The film was based on the novel of the same name written by James Hilton published in 1941.
"You're supposed to kiss me, darling," Paula quips after "Smithy" proposes to her. (Image via recollective.tumblr) Charles Rainier – sometimes known as “Smithy” – can’t seem to keep his memories in check. Charles is a World War I veteran who is struc... Read full article
Today being Ronald Colman day on TCM’s Summer Under the Stars schedule, I was so pleased to see that Random Harvest had been scheduled for the primetime slot. One of the greatest screen romances and nominated for seven Academy Awards in 1942, this is one of my all-time favorite movies. A brie... Read full article
The Best Picture Project
In Random Harvest Ronald Colman plays a soldier with amnesia. On a foggy night, he breaks out of the asylum where people are celebrating the end of WWI in the streets. He stumbles around for a while until he meets Paula (Greer Garson), a girl who sings and dances at a club who befriends him. ... Read full article
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"John Smith" (Ronald Colman) is a British officer who was gassed and became shellshocked in the trenches during the First World War. He is confined to an asylum as an unidentified inmate because he has lost his memory and has trouble speaking. When the war ends, jubilation erupts in the nearby town of Melbridge and the gatekeepers abandon their posts to join the celebration. With no one to stop him, Smith simply wanders off.
In town, he is befriended by singer Paula (Greer Garson). She guesses he is from the asylum, but as he seems harmless, she arranges for him to join her traveling theatrical group. After an incident that threatens to bring unwanted attention, Paula takes Smith away to a secluded country village, where they marry and are blissfully happy.
"Smithy", as Paula calls him, discovers a literary talent and tries writing to earn a living. Paula remains home with their newborn baby while Smithy goes to Liverpool for a job interview with a newspaper. There, he is struck by a taxi. When he regains consciousness, his past memory is restored, but his life with Paula is now forgotten. He is Charles Rainier, the son of a wealthy businessman. None of his meager possessions, including a key, provide any clue how he got there from the battleground of France.read more
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.
In her final years at MGM, Joan Crawford was handed weak scripts in the hopes that she'd break her contract. Two films she hungered to appear in were Random Harvest and Madame Curie. Both films went to bright new star Greer Garson instead, and Crawford left the studio soon after.
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