The classic stage hit gets the Hollywood treatment in the story of Elwood P. Dowd who makes friends with a spirit taking the form of a human-sized rabbit named Harvey that only he sees (and a few privileged others on occasion also.) After his sister tries to commit him to a mental institution, a comedy of errors ensues. Elwood and Harvey become the catalysts for a family mending its wounds and for romance blossoming in unexpected places.
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"In this world you've either got to be oh so smart or oh so pleasant. Iwas smart for years. I recommend pleasant."Harvey, Jimmy Stewart, Universal International Pictures. All of thesewarm, charming, phony, & dead. The sweetness of the film comes from itsrefreshing, if naive, optimism about human nature. Stewart rattles offa few truly poetic monologues about Harvey that seemingly boost thefilm's gravitas, but when you really lay the film on the slab, itappears irresponsibly simple-minded. What is Elwood P. Dowd's secretexactly? That alcoholism is a noble enterprise so long as it is pursuedwithin the context of building fellowship? That, in trying to bepleasant, you can deftly avoid pain? It's sweet like all stories thatsay, gee, wouldn't the world be swell if everyone were just nicer toeveryone else, but such stories have no business posturing as humanistor even adult fiction, as "Harvey" presumptuously does. How is it that Dowd doesn't get "spiffed" with all the drinking hedoes? Where is his belligerent side? Why doesn't he have to work? It'salways amazed me how easy it is for jobless movie characters to tip cabdrivers and the like. Where does Dowd get all his drinking money from?You may think I am quibbling, but the degree of seriousness with whichI regard this film stem from the seriousness of the film's own subjectmatter. Don't tell me it isn't serious. That really it's just about asix foot rabbit and a bit silly and leave it at that. "Harvey" isnothing short of alcoholic apologetics. Sure, it's okay if there isnothing more to your life than drinking and making friends, because,hey that's what Dowd does and isn't Dowd happy?I bring this up to argue that the film is problematic, not (merely)socially but aesthetically. Nevermind Harvey. Why can't Dowd be real?Strip away just a layer of that affected civility and let me see somerepressed hostility and pathological loneliness. As is, all he does isdrink, introduce himself to people, and politely invite them to dinnerto the chagrin of his sister. That's it. That's the totality of hisbeing. And he's the moral compass of the film. More than that, he's ashaman! Throw a little tension, a dash of denial into the character andsuddenly you've got a strikingly touching individual. Still with thesweetness and politeness and the rabbit and all of it, but also withweakness and contradiction and all of the other wonderful things thatmake us human.Anyway, I've babbled on a bit too long and I really must bring this toa close. It's good enough, really. Stewart is great at being asweetheart. But if you want a real treat, I'd do a doubleheader,following this up with Hitchcock's Vertigo. That way you get to see thedark side of Stewart's aww-shucks persona and it'll provide aspringboard for fantasizing about how great it would have been if theyhad the guts to make the movie about a guy and his six-foot rabbitspirit a bit more realistic.
This review is from: Harvey (DVD) The movie arrived on time in perfect condition. This is a classic that I will cherish for years. It is so amusing how Jimmy Stewart makes "Harvey" so real.
This review is from: Harvey (DVD) One does not necesarily have to appreciate a successful stage play conversion to this 1950 film starring Jimmy Steward (Academy Award nomination performance), Josephine Hull (Received Academy Award for her performance), and many other recognizable character actors to enjoy this film. A fantasy plot of a 'pooka' (fairy) in rabbit form who befriends Jimmy Stewart's character and spooks other disbelieving relatives, society acquaitances and sanitorium hospital staff. A light hearted and fun look at the social stigmas and bias associated with unconventional, harmless adult behavior.
I loved this fanciful movie as a child and really believed Harvey was right there, and I could even see him in my mind's eye. As my daughter was growing up I introduced her to Jimmy Stewart and Harvey, and she fell in love with it, too. This year, in this time of fantastic computer graphics that has replaced simpler times and virtually done away with imagination, I bought the old film for my grandchildren. Children will always be dreamers. They got it!
