- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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- Movie Lady
Of course the plot is implausible, even in the days before the Internet destroyed anonymity and privacy. But who cares? The moment Greer Garson and Ronald Coleman come into sight and open their mouths, suspension of belief becomes effortless and pure enjoyment begins. I defy anyone with a heart to watch this movie and not cry at the end. Like others who have commented, I first discovered this movie and many other classics sitting on the floor in the living room after school with my mother while she ironed my father's shirts. Since then my life has been enriched many times by my love of "old" movies. Too bad nobody irons anymore!
Great Soap Opera
This had the best MGM had to offer. Great Stars, great character actors, a good director and millions of fans loved it. Who couldn't love Greer Garson, at the height of her talent and beauty. And Ronald Coleman, although getting a little past prime had enough left for my Mom to name my brother after him.However, there are too many things that make the implausible film script more implausible. Its one thing to sit back and enjoy, without sweating the details. But one has to ask, what is a French Doctor, Philip Dorn working as a doc in a Brit hospital during WWI and after the war is over? Didn't they need him in France. Although his role in the film is rather small, its an important one, because he is advising Garson about her predicament. The screenwriters seem to forget that soldiers during WWI all had ID tags, known as Dog Tags in the US. There were many bodies that didn't get identified. However, should someone survive an injury, and the body still intact, the ID tag would identify the wounded, or shell shocked soldier. So the idea that someone as famous, an officer of a respected regiment, would somehow not be identified, is a fault that makes the entire film a soap opera in my opinion. I do not doubt that the individual may not know who he is, and that the accident caused him to recall who he was, but, since he was going on a job interview with a telegram in his pocket, and probably other ID of where he lived, and the fact that his injury in Liverpool was minor, and he did not have the letters and telegrams removed, this seems to be a flaw in logic, which again, soap operas seem to be made of.I know the wonderful clothes of Garson came from MGM's property room, but how did the story explain how she could afford them?
Great acting and a beautiful story
This film never fails to delight and I have seen it 20-25 times over the past 10 years or so. I read the book on which it is based and this is one example of a film outdoing the book version. The screenwriter has done a magnificent job of taking a rather clumsy story from a novel and turning it into a work of art. One of the best screen romances EVER. Greer Garson never fails to be stunning and her articulate speech is music to my ears. Ronald Colman plays a very understated role as the amnesia victim and is the perfect other half in this romance. A classic and then some. Highest recommendation !
- Johnny Perry
The English language has never been so beautifully spoken.
A Lovely, Eloquent, Romance
A film that really trascends time - two eloquent speaking actors, both so right for their roles. I think of all the romantatic films, this one is hard to surpass, even today. The two lead roles: Mr. Ronald Colman - his voice so sophisticated yet so down to earth, and a twinkle in his eye that exudes charm in each of his scenes; and Ms. Greer Garson - so exquistely beautiful, and whose presence on screen is quite warm & gentle. This film really tugs at your heart. My comfort film that I go to whenever I need something to rejuvenate my soul - truly beautiful.
I saw this movie on TCM almost a decade ago and it remains one of my personal favorites. It's a timeless story in the sense that it's so well-told/well-acted that that you easily buy into the premise of the plot--a man who cannot reconcile his pre-war life and his his long-lost love because of amnesia--despite knowing otherwise. That being said, I doubt this wonderful romance between Greer Garson and Ronald Colman could ever be remade, because the story belongs to its time, and makes sense only in its time. I really think it ranks among the best romances captured on film.
TRANSCENDANT FILM, FAR BETTER THAN THE BOOK
- Delving Eye
I'm 59 and first watched this movie when I was probably 14, probably lying on the floor of the dining room on a rainy afternoon while my mother ironed my father's shirts. She and I cried together over Paula and Smithy and that lovely cottage.This is truly one of the best films of all time, thanks in large part to screenwriters Claudine West, George Froeschel and Arthur Wimperis; and to the film's composer, Herbert Strothhart. I recently read the book by James Hilton, and it is frankly a circuitous mess without the drama and suspense of the movie. Hilton was also impressed with the screenplay's treatment, so much so that he volunteered to narrate the film's opening. Greer has never looked more beautiful, Colman has never sounded so thrilling. Enjoyable for a lifetime.
