An amnesiac World War I veteran falls in love with a music hall star, only to suffer an accident which restores his original memories but erases his post-war life.An amnesiac World War I veteran falls in love with a music hall star, only to suffer an accident which restores his original memories but erases his post-war life.An amnesiac World War I veteran falls in love with a music hall star, only to suffer an accident which restores his original memories but erases his post-war life.
Cinematic romance at its finest
Random Harvest is very fondly remembered and loved by many and for good reason. It is such a beautiful film in so many ways and one of the most moving films I've seen. Random Harvest is a splendidly made film, both sumptuous and Expressionist and still looking as fresh now as it did then. The period detail is rendered handsomely as well, not accurate perhaps but with the quality of how the film looks that doesn't really matter all that much. The music has that lush romantic feeling without being too syrupy, the use of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake was apt and will be a delight for classical music enthusiasts(count me as one). The script has the right dose of warmth and pathos with nothing being corny or overly-sentimental; this is a script with heart. As has the story, which is romantic to the hilt, heart-warming and incredibly touching, you're guaranteed to need tissues when Charles doesn't return to Paula after going to Liverpool and when his memory starts to come back. I was so engrossed by the characters and so touched by the story that any improbabilities were easily forgiven. Mervyn Leroy's direction is masterly and the characters are sweet and very human, complete with one of the most realistic and heart-breaking portrayals of shell-shock on film. The supporting cast all give solid performances, Susan Peters is utterly convincing in her feistiness and confidence and Reginald Owen, Henry Travers and Edmund Gwenn are always watchable. But the two leads dominate and are a huge part of the reason why Random Harvest works so well. Ronald Colman was a revelation, wistful and dignified but it is also very difficult to not tear up at Colman's body language when his memory starts returning, a very telling piece of acting. Greer Garson is just radiant and is wonderfully sincere in her role. Their chemistry together is just pure magic. All in all, beautiful and outstanding film, cinematic romance at its finest. 10/10 Bethany Cox
- Sep 5, 2014
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