Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) presents "RANDOM HARVEST" (1942) (126 min/B&W) -- Starring: Ronald Colman, Greer Garson, Philip Dorn, Susan Peters, Henry Travers, Reginald Owen, Bramwell Fletcher, Rhys Williams
Directed by Mervyn LeRoy
Director Mervyn LeRoy must be given credit for bringing it to the screen in a film that has all the ingredients to keep the viewer glued to his seat. Author James Hilton gives us a glimpse into the lives of two people who met not once but twice with strange results. Mervyn LeRoy, the James Hilton story and that wonderful company of players make this a perfect fiilm or our viewing pleasure.
There is a magic to this film, with several twists and turns about lost love and rediscovering those lost moments when all seems hopeless.
Ronald Colman plays his dual characters with an ease that is mesmerizing to watch, made these two men credible as if they were separate persons and yet not at all - the amnesiac soldier, as well as the business magnate that he was prior to losing his mind in the war.
Greer Garson was one of the most accomplished actress' of the time, with her natural beauty, her tact, gentle humor and intelligent restraint are in perfect service to her character and the story, made us believe she is the woman whose love for her man is everything, that of Mr. Ronald Colman very talented and a leading man in Hollywood of the times.
Colman and Garson are the perfect grownup romantic couple: they make intelligence and maturity seem impossibly glamorous, and they embody the idea that friendship, loyalty and mutual respect must be at the center of every enduring love, which should be in every releationship.
Nominated for Oscar Best Actor in a Leading Role (Ronald Colman), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Susan Peters), Best Art Direction-Interior Decoration (Black-and-White), Best Director (Mervyn LeRoy), Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture (Herbert Stothart), Best Picture (M-G-M) and Best Writing, Screenplay
Special Footnote: -- Ronald Colman had first-hand experience of shell shock - he had fought in the British army at the Battle of Ypres in World War I, during which he was also gassed.
Ronald Colman fought with the British army in World War I at the battle of Ypres in 1914 where he received severe shrapnel wounds to the knee and ankle of one of his legs. He was decorated for bravery and was invalided out of the army several months later.
Reported to be Greer Garson's favorite of all her film career appearances.
1. Mervyn LeRoy (Director)
Date of Birth: 15 October 1900, San Francisco, California
Date of Death: 13 September 1987, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California
2. Ronald Colman [aka: Ronald Charles Colman]
Date of Birth: 9 February 1891 - Richmond, Surrey, England, UK
Date of Death: 19 May 1958 - Santa Barbara, California
3. Greer Garson [aka: Eileen Evelyn Greer Garson]
Date of Birth: 29 September 1904 - London, England, UK
Date of Death: 6 April 1996 - Dallas, Texas
4. Philip Dorn [aka: Hein van der Niet]
Date of Birth: 30 September 1901 - Scheveningen, 's-Gravenhage, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
Date of Death: 9 May 1975 - Los Angeles, California
5. Susan Peters [aka: Suzanne Carnahan]
Date of Birth: 3 July 1921 - Spokane, Washington
Date of Death: 23 October 1952 - Visalia, California
6. Henry Travers [aka: Travers John Heagerty]
Date of Birth: 5 March 1874 - Berwick-Upon-Tweed, Northumberland, England, UK
Date of Death: 18 October 1965 - Hollywood, California
Mr. Jim's Ratings:
Quality of Picture & Sound: 5 Stars
Performance: 5 Stars
Story & Screenplay: 5 Stars
Overall: 5 Stars [Original Music, Cinematography & Film Editing]
Total Time: 126 min on DVD ~ Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) ~ (January 11, 2005)