My favourite film
- Jill Whitehead
I am now 55 and have been watching this film, and crying through it, since I was a little girl. Ronald Coleman was my mother's favourite actor and she introduced me to this film on a wet Sunday afternoon. Later we recorded iron a VHS tape and watched it from time to time. I just love it and I think I have seen this film more times than any other. Is it my memory of my mother which makes it so special? Well partly, but she introduced me to a number of other black and whites of the era. The kindness of Greer Garson as Paula at the beginning of the film and her persistence in love through the events that follow sends me into a land off goodness that holds me each time I watch this beautiful film. Even though it is in black and white, I "see" it in colour each time.
- Dashiell Barnes
For a time, this film had longest run at Radio City Music Hall. Colman earned a Best Actor Academy Award nomination as an amnesiac who loves & forgets Garson, Peters earned a nomination as Colman's love-struck niece. The romantic details in the story are perfect, although it does have a few too slow-paced scenes. A charming romantic film. I give it a 4/5.
This is my favorite movie of all time. The actors - magnificient. The script - phenomenal. The scene - breath taking. The story line - nothing comes close. I could go on. Suffice it to say that I simply love this. The twists and turns are like the Indy 500. The ending -- a happy one! I saw this as a young girl and it grabbed me immediately. "Wuthering Heights" is a very close second for me.
Beautifully acted romantic, moving story!
- TCM fan
This movie manages to capture me in a way like no other movie can. The story is wonderful, unusual and captivating, and at times a bit hard to believe, but because it is so magnificently and convincingly handled by Greer Garson and Ronald Coleman under Mervin Leroy's wonderful direction, it only becomes more interesting and nuanced with each viewing. And of course as so often is the case when something has so much going for it as this, everyone and thing else about this movie is equally amazing. I agree with a lot of the other viewers.... thank God for Random Harvest!
Garson's best role
- Carylie Forte
Can get caught up in the romance and emotion of this wonderful movie over and over again. Really should be rated much higher in the Hollywood pantheon of romantic tearjerkers. Maybe that's because in the present day viewer's mind of Old Hollywood, Garson and Colman are not as well known as say, Bogart and Bergman. This movie remains at the top of my list of best loved movies of all time!
rainy day treat
- alan lewis
its hard to believe that there are people out there who've never clapped eyes on this movie ,nor even heard of it, i pity them,but even more so, i envy them , what a treat in store they will have,when they finally stumble across this classic,only to be hooked twenty minutes in, and remember and love Random Harvest for years to come, i've lost count of the times i've watched this over 45 years, it never dates, fades, or has me switching it off, a film that matches the mood of rainfall and puddles on the lawn amid the grey clouds of winter, sit there all cosy with a pot of tea and relax and simply enjoy the next two hours away from a world gone mad
Another Colman classic,
Colman rarely misses and this one of his best. Garson is fine and tragic Peters is wonderful.
A romantic epic
- Mr. Blandings
An unforgetable film with brilliant performances by Ronald Colman and Greer Garson. Colman's childlike helplessness and Garson's enduring strength play off each other wonderfully, and the final scene will leave you reaching for your box of tissues.
One of the most rememberable firm. Love Ronald Coleman....acting subperb. Can watch this moviethroughout the times. What devotion for Ms. Geer. Love, love this movie.
- walter carpenito
T O REVIEW Random Harvest is a work of love because the movie is a super classic with very pros nice people and a pleasure to watch Ronald Coleman mr class the beautiful redhead love story is something out of the past you dont see that these days so watch it when you can and forget todays world and go back in time when the world had more class and love for eachother one of the WORLDS-10-BEST films with feeling and a sincere heart w-c tcm lover 9-30-2010
Thank you lord for this priceless gift
- Derrick T. Ivory
Let me start by stating that this is the quintessential love story way before (LOVE STORY), with Ryan O'Neal and Ali MacGraw. I know for a fact that to enjoy this film, you would have to go through some tubulent times in your life or to be blessed with a mature loving nature at a early age. The cast in this film is authentic to the core, (Ronald Colman) as Smithy the fragile amnesiac soldier, (Greer Garson) as Paula the circuit actor with the gift of mercy and Reginald Owen as Biffer the bar owner. Some people live a lifetime and never find that person that is tailored made for them or the person that god has for them. To met a person in Smithy's condition and make a quick decision to escape, not knowing his plight is beautiful. She brought out the best in him with love and understanding. Smithy had a lot to offer a woman, more than just love. Paula had no idea of his capabilities, and talent that was a perk. That person will come along once in your life, and only once if you are blessed. Keep your eyes open (Don't judge) and most of all Listen to GOD and watch RANDOM HARVEST you will see what I mean the end. capabilities that was a perk. Reginald Owen aka biffer but we know him as (scrooge), I'll give him what I gave the gunner is delight to see. That person will come along once in your life and only once don't judge just watch and listen to GOD, then watch RANDOM HARVEST
Touches the Heart!
