Random Harvest Reviews
Beautiful performances. Not completely faithful to the book since in it we only find out the identity of the secretary at the end. You can't really replicate that in film since we watch her the whole time.
But an amazing story. Ronald Colman is solid as always. And Greer Garson is eminently watchable.
Now the whole story is almost unbelievable but what makes the viewer really believe what is happening could actually happen is the magnificent script based on the novel by James Hilton (Lost Horizon; Goodbye, Mr. Chips), Mervyn LeRoy's excellent, not so sentimental direction, but most importantly the performances by Ronald Colman and Greer Garson in the lead roles. The casting was absolutely perfect. Ronald Colman, in an Oscar nominated role, gives one of his best perfromances and Greer Garson would have surely had an Oscar nomination for this movie if she was not only nominated but won that same year for Mrs. Miniver. The b&w cinematography is also superb. This is a romantic film that I recommend to the fullest. Great movie. 9/10
(1942) Random Harvest
Went into this film totally oblivious about plot and already aware that it was well received by movie critics and movie historians alike which "can" sometimes help a viewer to appreciate a film even more! After seeing this film, I actually believe that if an updated film about an amnesiac were to be made like this today and of course done very well would be successful either by critics or in terms of it's box office!
At the beginning of the film has Ronald Coleman as an unknown called Smithy who did an exceptional job as an amnesiac, we the audience suspect that it was the result of war because much of the patients in this hospital or asylum are from 1920 WWI and besides losing limbs and other body parts, losing ones memory is also another possibilty to consider- this is why soldiers must wear tags before going into war! As the film progresses, Smithy becomes afraid and insecure and leaves the hospital without detection, there he starts to wonder the streets and people are celebrating because an announcement of WW1 had just been over! As he comes into a cigar shop, the shop keeper suspects that he's another loony that had just escaped from the hospital after conversing with him a little, and almost calls the asylum to take him away until an anonymous lady (Greer Garson) takes him under her wing! From what I'm describing is just the tip of the iceburg of a movie that is slightly more than two hours long and to say anymore is like ruining it because I believe viewers would want to be surprised while watching it!
All I can say is that on the second hour, you can almost feel Greer Garson's emotional pain because of those silences because of reavaluation of one's past one would be curious about since their was no internet at the time during times of World War 1 and II or other forms of exposure except newspapers and letters! My rating would be higher except that I have slight problems with it in terms of 'what I would do' if I was in his situation!
3 out of 4