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 not…  See more details below


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:
Original Release:
Universal Studios
Region Code:
[B&W, Full Frame]
[Dolby Digital, monaural]
Sales rank:

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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Harvey 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this film. I use a little bit of it in my lectures on sociological theory whenever I can. I find it is very, very difficult to teach students about epistemology and ontology. I tell them that Harvey is sitting in some empty seat and act like he really is there. Some students catch on right away, while others have to have a long conversation about it. For some it is just hard to get. For others it carries implications for their religious beliefs. This film is a classic. It moves a bit slowly for postmodern societies and does not honor the New York minute, but I like it all the more for that! Those who have the patience for it will enjoy how it builds. The "idea" of Harvey grows on you as you get older. I hope that someone does a remake of this great classic, but it would be very hard to make such a film better, except for visual effects. Some philosophers make a distinction between something being "real" versus "having existence." I think Harvey is very "real" even though he does not literally exist. Jimmy Stewart carries the film and it would be very hard to find an actor who could do it as well. Anthony Hopkins could probably pull it off, and maybe Jack Nicholson. But all of Jimmy Stewart's well known films are great!
Maroonbell More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorite movies because I love Jimmy Stewart as well as fantasies and this has both! Wonderful story about an eccentric (or is he?) man -- Elwood P. Dowd --and an invisible (or imagined?) 6-foot tall rabbit, or rather pooka. Elwood is an embarrassment to his family but he continues to believe in his pooka friend, Harvey, but with the utmost patience and kindness towards others, despite whatever they think of him. Elwood is an adorable and loveable character and the story is charming. I think I like this so much because anyone who has ever dared to believe in impossible dreams is laughed at and scorned, but you should always hold to your beliefs no matter what others think. People who do great things, do so at the expense of others' doubts and judgment and against odds. This is an inspiring story. Elwood's beliefs, while seemingly hurtful to himself and others, turns out to only make himself and others around him happier. A favorite old classic I grew up with.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In this comedy about a man and his best friend, James Stewart plays Elwood P. Dowd who has a wonderful friend named Harvey. The only problem with Harvey is he is a six foot three and a half inch bunny that can talk. The fact that only Elwood can see and hear him doesn't help calm his sister and niece. In a series of hilarious events, Harvey starts to make his presence known...
Guest More than 1 year ago
It's really fun to watch this movie because Elwood P. Dowd has imaginary rabbit friend named Harvey and the chaos will happen around them. I strongly recommend this film.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Harvey' is the tale of elegant congenial gentleman, Elwood P. Dowd (James Stewart) whose best friend just happens to be a six foot, 3 inch white rabbit named Harvey. Naturally, Elwood¿s family thinks he's a few carrots shy of a salad. After thoroughly, but unintentionally humiliating his two spinster aunts, Veta (Josephine Hull) and Myrtle (Victoria Horne) at a social gathering, the two plot to secretly have Elwood committed to a sanitarium for psychiatric evaluation. However, upon visiting the sanitarium with Veta, Elwood meets Dr. Sanderson (Charles Drake) and the administering nurse, Miss Kelly (Peggy Dow) who mistake Veta for their patient and promptly usher her off to a padded cell, leaving Elwood free to roam the grounds, then plot as to how he can create the ideal environment for Miss Kelly and Dr. Sanderson to fall in love. Eventually the oversight is corrected and Elwood is ushered into the sanitarium for treatment. However, a reprieve comes when Dr. Chumley (Cecil Kellaway) realizes that Elwood is not crazy. You see, Harvey really does exist. He¿s an invisible spirit guide of sorts, presiding over those who need his services the most. This film is a delightful blend of comedy and drama and blessed with an inexplicable magic that makes the entire premise seem entirely plausible. The transfer is stunning! The black and white DVD exhibits ideal picture quality. Blacks are black. The gray scale is superbly balanced. There's really nothing more to say about the transfer, other than it is simply one of the best you are likely to encounter of a vintage classic on the digital format. The audio is mono but nicely balanced. Extras include an introduction by James Stewart that is a bit on the long side but too short to be considered a documentary. You also get the film's theatrical trailer.
katbella More than 1 year ago
great movie fun for all ages. i watched it with whole family and everyone enjoyed.
pen21 More than 1 year ago
Harvey is one of my favorite movies. It is good for all ages. Jimmy Stewart plays a character that I would never expect from him. The character interactions are wonderful. But it is Harvey that is the main character.
jeron More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best movies ever made. I love this movie. I share this with all of my family and friends.
KalliM More than 1 year ago
I absolutely love this film. I watched it because I am in love with anything Jimmy Stewart is in. This film is adorable. Watching Jimmy Stewart walk around with an invisible 6'3.5" rabbit is hilarious and he is so cute talking to Harvey. I would pay for that portrait of Elwood and Harvey.
EGHunter01 More than 1 year ago
You will enjoy the character James Stewart portrays in this DVD. He is hilarious as a man with a pooka; his family is beside themselves trying to deal with Stewart's enchanting character of Elwood P. Dowd. Hopefully you will enjoy many laughs and sidesplitting chuckles if you watch this DVD. This is a great movie to lift you out of "mental madness" and give you a "reality check" on what is really important in life. It's just a great movie for entertainment and escapism.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great movie with actor Jimmy Stewart
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I've loved James Stewart in nearly every movie I've seen him in, but this one was very disappointing. I found little comedy except at the end. Even though the viewer knows that Harvey is real, James Stewarts character seems so pathetic that it puts you right off. James Stewart did so many comedy roles but this is not one of them.