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182 of 188 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THEY DON'T MAKE 'EM LIKE THEY USED TO..., December 23, 2001
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This review is from: Random Harvest [VHS] (VHS Tape)
This 1942 five hanky tearjerker garnered seven Academy Award nominations and was the number four box office hit of the year. It is a wonderful, sentimental and romantic love story that captures the heart of the viewer. Corny? Sure, but so what. The film is totally absorbing, fueled by wonderful performances by the velvet voiced Ronald Colman and the beautiful Greer Garson.
The story revolves around a shell shocked, World War I vet (Ronald Colman), who is suffering from amnesia and convalescing in a sanitorium. He simply cannot remember who he is. One day, he simply walks out of that sanatorium and runs into a dance hall entertainer (Greer Garson), who takes a shine to him. Realizing that he has been under a great strain, she looks after him and, before you know it, they fall in love and marry. Now Mr. and Mrs. John Smith, they rent a little cottage in a quaint country village, and he begins a career as a writer. They have a baby boy. All is rosy and well with their world for three years. One day, John travels to Liverpool, where he is struck by a car. The end result is that he remembers who he was before the war, but has no recollection of the last three years.
It turns out that he is wealthy industrialist Charles Rainier. He goes home and takes over the reins of his business. He ultimately engages the services of a wonderful secretary, who turns out to be his wife, though he is unaware of having had any relationship with her, and she does not disclose it to him under advice of the sanatorium psychiatrist, wonderfully played by Phillip Dorn. Steadfast, she patiently waits for the day that he will remember all that they had together.
What happens to them is memorable in this story of love lost and found. It is, no doubt, a highly sentimental and manipulative film, as its intention to tug at one's heart strings and render one immobilized by tears. It definitely succeeds in that department. It is also hugely entertaining. They certainly don't make 'em as they used to. All in all, a wonderful film. Fans of Ronald Colman and Greer Garson will love it, as will all those who love classic films.
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 20, 2008 3:23:53 AM PDT
This review is helpful in giving the core of the story, but it fails, I believe, to convey the depth of understanding that exists between the two main characters, without the Colman character having any conscious awareness of his previous relationship. But the review still gives enough towhet one's appetite. As a final comment, the film give a wonderful appreciation of the damage of war and its effects upon the psychology of the soldier, of trauma and recovery, and of the psychology of amnesiaand unconscious awareness. Hilton, in this and in other films and novels, was far ahead of his time in informing the psychological/psychiatric community of the nature of post traumatic stress disorder. A wonderful film on so many levels.

Posted on Sep 19, 2012 5:31:17 PM PDT
An Old-Timer says:
Reviews like yours make me cringe wondering if you'll stop laying out the plot before you get too close to the end. It's like loving a movie to death (of course, I have seen it before).

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 6, 2014 4:02:10 PM PST
Bonnie says:
Actually, he/she didn't do very well. I came away from the review confused. Had to read it 2-3 times and still don't understand!!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 6, 2014 6:46:46 PM PST
An Old-Timer says:
Tova - I can't think of anything to simplify the plot - try to think of it as a man who led two different lives, at different times, without realizing it.

Posted on May 8, 2015 7:47:52 PM PDT
Live4Him says:
You just ruined the movie by giving it or most of it away. Let people be surprised by the plot instead of telling it all.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 19, 2016 2:15:46 PM PST
v parisi says:
Well when people start giving a detailed synopsis like this pointless reviewer stop reading.
They enjoy ruining films for people.
They give away surprises and the best lines in comedies.
You wished they hadn't learned to write or talk even.
Fortunately I knew nothing of the plot of this film when I saw it. Just saw the cast and decided to watch it.
Also I like the fact it opened at Radio City as the Christmas movie and was such a huge success, in a 6,000 seat theater, it played until March!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 19, 2016 2:38:25 PM PST
An Old-Timer says:
Sometimes if a movie is going to be a hard slog to get through, it is helpful to look at the synopsis before starting and I have been guilty of that, but, on the other hand, a movie like this should not be spoiled by having advance warning of all the lovely twists and turns of the story. I have no interest in the plot of "Citizen Kane" and haven't read any synopsis, and I get rather tired of Orson Welles' blustering bullying antics, so haven't seen the whole film straight through, but must say it has a lot of things to recommend it, besides Welles, that shouldn't be missed, and that goes for a lot of other movies I have little taste for.
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