- Rachel G
I've never written a movie review before, but Random Harvest is one of the most beautiful movies I've ever seen. So touching! Greer Garson is pure kindness & love, and Ronald Coleman is such a good soul. I love how this movie is all about their kindness to each other. Even when Ronald Colman is Charles Ranier, he is a thoughtful gentleman. This movie is chicken soup for the soul, when you want to believe that people can be truly devoted to one another. And their voices are so lovely to listen to! And yes, like the other folks who've reviewed this movie, this one makes my eyes fill up at the end when Charles Ranier figures out that Margaret was really his beloved Paula!
What a find!
I had never heard of or seen Ronald Colman before but he won my heart after watching this wonderful movie. It became an instant favorite of mine and Greer Garson was just superb as his wife, secretary and then rediscovered wife! It's just one of those perfect movies that makes me feel happy and hopeful, for happy endings in movies and life! Move over Mr. Gable, as impossible as it might be, you have a rival and I have a new #1!
Perfect for a Rainy Day
Greer Garson and Ronald Colman are two of my favorite actors, and they worked very well together. This movie is romantic, sentimental, occasionally funny, and altogether beautiful. Everyone should see this.
Most Romantic Movie Ever!
I first saw this movie as a kid. I loved it then and still love it. I must have seen it 50 times and I never get tired of seeing it. Ronald Colman and Greer Garson are awesome. Just listening to them speak is wonderful. They sure don't make movies like this anymore. I love the classics and this is in my top ten. A fantastic movie!
One of the Best Ever!!!!!!!
A "feel good" movie from the Golden Age of Movies. Great plot and great acting. Unless you are a total cynic, this movie cannot help but touch you. Love is still the most powerful emotion.
a movie that remains in your memeory for years
I first saw this movie decades ago when just a child, but never knew the name of it. I had not seen it since until most recently on TCM. Numerous scenes and the story line stuck in my memory all those years. That is a tribute to a truly great and memorable movie from the Golden Age.
Hooked on RANDOM HARVEST
Since I have seen this film the very first time - I am hooked on RANDOM HARVEST, it immediately became my all time favourite film. Ronald Colman, anyway a class of his own ( my favourite actor!) and Greer Garson are just gorgeous in it. The film is even better than the book - and this is really rare. Oh I ADORE this film! Ronald Colmans voice was the most beautiful on this planet ( and he was soooo handsome as well) - his stunning acting together with Greer Garson ( also a magnificent way of speaking, not to mention her beauty of course)is just incredible, the story of RANDOM HARVEST, the portrait of a most wonderful love, a love to all eternity, despite all problems and trouble. Films like this one cant be seen nowadays and in the present you will never find actors like Ronald Colman and Greer Garson as well - modest and decent....without airs and graces.
Great love story, nothing random about it
- Jarrod McDonald
What I really like about this film is that it is very carefully paced and structured. It seems to be a film (a story) about relationships. The description on this site, however, seems inaccurate...Greer's character does not discover her husband has amnesia...she knows he has memory lapses when she first meets him and he can barely talk. She goes into the relationship knowing that neither one of them know his true identity. Someone else mentioned the dual roles that both actors portray, and that's a good comment. It's also a way for the dramatists to explore the duality of a couple over time, as if their courtship has a whole other identity. This is a great love story.
As preteen and teen I fell in love with this movie. Prior today I last saw this movie in 1992. I have been trying to figure out name of this movie for last 10 years. Imagine my delight to see it today by pure chance. I LOVE this movie. This movie is a true testament of love and patience.
