The always likable Jimmy Stewart subverts his all-American-everyman image in this bizarre 1950 film, which combines plenty of screwball comedy with elements of surprisingly dark, melancholic drama. Featuring an Oscar-winning performance by Josephine Hull, Harvey is a quirky character piece about learning to accept people as they are, no matter how odd. Not great, but fun and heartwarming.
The message is good. "In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant. Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant." My grandmother was that way, but I just couldn't do it. As a result of understanding that about her I realized that you must always be kind to them, and listen very carefully to what they have to say.
I still have yet to see Stewart give a bad performance. Its shocking to me that he usually isnt mentioned in the conversation of best actors of all time. Always so natural in his performances. This one is no different. A very whimsical tale, and a subtle comedy commentary on mental illness/alcoholism. Very rare film for the day, indeed still unique. 4.5 stars
Yeah...Harvey. I loved this film as a teenager; then one day read an article about how the original play was a study on the alcoholism and shell shock (or PTSD) that many returning soldiers had after after the war. Seeing it through that lens now, this film and Stewart's performance seem even more beautiful.
Right now Im admiring this man up here and admiring Mary Chase, the comedy's screenplayer. No big emotions but full of heart and grace and humour. Thanks to the ones who share the piece. This time thanks to Arsenale, Pisa. Harvey's to be seen in TV! As often as Stargate was...