Random Harvest - 1942

Random Harvest - released December 17, 1942. Directed by Melvyn LeRoy.

Random Harvest - 1942

Ronald Colman plays a war veteran who is shell-shocked and kept at an asylum. He can barely speak and he can't remember who he is or how he got there. Frustrated and helpless as the asylum attempts (and fails) repeatedly to find family that can come and claim him, he makes a spur of the moment decision to escape from the facility. Wandering blindly, he finds himself in a nearby English city.

Greer Garson is a visiting entertainer traveling with a stage show who encounters Colman at a small British shop where he is about to be betrayed to the police by the shop's proprietor (the diminutive Una O'Conner) who is petrified when she realizes Colman is an asylum escapee. Garson takes Colman under her wing and secrets him out of town as part of the traveling troupe.

Her nursing slowly returns him to health and a kind of mental stability, but he still has amnesia, a problem tragically reversed during a trip into London when he is knocked down on the street by a vehicle.

The remainder of the tale is full of twists as Greer Garson's character (Paula) and Colman's (Ranier) are brought back together in a strange circumstance where Ranier doesn't realize who she is. A unique melodrama which won many awards at the time of its release in 1942.

The film is full of the classic, luminous black and white photography that marked that era of film - cinematography by Joseph Ruttenberg

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Random Harvest

Original page March 2014 | Updated March 2018

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