An unlikely hero, Elwood P. Dowd. This mild-mannered-but-eccentric bachelor has, for several years, happily kept company with Harvey, a six-foot-tall rabbit that only he can see. All's well... See full summary »

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Cast

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Lisa Akey ...
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Robert Wisden ...
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Alex Ferguson ...
Zabladowski
Sheila Moore ...
Sheelah Megill ...
Miss Tewksbury
Robin Kelly ...
Mrs. Greenwalt
Ingrid Tesch ...
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Storyline

An unlikely hero, Elwood P. Dowd. This mild-mannered-but-eccentric bachelor has, for several years, happily kept company with Harvey, a six-foot-tall rabbit that only he can see. All's well until Elwood's social-climbing sister, Veta, and her teenage daughter, Myrtle Mae, come to live with him and fear his odd behavior will undermine their ambitions. When Elwood disrupts the ladies' first afternoon tea party by introducing wealthy Aunt Ethel Chauvenet to Harvey, Veta sees that something must be done right away. She takes compliant Elwood to the Chumley Rest Home, leaving him in the car while she tells a Dr. Sanderson all about Elwood and Harvey. Sanderson concludes that Veta is the psychotic one and has her carted off to be committed. Meanwhile Elwood is treated with respect and dignity in light of his sister's mental state. When Dr. Chumley, head of the rest home, returns and hears of the case, he draws the opposite conclusion-that Elwood in fact hallucinates. After firing Sanderson ... Written by Echo Bridge Home Entertainment

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Fantasy

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1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El invisible Harvey  »

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1.33 : 1
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Filmed in 1996 but not broadcast until 1999. See more »

Connections

Version of Mein Freund Harvey (1970) See more »

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User Reviews

Good performances but too stagy
2 March 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I've wanted to see the old version of Harvey for years, but I always seem to miss it, so I snagged the DVD of this when I found it. I like Harry Anderson far more than Jimmy Stewart, so I thought I'd like this version better anyway... but it left me really wanting to see the original. This one was likable, but something was more than a little amiss.

As the film ended, I noticed it was dated 1996, and after seeing it, I can understand why it was shelved for three years. Most of the performances are top-notch (particularly Swoosie Kurtz, who devours the scenery whole) and would have worked beautifully on the stage. On film, however, it barely works. The screenplay seems to have been too closely adapted from the stage version, with stilted wording, awkward pauses for audience laughter and completely unrealistic dialog that simply doesn't flow on film. The direction was competent, but neither the acting nor direction could make up for the script's shortcomings.

Which brings me back to the acting. Leslie Nielsen was completely and utterly miscast as the wacky German doctor -- most likely for his name value. His performance in this film was almost painful to watch, and the actions of his character were virtually senseless. The rest of the cast, however, were perfect for their roles. Anderson exudes charm as Elwood P. Dowd, Kurtz stole every scene as his sister, Jessica Hecht was just smarmy enough as the nurse -- even Jonathan Banks was wonderful in an over-billed cameo as a cab driver. It's just a shame that they weren't given a better script to work with.

I didn't dislike this film, but I'd hoped to like it more than I did. I surmise that this is a prime example of why the classics shouldn't be remade.


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