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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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James Stewart should have won the Oscar for this. Politics deprived him Oscar for its a wonderful life and the academy has always struggled with giving oscars for comedic roles.
The magnificent Judy Holiday won the Oscar for her incredible performance in Born Yesterday so James steward could never win for Harvey as giving the two top acting oscars to comedic roles would not be politic.
Everything about this movie is perfect.
Above all, James Stewart is truly truly captivating. Elwood p dowd was his favourite character.
Harvey is perfect.
As you probably noticed on the cover of the DVD box, this film is basically about a very special relationship existing between Mr Dowd and a somehow shadowy figure, of more or less rabbity nature, called Harvey. As Harvey is very strict and choosy in his social interactions, Mr Dowd is the only one who can actually see Harvey... In fact Harvey is so discreet, that most people tend to disbelief that Harvey exists at all - and some even go as far as calling Mr Dowd just a tinsy weensy crazy...)))
This film shows all the adventures of this improbable duo of best friends forever when the day comes for Mr Dowd's family to try to commit him in a psychiatric facility - which, thanks to the incredible charisma and gentle behaviour of Mr Dowd and the clever tricks played by the sneaky Harvey (assuming that he exists of course), will prove to be quite more difficult than anybody could possibly imagine...
This film is a most wonderful thing, full of humour, filled with incredibly smart one liners and very intelligent dialog and all of its atmosphere is gentle, heart-warming and soothing. An absolute classic, to buy, see, keep and re-watch again. This is one of the DVds I am never letting go! Enjoy!
The film is in black and white despite the colour picture on the front of the box. Good quality picture and sound. There is a special introduction by James Stewart which needs to be accessed via extras on the disc menu.
and the ghosty ones, whilst sipping hot chocolate, with cream and marshmallows in coffee mugs, bought from amazon, with lovely hares on
them, roasting and eating chestnuts, whilst we hope the snow will be falling around us in the New Forest.
It is always billed as a comedy , and indeed possesses some of the best comedy lines ever written , beautifully underplayed by Stewart . But like all great comedies it has an underlieing sadness and a sense of prejduice ,non acceptance ,lonliness and isolation ,that is subtly pervading throughout the movie . The black and white medium is perfect for the atmosphere of the film . It would lose something in colour .
Jospehine Hull , the female lead deservedly received an oscar for her performance, as should Stewart have done .
This is a never- to- be -forgotten film and I find myself coming out with various lines , in conversations .... E.G.
''well we can be oh so smart or oh so pleasant . I tried smart ; I recommend pleasant ''
Sums it up really .
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