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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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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Josephine Hull ...
Peggy Dow ...
...
...
Victoria Horne ...
...
William H. Lynn ...
Judge Omar Gaffney (as William Lynn)
...
Nana Bryant ...
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

Though James Stewart's character, Elwood P. Dowd, may certainly be referred to as an alcoholic, only at one time in the entire picture is he seen taking a drink. This is because the Hollywood Production Code at the time would not allow him to be shown getting drunk on film. See more »

Goofs

Books on the second shelf up from the bottom in Elwood's library change position throughout the movie. See more »

Quotes

Elwood P. Dowd: Years ago, my mother used to say to me, she'd say "In this world, Elwood, you can be oh so so smart, or oh so pleasant." Well, for years I was smart... I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.
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

Referenced in Nostalgia Critic: Paranoia: DVD (2013) 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

 
Magical
10 December 2003 | by (Texas) – See all my reviews

I have read that James Stewart considered Elwood P. Dowd his most personally significant role. In a career that spanned decades and included such great works at It's a Wonderful Life and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, choosing Harvey's friend, Elwood, as his personal favorite says something about rather powerful about Mr. Stewart and Mr. Dowd.

James Stewart was a down to earth, decent man whose personal life was as honorable as the lives of George Bailey and Jefferson Smith - but he admired Elwood P. Dowd, an alcoholic dreamer with an invisible giant white rabbit as his best friend. Not what you would expect of a man who piloted B-17's and led giant raids over Germany in WWII.

Elwood's attraction for us is perhaps what attracted him so much to James Stewart. Elwood is happy with himself and his life and even more importantly, he makes others happy with their lives. That is the great magic of Elwood and Harvey: they make others happy and they bring peace and a measure of contentment to almost everyone who know them.

I have seen another version of Harvey with Art Carney and it was quite good, but lacked the sense of magic that is a benediction in this version of Harvey. In the Carney version, you can see Harvey - he is a giant white rabbit - and seeing Harvey takes much of the magic away. When you watch Jimmy Stewart, you never really know if Harvey is real or not. You know that Elwood thinks he is real and you know that Elwood's family thinks Elwood is crazy. After watching for a while, you don't really care if Harvey is real. Elwood is real and it is his belief in Harvey and what Harvey represents to him that endows him with such sweet and gentle charm. Harvey is his rejection of the harshness and materialism of the world.

Harvey is a charming, magical masterpiece of kindness and goodness that somehow never becomes maudlin. Elwood and Harvey do not feel sorry for themselves and they most certainly do not expect you to feel sorry for them either. If anything, Elwood feels sorry for the rest of the world and he does not understand how everyone can't see as clearly as he does. For in his world, we are all brothers who should love as generously and kindly as Mr. Stewart's Elwood P. Dowd.




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