Random Harvest

"Good"

Random Harvest Review


Like many Hollywood romances, Random Harvest is not great but not bad either, and more emotionally involving than the contrived premise would seem to justify. Ronald Colman plays a British soldier who suffers amnesia in WWI and is befriended by a showgirl (Greer Garson), who falls in love with him. They marry and start a family. Then, in a strange plot twist, he regains his memory of his identity but loses his recent memory, and starts another life as a wealthy tycoon and politician. Then, in an even more unpredictable plot twist, he meets Garson again and eerily revisits his past, while still remembering nothing.

The film is an adaptation of a novel by James Hilton (who wrote Lost Horizon, which Frank Capra made into one of Hollywood's greatest epics, also featuring Colman). The contrived plot of Hilton's novel is not helped by the film's condensed treatment. Neither of Colman's lives is fully fleshed out, and it's possible to imagine the plot going off in other, more plausible directions than the one it takes. And the premise is essentially a male fantasy, with Colman's protagonist getting two shots at success, happiness, and marriage (however, he is happy in only one of his lives, until both are reconciled at the end).

Like many films from Hollywood's classic era, the abundance of talent rescues the material. Colman and Garson (both English, though neither one has an accent) contribute strong performances, adding elements of psychodrama to what would otherwise have been a standard romance. Garson's mix of ethereal beauty and down-to-earth presence is perfect for the role (she won an Academy Award the same year for the excellent WWII drama Mrs. Miniver). Colman was never better than in this movie. The role probably was easy for the actor, a WWI veteran who was wounded in combat.



Random Harvest

Facts and Figures

Run time: 126 mins

In Theaters: Tuesday 31st August 1943

Distributed by: MGM Home Entertainment

Production compaines: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 89%
Fresh: 8 Rotten: 1

IMDB: 8.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Smithy, as Paula, as Dr. Jonathan Benet, as Kitty, as Dr. Sims, as Biffer, Bramwell Fletcher as Harrison, as Sam, Una O'Connor as Tobacconist, Aubrey Mather as Sheldon, as Mrs. Deventer, Arthur Margetson as Chetwynd, Melville Cooper as George, as Julian, Jill Esmond as Lydia, Marta Linden as Jill, as Bridget, Norma Varden as Julia, David Cavendish as Henry Chilcet, Ivan F. Simpson as The Vicar (as Ivan Simpson), Marie De Becker as Vicar's Wife, as Mr. Lloyd, as Mrs. Lloyd


Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Amy Movie Review

Amy Movie Review

As with his Formula One documentary Senna, filmmaker Asaf Kapadia cleverly uses archival footage to...

Terminator Genisys Movie Review

Terminator Genisys Movie Review

This declining franchise really needed a jolt to the head, but the producers disappointingly opt...

Magic Mike XXL Movie Review

Magic Mike XXL Movie Review

Resisting the temptation to capitalise on the camp value of these characters, Channing Tatum and...

She's Funny That Way Movie Review

She's Funny That Way Movie Review

Wacky enough to make us smile but never laugh out loud, this screwball comedy harks...

Advertisement
Everly Movie Review

Everly Movie Review

A relentless onslaught of violent action, this movie is notable mainly because there's a woman...

Slow West Movie Review

Slow West Movie Review

First-time feature filmmaker John Maclean takes a strikingly original approach to the Western, creating a...

Mr. Holmes Movie Review

Mr. Holmes Movie Review

Despite this being a film about Sherlock Holmes, the fact that it's not much of...

Entourage Movie Review

Entourage Movie Review

Both shameless and shamelessly entertaining, this relentlessly boyish movie carries on exactly as the TV...

Advertisement