MOVIE REVIEWS

Harvey
8/10 NR 01 hr 44 min

October 13, 1950

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By DanDare June 16, 2017

Harvey is a whimsical film, at times a clever film about innocence and making sure it is not lost in a cynical dog eat dog world.

James Stewart plays Elwood an amiable pleasant drunk, although we never see him actually drink. He is a sweet man who likes talking to people, so adept he is at listening to people, they tell him all sorts of hopes, desires, wishes and problems like he was the parish priest.

Elwood's sister Veta Louise (Josephine Hull) wants to marry off her daughter Myrtle Mae (Victoria Home) but what is holding them back is Elwood and his conversations with Harvey, a 6 feet tall invisible rabbit.

Veta decides to have Elwood committed but due to a series of mishaps it is her who ends being institutionalized before the error is discovered and further farce ensues. Eventually she realises that she wants her brother just the way he is.

By John Chard January 31, 2017

That damn 6ft 3" rabbit is as charming as ever.

Elwood P. Dowd is a charming harmless fella, he takes a drink or two for sure, but he's a delightful human being regardless. So why then does his sister want to have him committed to a home for the insane? Ah well you see, Elwood has an invisible friend who happens to be a six-foot-three rabbit!

Faithfully adapted by Mary Chase from her hit Broadway play, Harvey remains to this day a wonderful fantasy comedy that delights all members of the family. It's the kind of film that leaves a warm glow once the credits role, it's basic premise is one of fantastical whimsy as Elwood drives all around him to distraction with his discourse with the invisible Harvey. It's here that the film has a rather naughty streak because Elwood actually appears to be the only sane person on show, all around him is chaos, but he remains calm and completely at peace with his lot.

Starring as Elwood is James Stewart (Academy Award nominated), and it's a very special memorable performance as he carries off with ease the eccentric nature of the character. Stealing the show as Elwood's sister Veta, is Josephine Hull (Aademy Award winner best supporting actress}, completely flustered and effervescent with comic timing precision. Solid support comes from Peggy Dow (why didn't she do more movies?), Charles Drake and the always watchable Cecil Kellaway. The direction from Henry Koster I personally find uneven, at times too hectic when the magic moment has passed, it's as if he was caught between making a screwball comedy or just a basic fantastical one. I often wonder what Frank Capra could have done with this particular adaptation? Still, the film remains much beloved by many, and I'm certainly counting myself amongst that number.

Bless the pooka indeed. 8/10

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