Harvey is one of the great comedy films of all time. Superb and greatlyenhanced by the performance of James Stewart, who is terrific as ever. Great caricatures of Elwood's sister and the Judge as well, along with thepsychiatrist Dr Chumley. Elwood says there are two routes in life: be smartor be pleasant; he recommends pleasant. Let's all toast to that, and to MrStewart, who is greatly missed in the world of movies.
This review is from: Harvey (Amazon Instant Video) Harvey is a classic stage play that was put on film. I wish there were more movies like this available in theaters now. Obtained it for my grandchildren to view to show that movies actually can have a plot and be funny without gratuitous violence, car chases and sex.
a whimsical tale about a man and his maybe fake sidekick, a 7 foot tall rabbit named HarveyIt's a fantasy movie that is built around an adult with an imginary friend, instead of the usual childStewart's charm makes this movie work
This review is from: Harvey (DVD) Love the story. Like all of the movies with James Stewart that I have seen. He does a great job of making you beleave there really is a rabbit next to him.
This review is from: Harvey (DVD) This was so special; I didn't remember how good this movie was but we spent a most enjoyable evening watching this.
HarveyGreat classic! Nice to have it on DVD. Thanks for making these old films available!
This review is from: Harvey (DVD) Oh wow! I have been looking for this DVD for a long time. I LOVE this movie. Jimmy at his best. It is an old movie but still a great one. You will not regret watching it. So Funny!!!
So I watched 1950's Harvey. Well is it a "classic", well yeah. Is itperfectly adapted for 60 years after its release well no, but its stillreally good. The foundation of this classic, lies in the greatperformance of Jimmy Stewart, combined with a good story, and memorablescenes. My favorite scene is near the end when Jimmy Stewart talksabout all the people he meets everyday in an alley behind a bar. Couldthis movie be remade, well yeah, I would like to see a 21st centuryHarvey, but will people today like Harvey circa 1950, well I hope I amnot alone in saying yes! if you like concise reviews of interestingfilms please read my other reviews athttp://raouldukeatthemovies.blogspot.com/
This review is from: Harvey (DVD) I have loved this movie since I was a kid and kept meaning to buy it once DVD's were invented(yes I am OLD) anyhow, its a heartwarming and funny tale and its something the whole family can watch with no embarassment and though its an old black and white film movie( some of the best ones are) its timeless in its application of human reactions and life situations. Yes you can tell it was made long ago, and yet, it surprisingly is fresh and very focused on the human condition which never really changes. In the end, you are always wondering, did he exist? or was it just a mental aberration? I like that the film makers left that to it's audience. Its about a magical puka ( Harvey) a 6ft tall rabbit who accompanies a man of many complexities, though he seems simple, he is clearly deep and thoughtful. I only wish I knew someone like that and even if they did have questionable mental state, what a pleasant person to be around. Jimmy Stewart was a great actor and though gone, never forgotten, this was to me, clearly one of his best efforts. Get it and enjoy, I know I did.
This review is from: Harvey (Amazon Instant Video) Harvey is a rare beast - an invisible rabbit called a "pooka". In the movie one of the characters looks up the term in the dictionary and finds it defined as "A mischiveous spirit in animal form, always very large. (He) appears here and there, now and then, to this one and that one. (He is) Very fond of rumpots, crackpots, and how are you Mr. Wilson?" Harvey and his best friend, Elwood P. Dowd (Jimmy Stewart) spend their days pleasantly and harmlessly enjoying themselves, generally over a martini (or often several). Unfortunately, Elwood is the only one who actually can see Harvey, making those around him doubt his sanity. Because of this, his family plans to have him committed. In the course of this undertaking, however, Harvey and Elwood, simply by being themselves, reveal to the family, their friends, and even the staff at the hospital what really constitutes a happy and fulfilling life.Harvey also is a rare beast because it is a spectacularly funny comedy without a hint of sexual, exploitive, or "toilet" humor. It is sprinkled with classic lines that become even funnier every time you hear them ("Doctor, I've wrestled with reality for thirty-five years and I'm happy to say that I finally won out over it.") By the end of the movie the viewer actually comes to envy Elwood, and wish for a Harvey of their own. For those of us who do, "...miracles are leaning on lampposts at Fifth and Fairfax".P.S. A dozen years ago, my future wife and I began dating because we both had seen (and fallen in love with) this movie. Since that time our bond to the movie as well as to each other has only grown stronger.
