The next film that we are featuring in this series is Random Harvest. This MGM movie starred Ronald Colman and Greer Garson and was released in the U.S. on December 17, 1942. It was nominated for seven Oscar awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, but lost out to another film, Mrs. Miniver (Garson won the Best Actress Oscar for her performance in that film.) This post is to recognize the 72nd anniversary of the release of Random Harvest in Japan on this day in 1947 (July 8).
The movie, set at the end of World War I, is about a soldier, known only as Smith, who is living in an English asylum with shell-shock and amnesia. When he wanders into the nearby town, he meets a music hall entertainer named Paula Ridgeway. They marry, and he becomes a writer. While trying to sell a story in Liverpool, “Smithy” gets hit by a car and is knocked unconscious. When he comes to, he remembers his life before the war, as aristocrat Charles Rainier, but not his current wife and child. Of course, there are twists and turns to the story as Paula figures out how to reconnect with her lost husband.
One way to find out how the story turned out is to listen to the radio broadcast adaptation of the movie, either here or here. You will hear the actual lead actors reprising their roles from the film.
One of the Prange Collection holdings, Kokoro no tabiji : Screen kokusai tokushu-go/心の旅路 : Screen kokusai 特輯號 (Prange Call No. PN-0228a), features the movie. It includes a detailed synopsis of the film, as well as biographies of the actors. This book has been digitized. In addition to being available in digital form at the University of Maryland, it is also available onsite at the National Diet Library of Japan (NDL) through NDL’s Digital Collection.
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