James Stewart stars as Elwood P. Dowd, whose constant companion is Harvey, a six-foot tall invisible rabbit. To his sister, his obsession with Harvey has been a thorn in her plans to marry ... See full summary »
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
Henry Koster and James Stewart discovered that they worked extremely well together. Koster said later that working with Stewart was "without any doubt one of the most pleasant experiences of my life...It must have been his spirit. There was very little friction, ever, only ambition and craftsmanship and precision, just doing it right professionally. On top of that he put the whipped cream of great talent...He was always the first on the set." See more »
Elwood's hands change position when Dr. Sanderson 'meets' Harvey. See more »
"I always have a wonderful time, wherever I am, whoever I'm with".
A wonderful comedy-drama starring the immensely talented James Stuart as kind hearted Elwood P. Dowd, a man who has refused to be ruled by life. The brilliance of this film is the subtlety of the story and the layers of the character. Under the polite veneer of fifties Hollywood conventions, Harvey has a decidedly dark undercurrent, one that deals with alcoholism, loneliness and rejection. Not that this should deter you from enjoying the many comic scenarios that Harvey throws at the viewer during the course of the film, as this is definitely a comedy gem. But the truth and beauty behind what Elwood is saying only make the entire package all the more exquisite, like putting chocolate on a donut.
The most beautiful scene I've seen in any film is the scene in which Elwood explains how Harvey has enriched his life, though the people who are listening to the story doubt Harvey's existence, thus doubting Elwood's sanity, the words of his speech, coupled with the delivery of Stuart's performance are so touching and true that even the most jaded audience will be won over into believing Harvey to be real. The enjoyment that Elwood now gets from life, the wonderful times he has, wherever he is, whoever he's with, is the kind of enjoyment everyone strives to achiever from life. This is bygone film-making at it's best; Stuart is such a joy to watch that you'll remember this film for a long time after viewing. With fine support from all the actors, this is one film that truly deserves its classic status.
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