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Harvey (1950)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy | 13 October 1950 (USA)
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Due to his insistence that he has an invisible six foot-tall rabbit for a best friend, a whimsical middle-aged man is thought by his family to be insane - but he may be wiser than anyone knows.

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Writers:

(from the Pulitzer Prize Play by), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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4,000 ( 93)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
William H. Lynn ...
Judge Omar Gaffney (as William Lynn)
...
...
Grayce Mills ...
Mrs. Ethel Chauvenet (as Grace Mills)
...
Harvey ...
Himself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Eccentric Man (scenes deleted)
Jack Curtis ...
(scenes deleted)
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Storyline

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. Written by Dale Roloff

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Wonderful Pulitzer Prize Play... becomes one of the Great Motion Pictures of our Time!

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Fantasy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

13 October 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mein Freund Harvey  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)| (Dolby 5.1)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

James Stewart later declared in an interview that Josephine Hull had the most difficult role in the film, since she had to believe and not believe in the invisible rabbit ... at the same time. See more »

Goofs

At the end of the movie when Harvey is supposed to be in the porch swing, you can see that someone is pulling a string on the arm of the swing to make the swing change its motion. See more »

Quotes

Mr. Cracker, the Bartender: [to Wilson] One more peep outta you, weisenheimer, and I'll butter your necktie.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the very end Harvey opens a door and the words at the bottom of the screen say "Harvey as Himself." See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Cuckoo on a Choo Choo (1952) See more »

Soundtracks

Waltz No. 1 in D-Flat Major, Op. 64, Minute Waltz
(uncredited)
Music by Frédéric Chopin
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
"I recommend pleasant, you may quote me"
2 December 2005 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

James Stewart became so identified with the role of Elwood P. Dowd in Harvey that few today are aware that he did not introduce the part. It was originally done on Broadway by Frank Fay. Whereas Stewart emphasized the whimsical in Dowd, Fay purportedly leaned towards the alcoholic of which he had enough personal experience.

Fay left the play and Stewart was brought in and it literally rejuvenated the play. I'm sure it helped to have a big movie name go on Broadway to help sales, but when word of mouth and the rave reviews of the critics got out, the play turned from a hit to a classic.

Only two players from the original Broadway cast made it to the big screen version, Josephine Hull as Elvetia Simmons, Stewart's sister and Jesse White as Wilson the attendant from the mental sanitarium with the 'dynamic personality'. Jesse White was in Hollywood to stay after that and entertained us for decades.

Josephine Hull got to do two of her stage roles for the screen, this one and one of the Brewster sisters in Arsenic and Old Lace. Diametrically opposite parts too. She's a crazy Brewster who poisons lonely old men in one film. And in the other she's the normal sister with an eccentric brother who sees and talks to a six foot white rabbit. Is she losing her marbles also? Well she does confess that at times Elwood makes Harvey so real to her that she's seen him herself.

But it's a big burden on Ms. Hull having Stewart around. She's a widow with a young daughter. Victoria Horne, who she'd like to get into society and meet some eligible and propertied young men. Not likely to happen if she has a crazy uncle around. It's time to take Elwood off to the Mental Institution for a little reality shock.

Of course in his own way and with each of them differently Stewart deceptively works his charm on the staff. He intrigues Cecil Kellaway the head of the institution, he baffles Charles Drake another psychiatrist, and he totally charms Nurse Peggy Dow.

After a while you start to wonder just who is the crazy one in this film. But then again that's what author Mary Chase was trying to convey. Stewart even brings Jesse White somewhat around, no easy task as you will find out in viewing the film.

Stewart revived Harvey in the early seventies with Helen Hayes playing his sister. The revival was a great success. In the post sixties age of the hippies, Stewart was the original drop out from society. And he did it without any cannabis or other narcotic.

Of course it's nice to be somewhat financially secure to be able to do this. We'd all like to though and that is the secret of Harvey's enduring appeal.


37 of 50 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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