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James Stewart gives one of his finest performances in this lighthearted film, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play. Stewart stars as the good-natured Elwood P. Dowd, whose constant companion is Harvey, a six-foot tall rabbit that only he can see. To his sister, Veta Louise, Elwood’s obsession with Harvey has been a thorn in the side of her plans to marry off her daughter. But when Veta Louise decides to put Elwood in a mental hospital, a hilarious mix-up occurs and she finds herself committed instead. It’s up to Elwood to straighten out the mess with his kindly philosophy, and his “imaginary” friend, in this popular classic that features a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award-wining performance by Josephine Hull.
- Amazon Sales Rank: #2691 in DVD
- Brand: Universal Studios
- Model: 025192033636
- Published on: 2001-02-06
- Released on: 2001-02-06
- Rating: NR (Not Rated)
- Aspect ratio: 1.33:1
- Number of discs: 1
- Formats: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Closed-captioned, Full Screen, NTSC
- Original language: English, Spanish
- Subtitled in: French
- Dubbed in: Spanish
- Number of discs: 1
- Dimensions: .50" h x 5.50" w x 7.50" l, .20 pounds
- Running time: 105 minutes
- Factory sealed DVD
Most helpful customer reviews
76 of 79 people found the following review helpful.
A Real Gem
Elwood P. Dowd is happy to share a drink with anybody he meets, and he likes to give them his card and invite them to have dinner at his home. His charm is disarming. People will tell their troubles over a drink, he says. Then he introduces them to his friend, Harvey, and Harvey is sooo much bigger than anything they've got... Harvey is an invisible (usually), six-foot tall white rabbit. Harvey is also too big for Elwood's society-conscious sister, Veta, and her unattached daughter, Myrtle Mae, to cope with. Veta makes a mistake, however, when she tries to get Elwood committed to a sanatorium.
Jimmy Stewart is superb as Elwood P. Dowd, but Josephine Hull steals the show as his totally flustered sister. She is, quite simply, at her wits' end. This is one of only two movies that I know of that feature Hull (the other is "Arsenic and Old Lace"). Both are personal favorites, and Hull is excellent in both. The rest of the cast is also outstanding in this adaptation from a classic Broadway play. Many moments are hilarious, some are touching, and it all adds up to a terrific movie. This witty romp will be welcome in almost anyone's video library.
46 of 47 people found the following review helpful.
Pulitzer Prize winning Play adapted to film & now on DVD !!
"Harvey" a play written by Mary Chase began its long run on Broadway in 1944 and won the Pultizer Prize for best original American play in the same year. Harvey ran for another 4 years for a total of 1775 appearances. In 1950 Universal Studios acquired the film rights for a whopping $750,000 and signed Jimmy Stewart as the fun loving inebriate Elwood P. Dowd wealthy aire to the Dowd estate.
Summary; Harvey is a whimsical story about a fun loving inebriate millionaire Elwood P. Dowd (Stewart - he is perfectly cast - in an Oscar Nomination Role for Best Actor) & his very large white invisible rabbit (6 foot 8 inches), Harvey. Through his eccentric behavior with his friend Harvey, aggravates & is a constant embarressment to his family, especially his sister Vera Louise (Josephine Hull - she came from the original Broadway cast - in an Oscar Winning performance - Best Supporting Actress). Vera tries everyway to have Elwood addmitted to a mental hospital. A wonderous journey & many funny turn of events occur. And how everyones lives are effected by this unusual pair.
The DVD is a Black & White Full Screen (before WideScreen) presentation. The video transfer is outstanding. The extras/bonus materials include a 1990 Jimmy Stewart "Special introduction with photographic montage", production notes, mini bios & trailer. A great family film. Enjoy.
65 of 70 people found the following review helpful.
May I introduce you to Harvey?
By EA Solinas
"Well, I've wrestled with reality for 35 years, doctor, and I'm happy to state I finally won out over it." That cheerful comment sets the tone for "Harvey," a movie about a lovable guy whose way of dealing with the harshness of reality is simple: Make his own.
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. His presence makes Elwood happy and relaxed, and Elwood makes others happy and relaxed -- even the hard-boiled head of the psychiatric ward, who lies down on his own couch and tells his secrets to Elwood.
This actually isn't too screwballish a comedy -- sure, there's the running joke where Elwood politely introduces Harvey to people he meets. And the scene where Veta is committed is hilarious. But it's more of a heartwarmer than a comedy, from Elwood softening the lead shrink to Myrtle May finding love with a lovable blue-collar worker from the sanatorium.
James Stewart gives a wonderfully dreamy performance, slightly smelling of booze and flowers -- his Elwood P. Dowd is mild-mannered, sweet, gallant, courteous, and oh-so-pleasant. And he's learned the value of just enjoying the little things in life, like a flower, a beer or a talk with a friend. And Josephine Hull brings up a brilliant performance as his frazzled sister, with several other good actors rounding off the supporting cast.
Who is crazier -- the happy man with the imaginary rabbit, or the people who want him to be 100% sane and less happy? You make the call. With a sweet, surreal story and a flawless cast "Harvey" is one of those rare movies that does an unspecifiable number on your heartstrings.