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.
This year’s Film Preservation Blogathon has a Hitchcock connection, click here to read all about it, thus I decided to write about Shadow of a Doubt. Partly because it is my favorite Hitchcock film and partly because today is Joseph Cheshire Cotten’s birthday. It’s a win-win. Look for the banner at the end of this post to donate to the cause.
I couldn’t possibly say everything I’d like to say about this film. In fact, when I started out setting up this post I found myself wanting to talk about so many aspects of this film I had to stop myself and pick my very favorite characters and scenes to focus on. It’s A Wonderful Life is one of my Top Ten Favorite Films of All-Time. I’ve watched it every year on Christmas Eve since I was a little girl. I’ve also watched it countless times throughout the years at other times as well. It’s a perfect film, that stands up to viewing after viewing after viewing. I just love it so much. It was nominated for five Academy Awards, winning none: Best Sound, Best Film Editing, Best Actor Jimmy Stewart, Best Director and Best Picture. It was up against The Chronicle History of King Henry the Fift with His Battell Fought at Agincourt in France, The Razor’s Edge, The Yearling and winner The Best Years of Our Lives.