that's a general rule of thumb. The biggest craze in the eighties ruined every movie it could with coloring the classics. This was truely James Stewart's best film. If you can find the black and white version, i suggest you get that instead. Color doesn't change the plot. This movie comes from when special effects were so crude that a plot need to be involved unlike Jurassic Park. Although imaginary lizards is a funny thought, a Pooka translates over the story better. If your new to James Stewart films, this is the first to own. Follow it up with Mr. Smith goes to Washington, and The Man who shot Libery Vallence(my second personal favorite Stewart flick). Then work your way through Hitchcock.
What a fantastic movie! I have seen it many times, and adore it more eachtime. This movie finally made my husband realize that movies don't have tobe in color to be good. Even my children love it. The comedy, the script,the acting...all timeless. And Harvey was the first movie I saw starringJames Stewart, and now I am hooked. I strongly urge everyone to rent it assoon as possible!
Mary Chase adapted her Pulitzer Prize-winning play about a small towneccentric whose best friend is a six-foot three-inch rabbit namedHarvey (whom only he can see). In the lead, James Stewart doesn'tdeviate from his popular movie persona--that of an amiably befuddled,nervously chattering man with his head in the clouds--and he's forcedto carry this heavy whimsy a long way (having his character be a knowndrunk as well certainly doesn't help; Stewart bumbles about enough asit is). Josephine Hull won a Supporting Oscar for reprising her stagerole as Stewart's exasperated sister who wants her brother committed.Stagy, overlong comedy with sentimental trappings congeals on thescreen, despite a large number of professional critics who think veryhighly of it. ** from ****
Just a great way to spend an afternoon. Jimmy Stewart is terrific as always as Elwood P. Dowd. It is amazing what can happen when you let your imagination take over.
I don't believe I've ever seen the play performed, and this is the onlyfilmed version that I've watched. This is a screwball comedy ofmanners(if you don't know what those terms mean, think like a sit-com,and jokes about the upper class), partially set at the world's mostunderstaffed mental institution. The humor can get rude, has bits offast talking, and it is pretty funny, although there are silly mix-upsand stuff that doesn't mean or affect anything(and was 100 minutes notenough to tie up all those plot threads?), and it gets to be over thetop at times; it also occasionally tries too hard and falls flat. As Ikind of expected, this is sappy here and there. Stewart is the realanchor, the one that keeps it from floating away in pure goofiness; heis the image of innocence, and the choice was made to not show this asa detriment to himself(as it undoubtedly would be, today; we are livingin a more cynical era, and messages such as this one, as excessivelysentimental as its presentation is on occasion in this, are worthkeeping in mind). The pace is largely speedy. It's well-shot andedited. The acting is well-done, and fits the purpose. Given when itwas released, this is a little sexist. There isn't much offensivecontent, other than a disturbing idea or two that are treated ratherlightly. The DVD comes with a 7 minute intro by James(arguably withminor spoilers) and a trailer. I recommend this to those who can seethemselves liking the concept. 8/10
The movie is wonderful. I think we all need a Harvey once in while. I sawthis movie as a child on TV and have never forgotit. I even named my fish Harvey at one time in my life.Feelgood movie. We need more of them. What is wrong with alittleimagination! Make believe!