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I handled Random Harvest (1942) pretty well this time.


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I think anyone who doesn't love Random Harvest doesn't love classic movies. It's beautifully done, and it has everything, including a strike that our hero settles. And It has that special ambience that is totally gone from the cinema.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I think anyone who doesn't love Random Harvest doesn't love classic movies. It's beautifully done, and it has everything, including a strike that our hero settles. And It has that special ambience that is totally gone from the cinema.

 

So if one loves noirs instead of films dripping with sentimentality, one doesn't love classic movies?    Nonsense.

 

I believe Overeasy said it best:

 

 

"The contemporaneous reviews of Random Harvest were generally harsh.  But I love it for its sentimentality.  Like a minor horror film that you like for its blatant, well, horror, or a mindless chase movie that you like for its sheer energy, I like this movie for its complete and utter sentimentality -- and for the two great leads.  I can't get enough of Garson saying, "Smithy..."

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So if one loves noirs instead of films dripping with sentimentality, one doesn't love classic movies?   

 

That's right, and particularly if one loves noirs (which actually drip with a different variety of sentimentality)!

 

:)

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I think of RH as a splendid example of the higher Hollywood hokum,

one of those studio era flicks with all hands on deck. I watch it

not expecting very much except an enjoyable, over the top,

piece of entertainment, and that's what it delivers.

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That's right, and particularly if one loves noirs (which actually drip with a different variety of sentimentality)!

 

:)

 

Well I'm glad you used that happy face.    I enjoy the film (I had seen it before), but my wife hadn't until this week.   When that final "Smithy..." was said she broke down and reached out to hold my hand.   So I get it.  I was moved. 

 

But this film pushes really close to the edge with it's blatant, over-the-top, unrealistic sentimental goo, so I can see why others would view it as camp.   

 

Just like films like Rancho Notorious and Johnny Guitar push close to the edge as westerns  (and others at this forum have said over the edge).

 

To each his own  (another sentimental film,  ha ha).

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I'm still kind of surprised there hasn't been more of a discussion of Susan Peters, who plays Colmans jilted fiancé in HARVEST.

 

The first time I saw the movie, I was really astounded and blown away by her performance. While there is not much about HARVEST that is believable , she is very much coming from a real place and it is a terrific piece of acting.

 

She earned a well-deserved Oscar nomination for best supporting actress for the film, losing to Teresa Wright in MRS MINIVER.

 

I'm sure many of you know just a short time later she was paralyzed in an accident and her film career more or less came to an end.

 

A sad story, that one.

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To each his own (another sentimental film, ha ha).

Madame X, vol. 527047587342174892476809275873607840576093

 

I always got a kick out of when TCM would run the trailer for To Each His Own, which includes a quote from a Variety review calling the film "atomic-new". No; it's one of the hoariest plots out there.

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Well I'm glad you used that happy face.    I enjoy the film (I had seen it before), but my wife hadn't until this week.   When that final "Smithy..." was said she broke down and reached out to hold my hand.   So I get it.  I was moved. 

 

But this film pushes really close to the edge with it's blatant, over-the-top, unrealistic sentimental goo, so I can see why others would view it as camp.   

 

Just like films like Rancho Notorious and Johnny Guitar push close to the edge as westerns  (and others at this forum have said over the edge).

 

To each his own  (another sentimental film,  ha ha).

 

I don't think it's camp at all. (Camp for me is Barbara Stanwyck's shtick in most of her noir movies.) Random Harvest is classic Hollywood/James Hilton, like Goodbye Mr. ChipsLost Horizon, and others. A.J. Cronin's novels were also made into films of that ilk. These films are obviously not realism -- they're examples of the best of classic Hollywood, the kind of films they can't make anymore.

 

I agree -- to each his own!

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I don't think it's camp at all. (Camp for me is Barbara Stanwyck's shtick in most of her noir movies.) Random Harvest is classic Hollywood/James Hilton, like Goodbye Mr. ChipsLost Horizon, and others. A.J. Cronin's novels were also made into films of that ilk. These films are obviously not realism -- they're examples of the best of classic Hollywood, the kind of films they can't make anymore.

 

I agree -- to each his own!

 

Well one man's camp is another's man classic.  (and note I stated that "OTHERS would view it as camp").

 

I do take my hat off to you for getting in a sling at Stanwyck.    (but I'm not going to take the bait).

 

As for the kind of films they can't make anymore;   it isn't because they can't make them.  It is because few wish to see such films.    But I do find it odd that so many people don't like unrealistic plots and situations, BUT do love special effects,  people fighting each other forever (when any actual human would be down and out), and all the other unrealistic crap in films today.    I'll take unrealistic sentimentality over that stuff.

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I don't think it's camp at all. (Camp for me is Barbara Stanwyck's shtick in most of her noir movies.) Random Harvest is classic Hollywood/James Hilton, like Goodbye Mr. ChipsLost Horizon, and others. A.J. Cronin's novels were also made into films of that ilk. These films are obviously not realism -- they're examples of the best of classic Hollywood, the kind of films they can't make anymore.

 

I agree -- to each his own!

...And, the acting is really good, too. It rises above any over sentimental scenes in the film.

Even though Colman is too old in the beginning, his expression is so heartbreaking when the couple who come to the hospital to find out if he is their son tell the Dr he in fact isn't.

The saddest scene for me was when we first discover Greer is his secretary, and she has that conversation with him in his office about marriage. He asks her "You have a son, don't you?", and she replies "Yes. He died." It's both sad that he doesn't remember they were married and that the boy died.

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...And, the acting is really good, too. It rises above any over sentimental scenes in the film.

Even though Colman is too old in the beginning, his expression is so heartbreaking when the couple who come to the hospital to find out if he is their son tell the Dr he in fact isn't.

The saddest scene for me was when we first discover Greer is his secretary, and she has that conversation with him in his office about marriage. He asks her "You have a son, don't you?", and she replies "Yes. He died." It's both sad that he doesn't remember they were married and that the boy died.

 

The scene with the necklace toward the end of the film is also deeply moving.

 

And, in addition to Susan Peters, what a supporting cast of great character actors! Una O'Connor, Reginald Owen, Bramwell Fletcher, Aubrey Mather, Philip Dorn, Henry Travers, Rhys Williams, Margaret Wycherly, Melville Cooper, Jill Esmond, and, in a heartbreaking moment at the start of the film, Elisabeth Risdon, who realizes, in the asylum, that Colman is not her lost son.

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The scene with the necklace toward the end of the film is also deeply moving.

 

And, in addition to Susan Peters, what a supporting cast of great character actors! Una O'Connor, Reginald Owen, Bramwell Fletcher, Aubrey Mather, Philip Dorn, Henry Travers, Rhys Williams, Margaret Wycherly, Melville Cooper, Jill Esmond, and, in a heartbreaking moment at the start of the film, Elisabeth Risdon, who realizes, in the asylum, that Colman is not her lost son.

I love Elizabeth Risdon, she is the absolute heart and soul of THEODORA GOES WILD.

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I'm still kind of surprised there hasn't been more of a discussion of Susan Peters, who plays Colmans jilted fiancé in HARVEST.

 

The first time I saw the movie, I was really astounded and blown away by her performance. While there is not much about HARVEST that is believable , she is very much coming from a real place and it is a terrific piece of acting.

 

 

Susan Peters was definitely fine.  And, to do justice to her character, she was the one who first realized the futility of the marriage, and broke it off.  But if I consider her performance alone, it would not make this movie watchable for me.  Fine as it is, it's not a big enough role.  Without Colman and Garson, I wouldn't make it through ten minutes of this movie.

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