Harvey

Harvey

4.6 26
Director: Henry Koster

Cast: Henry Koster, James Stewart, Josephine Hull, Peggy Dow

     
 

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Released in 1950, Harvey's exploration of a loveable loon who prefers hanging around bars with a giant invisible rabbit to leading a "normal, responsible" life remains as timely as it is entertaining. Highlighted by an utterly perfect, low-key performance by James Stewart, this delightful adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play gets a good, if notSee more details below

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Overview

Released in 1950, Harvey's exploration of a loveable loon who prefers hanging around bars with a giant invisible rabbit to leading a "normal, responsible" life remains as timely as it is entertaining. Highlighted by an utterly perfect, low-key performance by James Stewart, this delightful adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play gets a good, if not definitive, DVD release. The pristine full-screen transfer lives up to William H. Daniels' beautiful black-and-white cinematography and shows how a moody noir look enhanced this dreamy, nocturnal comedy (Daniels lensed such dark crime films as Naked City and Brute Force). The audio track has also been cleaned up in Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono and, as an extra feature, Jimmy Stewart gives a lovely introduction to the movie. Harvey is the type of classic movie that viewers can watch over and over again, making it perfect for the DVD format.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Whimsy is an extremely difficult quality to capture onscreen, but it's done quite adroitly in Harvey, the beguiling 1950 adaptation of Mary Chase's Pulitzer Prize-winning play. James Stewart, tackling a difficult role with aplomb, is positively enchanting as Elwood P. Dowd, the affable inebriate whose constant companion is -- according to him, anyway -- a six-foot-plus rabbit named Harvey. Elwood's intransigence on this point arouses the ire of his sister (Josephine Hull, reprising her Broadway role), who attempts to have him committed. Also reprising their stage characterizations are winsome Victoria Horne -- excellent as Elwood's timid niece -- and blustery Jesse White as an asylum attendant. Director Henry Koster (Flower Drum Song) guides his cast with a gentle hand, restraining them only when the script's flights of fancy threaten to undermine the film's effectiveness. He needn't have worried, though: Stewart's boundless charm and effortless trouping keep Harvey firmly on track, making it one of the era's most gentle, delightful movie comedies. Universal's remastered DVD release sports an introduction to the film by Stewart himself, along with production notes, cast and crew bios, and the original theatrical trailer.
All Movie Guide - Dan Jardine
Harvey turns on the charming premise that a person would have to be crazy to be as consistently cheerful and optimistic as Elwood P. Dowd. James Stewart, who was nominated for an Academy Award for his finely tuned comic turn in this film, is relentlessly generous and sweet as the man whose best buddy is an invisible 6' 3 1/2" rabbit. Though at times slow and obvious, the film allows humor to emerge ever so gently at the expense of its targets. Elwood may be a drunk (or not -- does he ever actually take a drink?), and he may be delusional, but he is also happier, less neurotic, and more content than the so-called normal people who surround him and claim to be looking out for his best interests. By the film's end, Harvey and Elwood appear to be working their magic on everyone around them, as the world begins to share their delusion. It would not be stretching things to suggest that Harvey symbolizes spirituality, and some things, the film seems to say, just have to be taken on faith. Self-importance, snobbery, and the profession of psychiatry are among Harvey's targets, but this is no Swiftian satire. This film does not intend to cause harm or discomfort but to tease and needle its targets. Josephine Hull won an Oscar for her performance as Dowd's antagonistic sister.

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Product Details

Release Date:
02/06/2001
UPC:
0025192033636
Original Release:
1950
Rating:
NR
Source:
Universal Studios
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[B&W, Full Frame]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital, monaural]
Time:
1:45:00
Sales rank:
1,868

Special Features

Special introduction by film star Jimmy Stewart with photographic montage; Theatrical trailer; Production notes on the making of the film; Cast and filmmakers' biographies and film highlights

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
James Stewart Elwood P. Dowd
Josephine Hull Veta Louise Simmons
Peggy Dow Miss Kelly
Charles Drake Mr. Sanderson
Cecil Kellaway Dr. Chumley
Victoria Horne Myrtle Mae Simmons
Wallace Ford Lofgren
Jesse White Marvin Wilson
William Lynn Judge Gaffney
Nana Bryant Mrs. Chumley
Grace Mills Mrs. Chauvenet
Clem Bevans Herman Schimmelplusser
Ida Moore Mrs. McGiff
Polly Bailey Mrs. Krausmeyer
Don Brodie Mailman
Aileen Carlyle Mrs. Tewksbury
Sally Corner Mrs. Cummings
Gino Corrado Eccentric Man
Pat Flaherty Policeman
Eula Guy Mrs. Johnson
Grayce Hampton Mrs. Strickleberger
Harry Hines Meegels
Norman Leavitt Cab Driver
Edwin Max Salesman
Anne O'Neal Nurse
Maudie Prickett Elvira
Almira Sessions Mrs. Halsey
Minerva Urecal Nurse Dunphy
Dick Wessel Cracker
Ruth Elma Stevens Miss LaFay

Technical Credits
Henry Koster Director
John Beck Producer
Oscar Brodney Screenwriter
Mary Chase Screenwriter
William H. Daniels Cinematographer
Ralph Dawson Editor
Bernard Herzbrun Art Director
Nathan Juran Art Director
Orry Kelly Costumes/Costume Designer
Brock Pemberton Producer
Frank Skinner Score Composer

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Scene Index

Chapter List
0. Chapter List
1. Main titles [1:07]
2. Elwood [:29]
3. Elwood's afternoon [5:33]
4. The reception [2:04]
5. Chumley's rest [2:33]
6. A mistake [4:30]
7. Mrs. Chumley [3:43]
8. A pooka [2:46]
9. Veta comes home [6:42]
10. Myrtle's in love [1:01]
11. Family portrait [6:08]
12. Dr. Sanderson [2:17]
13. At Charlie's [4:40]
14. About Harvey [1:36]
15. Dr. Chumley [1:49]
16. The truth [:25]
17. Formula 977 [4:28]
18. End titles [2:00]

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