13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
A wonderful, whimsical film,
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This review is from: Harvey (DVD)
"I've wrestled with reality for 35 years, Doctor, and I'm happy to state I finally won out over it."
Jimmy Stewart, in one of his personal favorite film and stage roles, portrays Elwood P. Dowd, a gentle philosopher and harmless alcoholic who, after his mother's death, befriends an imaginary - or is he? - 6'3.5" white rabbit; a "Pooka" who goes by the name of Harvey. Unfortunately, it seems that Harvey is invisible to everyone but Elwood. Elwood wanders through life perfectly happy, harming no one, but alienating his family and many of the townspeople with his "friend".
Josephine Hull, (who won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in the film; she also played the part on stage) portrays his sister Veta Louise Simmons, and she steals the film, IMO; her facial expressions and gestures are priceless (she also played one of the aunts in "Arsenic and Old Lace", 1944).
The pacing is fast and furious, and the dialogue alternately hilarious and touching in this whimsical, bittersweet tale of illusions and realities. Jimmy Stewart found himself personally identified with the role for many years, much to his delight, remarking in interviews how strangers would sometimes stop him in the street and seriously ask him if Harvey were with him, only to be kindly told, "No, he's at home today, with a slight cold" or some other humoring excuse for the lack of his invisible friend.
Of course the movie is dated and implausible today in several respects; however it still holds a gentle, childlike appeal that transcends time. It's a great, simply-told "feel-good" movie to start off the holiday season.