Film: Random Harvest

Random Harvest is a 1942 film based on a 1941 novel by James Hilton. It stars Ronald Colman and Greer Garson.

"John Smith", an amnesiac soldier in the First World War, wanders away from the asylum he is confined to when the gatekeepers abandon their posts to join a party celebrating the end of the war. He meets Paula, a singer, and they leave the town and go to a village in Devon where they marry and have a son. Then he goes to Liverpool for a job interview, is hit by a car, and comes to with his original memories restored, but his memories of his life with Paula forgotten...

Random Harvest provides examples of:

  • Amnesiac Hero: John Smith/Charles Rainier. Unlike most examples, he can't remember his own name, and when he regains his original memories, he can't remember his other name.
  • Amnesiac Lover: John/Charles can't remember who Paula is, even when she comes to work for him. She doesn't tell him who she really is, though.
  • Death of the Hypotenuse: Kitty, in the book.
  • Easy Amnesia: John Smith loses his memory in the trenches, then regains it in a car accident.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Kitty, when she realises John/Charles is still in love with someone else (even though he doesn't know he is).
  • Spared by the Adaptation: In the book, Kitty dies. In the film, she goes travelling.