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Harvey (1950)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  13 October 1950 (USA)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 39,126 users  
Reviews: 184 user | 61 critic

Because of his insistence that his companion is an invisible six-foot rabbit, a whimsical middle-aged man is thought by his family to be insane - but the man might be wiser than anyone knows.

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(from the Pulitzer Prize Play by), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: Harvey (1950)

Harvey (1950) on IMDb 8.1/10

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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 ...
Charles Drake ...
...
Victoria Horne ...
Jesse White ...
William H. Lynn ...
Judge Gaffney (as William Lynn)
Wallace Ford ...
Nana Bryant ...
Grayce Mills ...
Mrs. Ethel Chauvenet (as Grace Mills)
Clem Bevans ...
Mr. Herman Shimelplatzer
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

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 October 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Harvey  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First film project of Fess Parker. See more »

Goofs

Elwood's hands change position when Dr. Sanderson 'meets' Harvey. See more »

Quotes

Veta Louise Simmons: As I was going down to the taxi cab to get Elwood's things, this awful man stepped out. He was a white slaver, I know he was. He was wearing one of those white suits, that's how they advertise.
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 Sam and Max: Moai Better Blues (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Waltz No. 1 in D-Flat Major, Op. 64, Minute Waltz
(uncredited)
Written by Frederic Francois 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.


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