, who feels sorry for him, subsequently bonding with and marrying him. After a short, happy marriage he meets with an unfortunate accident that brings back his memory and reunites him with his rich family, but causes him to forget his present, modest, life. As their paths cross in later life and little, distant memories return, a beautiful love story unfolds with plenty of turns and twists. The ending will surely bring tears to the eyes of most viewers. It still does to mine, even though I have seen it many, many times. I can sit and enjoy it over and over again!!