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11 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Another pointless remake!

Author: Sheila-12
18 July 1999

Anyone who wants to remake "Harvey" better have a very good reason... It's hard to improve on a classic! But the creators of this "Harvey," and the actors in it, are predictably short on vision. The parts are miscast and misinterpreted -- again, how to improve on the original? Some of the choices are baffling -- Mrs. Chumley, a blond bombshell? (And a poor actress to boot?) I thought Nurse Kelly was supposed to be the sexy romantic lead. And who took the edge off Wilson's comic relief? Key parts of the script have been altered, and scenes added and deleted -- Mary Chase's pulitzer material wasn't good enough, apparently. Even Anderson is an embarrassment -- he seems uncomfortable with the project, as well he should be. Do yourself a favor -- boycott the silly remake and see the original!

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10 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Abysmal

Author: creep-weirdo from Loughborough, England
15 August 2001

This truly is a dire, catastrophic mess of a wonderful original. WHY do they have to remake things like this at all? And then castrate them, turning something great into bland pap? The thing that depresses me most of all is that several of the reviewers on here seem to be unaware that the James Stewart original even exists. Pathetic.

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7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

not a patch on the original

1/10
Author: damienstone from United Kingdom
23 March 2007

I was blessedly unaware of this version of the film until today. I am a great lover of the original starring James Stewart, and was today flicking through the TV channels when I came across this remake.

I cannot understand why the film was remade, especially with no real changes, just another cast and filmed in colour. The actor playing Elwood has none of the innocence and charm of James Stewart's portrayal and as far as I can tell is just trying to impersonate Stewart and failing terribly. The ultimate result is farcical, where the original is heart warming. The only scene that has any connection to the original is the taxi driver's speech towards the end, which verges on the magic of the original.

Leslie Neilsen gives a dreadful unconvincing hammy turn as the doctor, and the other actors are similar pantomime-esquire when compared to the 1950 version. If you have not seen the original I urge you not to watch this dreadful imitation first and see the real thing.

Pointless and an insult to the genius of the original.

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9 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Excellent remake of the 1950 classic

Author: Chris Hightower from Dallas, TX
19 July 1999

I happened to catch this on TV the other night. I was pleasantly surprised. The casting choice of Harry Anderson more than did justice to Jimmy Stewart's performance. Credit the director for maintaining the classic ambiance of the film with original dialogue and 1950s set. 4 stars for this heart-felt, oh-so-pleasant remake.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

dreadful television version

1/10
Author: Graham Lindsay from United Kingdom
28 January 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Limp and dire. I fell upon this dreadful TV version being shown one afternoon on ITV1. The brilliant original overflows with abundant warmth, charm, wit, humour and is beautifully acted. Alas the trash that I watched had the heart of the original ripped out of it, it lacked the pace, eccentricity and repeatability that the original film had and the acting seemed one dimensional compared to the outstanding original. So I was utterly disappointed when I watched the television version it is nothing more that TV fodder to fill a gap between two other television programs. Luckily I have a video copy of the original and watched the brilliance of Josephine Hull and James Stewart their performances are such an amazing contrast to the lack luster television production

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Awful!

2/10
Author: fuzzypatters from United States
5 August 2009

I was flipping through the channels and saw this was on this afternoon. It is a very poorly done remake. Many of the lines were so poorly delivered that I got the impression that the actors new it wasn't going to be very good.

On the other hand, I highly recommend the original Jimmy Stewart version. It has all of the charm that this version lacks. Stewart's Dowd cannot help but be loved, while Anderson's Dowd feels wooden, and I ordinarily like Harry Anderson. When watching the original, you find yourself hoping that Harvey is real and you come to love him. In the remake, you find yourself not believing that any of the characters are real. They all come across as actors on a stage acting a part rather than actually being the characters. If you want to see Harvey, do yourself a favor and see the original. This version is not very good.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Just awful

1/10
Author: steve-829-463004 from United States
27 October 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Let me put it this way. I finally registered with IMDb just so I could try to warn others away from this dreck.

Harry Anderson plows through his lines like it's an initial read-through. There's nothing likable about his Dowd, which makes the climactic scene meaningless. He's just an average joe, so the serum at the mental hospital will make him - himself. No big whoop.

There's no chemistry between the doctor and the nurse, no comedy in Wilson. Leslie Nielsen pulls of Dr. Chumley, but he can't save the rest of this mess. But in the end, the whole thing centers around Dowd and Anderson seems like he must be thinking of the paycheck rather than the character. Truly, truly terrible.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Not bad for a TV Movie

Author: Aaron Hassard
16 April 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Well, that ends the run of 8/10's. It was a good run while it lasted, many weeks of happiness but life goes on. WOAH! Don't jump to conclusions, this isn't a bad film, i still enjoyed it, though it wasn't as good as the last few films i've saw recently.

It's basically about Elwood P. Dowd, who has an imaginary friend, a 6ft 8.5 inch tall rabbit called Harvey, who spends his time with Harvey at Charlies Place, he buys theatre tickets for Harvey, a place is set for him at the dinner table, Harvey is Elwoods best friend, but is it time that Elwood woke up and smelt the coffee, that Harvey doesn't really exist?....

Leslie Nielsen stars in this film (if you didn't know, he's one of my favourite actors) i liked his performance, it was funny but i hated his dodgy French accent, he should've kept his usual, striking voice that he is remembered by! Other than that his performance was good.

So overall, a good, enjoyable film, it's not a classic, far from it but, there's nothing wrong with it.

6/10

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Good performances but too stagy

Author: VinnieRattolle from United States
2 March 2007

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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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Not a bad remake, but not as good as the original

7/10
Author: discord43 from United States
16 March 2009

Harry Anderson is a good actor and a good comedian, but he's just not James Stewart. I also love the work of Leslie Nielsen, but unfortunately, he's not Cecil Kellaway, either. This is not a bad remake, though. In fact, it's really quite good. It only fails in comparison to the original. If you have never seen the James Stewart Harvey, then this will seem very good to you. It's funny, and the actors here convey the same intensity and humor that the originals did. It's just that James Steward WAS Elwood P. Dowd, and any other actor.....ANY other actor, will just not be as good. A valiant effort, and a really nice remake, but just not the original at all.

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