Albert Van Maaster: What shall it be sir?
Henry Taggart: Black coffee.
Albert Van Maaster: And?
Henry Taggart: And hurry!
Albert Van Maaster: What about your lunch?
Henry Taggart: What about my coffee?
Albert Van Maaster: Well, coffee’s no lunch! Coffee contains no calories, no nourishment. . .
Henry Taggart: That’s right, and I want a large cup of it!
I first saw this movie a few years back on TCM and it destroyed me. I saw it recently at the Castro Theatre and I guess I had forgotten a few things about it because there were whole plot twists I didn’t remember and it destroyed me all over again. If you haven’t seen this film before, beware I will be discussing some of the film’s major plot twists. Random Harvest came out the same year as arguably Greer Garson’s most famous film – Mrs. Miniver – as such, she was nominated (an won) Best Actress for playing the titular role in that film, and was ineligible to be nominated for her performance in this film. Regardless, the film was nominated for seven Academy Awards, though it failed to win any: Best Score, Best B&W Art Direction, Best Writing Screenplay (this was a third category, and is not analogous to the Best Original or Best Adapted Screenplay categories we have now), Best Supporting Actress Susan Peters, Best Actor Ronald Coleman, Best Director Mervyn LeRoy and Best Picture. The other films nominated for Best Picture that year were 49th Parallel, Kings Row, The Magnificent Ambersons, The Pied Piper, The Pride of the Yankees, The Talk of the Town, Wake Island, Yankee Doodle Dandy and winner Mrs. Miniver.
George M. Cohan: Mr. President, I’ve just begun to earn this medal. It’s quite a thing.
The President: Well, it’s the best material we could find, what with priorities and all.
George M. Cohan: Goodbye, sir. And I want you to know, I’m not the only one that’s grateful. My mother thanks you, my father thanks you, and my sister thanks you, and I assure you, I thank you.
Narrator: Something had happened. A thing which, years ago, had been the eagerest hope of many, many good citizens of the town, and now it had come at last; George Amberson Minafer had got his comeuppance. He got it three times filled, and running over. But those who had so longed for it were not there to see it, and they never knew it. Those who were still living had forgotten all about it and all about him.
I have been walking onto ball fields for sixteen years, and I’ve never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans. I have had the great honor to have played with these great veteran ballplayers on my left – Murderers’ Row, our championship team of 1927. I have had the further honor of living with and playing with these men on my right – the Bronx Bombers, the Yankees of today. I have been given fame and undeserved praise by the boys up there behind the wire in the press box, my friends, the sportswriters. I have worked under the two greatest managers of all time, Miller Huggins and Joe McCarthy. I have a mother and father who fought to give me health and a solid background in my youth. I have a wife, a companion for life, who has shown me more courage than I ever knew. People all say that I’ve had a bad break. But today…today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.