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Random Harvest

(1942 b 126')

En: 6 Ed: 5

Based on James Hilton's novel, an amnesiac war veteran falls in love and then remembers his former life; but his wife re-enters it without reminding him.

Dr. Jonathan Benet (Philip Dorn) explains to the Lloyds that Smith (Ronald Coleman) has amnesia from the war, but they see he is not their son. Smith escapes from the asylum and meets Paula (Greer Garson) amid victory celebrations, and she gets him a drink from Biffer (Reginald Owen). Smith says he lost his memory. Paula performs "Daisy" and takes care of Smith. Police are looking for him, and Paula asks him to go back, because Sam (Rhys Williams) won't hire him. Paula finds Sam unconscious next to Smith. She takes Smith to an inn and calls Biffer, who says Sam is all right.

Sam gets a check for writing an article and asks Paula to marry. They wed and move into a cottage. Dr. Sims (Henry Travers) tells Smith that he has a son. The Vicar brings a telegram from Smith's editor summoning him. Smith packs and says goodbye to Paula. In Liverpool Smith is hit by a car. When he regains consciousness, he says he is Charles Rainier in the war. He realizes he lost three years and goes home, learning his father just died. Relatives have gathered and discuss the will; Charles inherited the house and explains the three years are blank. Young Kitty (Susan Peters) tells Charles that she likes him.

Years later Kitty graduates from college and writes to Charles, who takes over the business. Kitty gets Charles to take her to lunch. He tells her he cares for her; but he still has the key from his past. Paula works as secretary for Charles. He tells her he is getting married and going away for a year. She says her son died. Paula asks Dr. Benet to let her tell Charles; but he advises her not to force it. Paula says she is jealous and needs him. Paula consults a lawyer and goes to a judge to get Smith declared dead to dissolve her marriage. Kitty and Charles plan their wedding, but Kitty decides he is too distant and calls it off. The butler Sheldon tells Paula that he thinks Charles went to Liverpool. Paula goes to Charles to say he is being urged to run for Parliament. They discuss what could have happened twelve years ago. They go to the hotel and find Smith's luggage, but it means nothing to Charles. He is elected and proposes a marriage of friendship with Paula, who tells Dr. Benet of the "merger." Dr. Benet loves Paula and warns she will be hurt.

After three years of marriage Charles gives Paula an emerald necklace and sees the beads that Smith gave her. She says it could be her and asks to travel without him. Paula leaves on a train. Charles accepts the terms of striking workers and recalls the place, going back to the asylum. Regaining his memory, Charles looks for the cottage. Paula learns of it and meets him there, and he remembers her.

In this contrived romantic drama an intelligent man has been psychologically damaged by the shock of war; but the persistence and patience of a woman is able to help him find himself.

Copyright © 2004 by Sanderson Beck

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