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Elwood P. Dowd (James Stewart) and his best friend Harvey are inseparable. They go everywhere together, spreading warmth and kindness throughout all the bars in town. The only trouble is that Harvey is a 'Pooka' - a six foot-plus rabbit that only Elwood can see. When Elwood and Harvey embarass the former's social-climbing sister Veta Louise (an Oscar-winning Josephine Hull) once too often, she finally opts to get Elwood the treatment she thinks he needs, and arranges to have him installed in the local mental asylum. However, Harvey's unseen but ever-felt presence ensures that all does not go according to plan.
It's always a small surprise to revisit this movie and realize what a subtly dark performance James Stewart gives as an alcoholic who claims he keeps company with a six-foot-tall, invisible rabbit. As Elwood P. Dowd, the actor emits a faint whiff of decay and spirits, yet Stewart also embraces Dowd's romanticism and grace with splendid ease. Based on a hit play and directed by Henry Koster, the film is terribly funny at times, especially whenever Elwood decides it's only polite to introduce Harvey to complete strangers. The supporting cast can't be beat. --Tom Keogh
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Top Customer Reviews
Veta Louise Simmons (Josephine Hull) hopes to arrange a wonderful marriage for daughter Myrtle May (Victoria Horne) in the upper echelons of society. There's one problem: her wealthy brother Elwood P. Dowd (James Stewart) has an imaginary pal, a six-foot-three rabbit called Harvey. After Elwood accidently wrecks a party by introducing Harvey to everyone, Veta decides to have him committed.
Unfortunately, when Veta takes Elwood to the sanatorium, the staff come to think that the fluttery socialite is crazy, and is trying to get her sunny brother out of the way. So they lock her up, and let him go. After that mistake is straightened out, the psychiatric staff and Elwood's long-suffering family try to find him.... and Harvey.
If we ever saw Elwood P. Dowd ("Here, let me give you one of my cards") in a car, the bumper sticker would probably say, "Reality is highly overrated." The big theme of the movie is that reality can be harsh, and that it's not necessarily a bad thing to lapse out of it into the fantasies of our own minds. If Elwood isn't dangerous and is otherwise normal, who cares if he has an imaginary friend?
Is Harvey real? The film leaves that up to our imaginations. And in the end, it doesn't matter if Harvey is a figment of Elwood's imagination, or a friendly spirit. It's the effect he has on Elwood that is important.Read more ›
Now it has come out on DVD, it'll be all the more worth it buying this title, for its one that anyone can enjoy.
The dialogue is at times stunning. There is not a better film around. I recommend it to you. However many times you watch it ...and I think you will watch it many times there is always something new to spot and delight in. I can't quite remember whether I actually saw Harvey or not ...I guess it depends how much you believe ...
James Stewart is wonderful,giving his best performance as the blissfully happy,and completely mad Elwood P. Dowd.
The story revolves around his friendship with a 6 foot 3 and one quarter inch invisible white rabbit named Harvey...a pookah.
Elwood's sister and neice live with Elwood and decide that the situation must be addressed.
Josephine Hull as his sister Veda, and Cecil Kallaway as the top psychiatrist give such great support.
It's a film which makes you laugh and smile throughout,with only a tinge of sadness.
A delightful escape from reality.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am so delighted to find this DVD on Amazon as I have loved it for soooo many years. I have taken great pleasure in watching it againPublished 3 days ago by Sharon
This film came through in perfect condition, brand new. The sound & picture quality are perfect. I have loved this film since I was younger & being able to find it on amazon &... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Bought this for the wife, she loves it. good quality DVD at a nice price. thank you.Published 2 months ago by Peter Leaning