Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Harvey (1950)

Elwood P. Dowd is a gentle man who makes friends wherever he goes. He shakes new acquaintances' hands, offers them his "card," and invites them home for dinner. Yet others misunderstand him. He supposedly spends hours in saloons, and dotes on a invisible, giant rabbit-friend named Harvey. Because of this, the sister and aunt he lives with think him crazy and an embarrassment. They want his quirks to disappear.

So begins the premise of Harvey, a film released in 1950, and starring James Stewart, Josephine Hull, and the rabbit, Harvey. I heard many positive reviews before viewing, but I did not anticipate the delight I felt throughout. Harvey is one of the best films I have seen in awhile. I love the humor Hull provides, and the affection Stewart, as Dowd, shows Harvey, and everyone around him. I always forget what a great actor I consider Stewart until I watch one of his films. He creates relatable characters, and I easily empathize. In my opinion, no other actor during that time or since (with the exception of perhaps Tom Hanks) portrayed these "everyman" souls quite like him.

I think the film also captures the idea that everyone remains more than others give them credit. Dowd reveals himself as someone who has seen a lot of life, and exists as he does because of his experiences. However, few people appreciate what he can offer, particularly his family. His friendship with Harvey balances this out, but I still wanted his relatives to cut him some slack.

I adored that rabbit, by the way. He completely stole my heart.

In all, I recommend this if you want a feel-good movie with a happy ending. I think I made it sound more dramatic than it is. It is actually a comedy! I re-watched it as soon as I finished it.


1 comment:

Shybiker said...

I've always wanted to see this but never got around to it. Now you've motivated me!