Random Harvest (1942)

Just saw Random Harvest (1942), and had to blog about it. What a wonderful movie! I had no idea it even existed until tonight. Ligia spotted it on TMC a week or two ago, and we moved it toward the top of the queue of our Netflix account. I’m so glad we did!

The story is fantastically beautiful. A woman (Greer Garson), meets and falls in love with an amnesia patient (Ronald Colman), a convalescing officer from WWI. His life, until then a dreary, monotonous stay in an asylum, begins with their chance meeting.

They move to the country, and he begins to write. He’s quite good at it, and emboldened by his success and the prospect of making a living from writing, he proposes to her. She accepts, of course, and they settle down to a beautiful married life.

They have a boy, and one day he gets a job offer in nearby Liverpool. They’re both very happy about it, and he sets off for the city right away. On his way to the job interview, he has an accident, and a concussion brings back all memory of his previous life, erasing his current one.

Naturally, he goes back to his family home (he happens to be an aristocrat) and picks up his life, troubled as he may be by the lapse of three years from his life. His now ex-wife, desperate, searches everywhere, falls ill and the baby dies. When she sees his photo in a newspaper some time later, she applies to be his secretary, and gets the job, but does not tell him about her identity, hoping that he’ll recognize her. He does not, and things go on like that for years: he, tormented by unrecognizable wisps of memory from the past, and she, so close and yet so far from his heart.

I won’t tell you more, because I don’t want to spoil the movie for you if you haven’t seen it. Suffice it to say that it’s absolutely excellent. It’s a perfect screenplay, and Ms. Garson and Mr. Colman are absolutely marvelous in their parts, and they’ve now made my list of favorite actors and actresses. I was left speechless at the beautiful ending, and could only think “Bis, bis, bis!” I’m truly shocked that I did not hear of this movie until now, and want to find more like it. Record it, rent it or buy it, but see it. You must. You won’t regret it.