At the close of World War I, shell-shocked amnesia victim Ronald Colman is sequestered in a London sanitarium; with no identity and no next of kin, he has nowhere else to go. Unable to stand the loneliness, Colman wanders into the streets, then stumbles into a music hall, where he is befriended by good-natured entertainer Greer Garson. That Colman and Garson fall in love and marry should surprise no one; what is surprising, at least to Colman, is that he discovers that he has a talent for writing. Three years pass: while in Liverpool to sell one of his stories, Colman is struck down by a speeding car. When he comes to, he has gained full memory of his true identity; alas, he has completely forgotten both Garson and their child. Returning to his well-to-do relatives, Colman takes over the family business. Having lost her child, the distraught Garson seeks out the missing Colman. Psychiatrist Philip Dorn helps Garson, advising her that to reveal her identity may prove a fatal shock for her husband. To stay near him all the same, Garson takes a job as Colman's secretary. "Strangely" attracted to Garson, Colman falls in love with her all over again. Will there be yet another memory lapse? Under normal circumstances, we wouldn't believe a minute of Random Harvest, but the magic spell woven by the stars and by author James Hilton (Lost Horizon, Goodbye Mr. Chips etc.) transforms the wildly incredible into the wholly credible (just one quibble: isn't Colman a bit long in tooth as a "young" World War I veteran?) The film was one of MGM's biggest hits in 1942--indeed, one of the biggest in the studio's history.
by Hal Erickson synopsis