Greer Garson and Ronald Colman
Now this is a true classic. Some people toss the word classic around quite loosely. "Random Harvest" has the quality, sophisticated script, deep well of emotion, a story that's a little larger than real life so that it's interesting, and it has the magnificent actors Greer Garson and Ronald Colman. Every time TCM programs this film, I record it on the DVR, then watch or listen to it repeatedly; never tiring of it. That's a classic. This one is a beautiful romance and I don't like slobbering romances, so it's not that type. This one is a psycho-dramatic romance. It's not gooped up with mundane 'i-love-yous'. The plot is very clever. Both Garson and Colman play dual roles too. A fine way to feature their considerable acting skills.
Remake of ancient play by Kalidasa
- Michael Harkins
Without a doubt, 'Random Harvest' is an updated rewite of the play 'Recognition of Shakuntala' by Kalidasa, which Goethe so admired. The movie was wonderful. You spend the last hour on the edge of your seat waiting for Smitty to wake up. And Greer Garson is a dream...
Incredibly Touching and Believable
This movie is usually introduced with the statement that this movie is dated and unbelievable, however if you can remember this movie is taking place during the war and people have experienced things and act differently because of it. This makes it more plausible that someone like Paula, Greer Garson, would be so touched by someone coming from an asylum who seemed so affected by war. And Smithy, Ronald Coleman, does such a fine job of being so vulnerable and helpless that we can believe he had not been able to find his family nor had the wearwithall to fight for a search. So go with it and you'll find you'll be swept up into a beautiful love story you'll want to believe in. These are the very best actors and their voices only add to the beauty of the scenery.
- Tony Beo
Possibly-How while on earth we get glimpses of Hevean and its not quite clear to us, and at the end when we walk through the pearly gates, Paradise becomes very clear...
A Must See
One of the best of the oldies.
First film to make me cry!
I can remember watching this at a very young age, all I remember is the beginning of the film, and the end - 'Smithy? ....' 'Paula? .....' and I sobbed and sobbed.I remember watching the whole film, but the end made it memorable, I've just now found out the name of the film, so will now be able to buy it, and with a bottle of wine and couple of hours to myself, enjoy so much watching it all again.
One of my all time favorites
I saw this when I was 12 years old and never forgot it. I absolutely love this movie. Greer Garson and Ronald Coleman are terrific. She is beautiful, has a terrific figure, and dances and sings wonderfully. He is also so convincing, and brings out all kinds of emotions in you. Beautiful love story. Hard to beat this one.
A film for everyone!
Terrific and timeless!It's unfortunate that they don't make films like this anymore.
What movies are meant to be!
- Judi Paparozzi
Random Harvest is truly one of the most romantic, well written and acted movies of all time. This movie captures the essence of why we go to the movies. Ronald Colman, an amnesiac from the Great War, is found by Greer Garson, in her most engaging of all films, wandering the streets, and she cares for him. She helps him heal with love despite the best psychiatric care available to wounded soldiers, and they fall in love and she becomes pregnant. His pre-War brillance begins to emerge, and he is hired to write for a newspaper; while securing the job, he is struck by a car and his memory returns...and he forgets his life with her. In one of the most clever plots ever, they are reunited, but he is still unable to remember her. It's heart wrenching, but the finale still makes me cry. I met Greer Garson in 1976 at my college where she and her husband were benefactors (College of Santa Fe in NM) and she aired this movie to the college for the students to enjoy! (I sat right in front of her!) She loved it too! And she told me that she would call Ronald when RH was played on late night TV to reminisce about the wonderful RH still was many years later! And it is wonderful!
- wiley underhill
a great movie from start to finish. don"t miss any of it. get your popcorn before it starts. great acting & the kind of movie that makes you feel good at the ending.
One Of The Most Powerful Movies Ever Created!
- Michael Hall
If you want to see an incredible story brought to life by two of the screen's most powerful stars, this movie is it! Greer Garson's beauty is unsurpassed and her acting is superb. Ronald Coleman plays the leading man like a pro and pulls us in with his dramatic ability in dialog, movements and facial gestures and voice. Of course, the story is powerful enough, and you will be glad you watched this movie for a long time to come. -Michael
Don't miss this wonderful movie!
This is one of the greatest movies I have ever seen. They just don't make movies like this anymore. You will enjoy every minute of it. Thank you TMC for introducing me to this outstanding movie.I watch TMC every day for just this kind of show. Every time I watch Random Harvest I love it more.Pam