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Harvey [1950] (1 disc)

Director:Henry Koster
Writer:Mary Chase
Myles Connolly
Oscar Brodney
Composer:Frank Skinner
Length:104 minutes
(1 hour 44 minutes)
MPAA Rating:UR
Sorting Category:Family
Sorting Tub:Delta
IMDB Rating:8.0/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating:84%
Amazon Rating:5.0/5 stars
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  • Family
  • Comedy
  • Drama
  • Fantasy
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Synopsis: Due to his insistence that he has an invisible six foot-tall rabbit for a best friend, a whimsical middle-aged man is thought by his family to be insane - but he may be wiser than anyone knows.

Reaction: Charming. Funny. Delightful. There needs to be more movies like this. While Harvey ends up being--spoiler alert--real, in the end it didn't matter whether he existed or not.

Personal Rating: 8/10

Henry Koster => Director
Mary Chase => Writer / Original Play
Myles Connolly => Writer
Oscar Brodney => Writer
Frank Skinner => Composer
Almira Sessions => Mrs. Halsey (uncredited)
Cecil Kellaway => Dr. William Chumley
Charles Drake => Dr. Raymond Sanderson
Charles Perry => Bar Customer (uncredited)
Clem Bevans => Mr. Herman Shimelplatzer
Dick Wessel => Mr. Cracker (uncredited)
Don Brodie => Mailman (uncredited)
Gino Corrado => Eccentric Man (scenes deleted)
Grayce Mills => Mrs. Ethel Chauvenet (as Grace Mills)
Ida Moore => Mrs. McGiff (scenes deleted)
James Stewart => Elwood P. Dowd
Jesse White => Martin Wilson
Josephine Hull => Veta Louise Dowd Simmons
Maudie Prickett => Elvira - Cook (uncredited)
Minerva Urecal => Nurse Dunphy (uncredited)
Nana Bryant => Mrs. Hazel Chumley
Pat Flaherty => Policeman (uncredited)
Peggy Dow => Miss Kelly
Victoria Horne => Myrtle Mae Simmons
Wallace Ford => Ellis Logfren, The Taxi Driver
William H. Lynn => Judge Omar Gaffney (as William Lynn)

Random Trivia For This Title:

  • Ranked #7 on the American Film Institute's list of the 10 greatest films in the genre "fantasy" in June 2008.
  • Among those considered for the role of Elwood P. Dowd were Bing Crosby, Cary Grant, Rudy Vallee, Joe E. Brown (who had also played the part on stage), Gary Cooper, Jack Benny, Jack Haley and James Cagney.
  • When speaking with Mrs. Chumley, Elwood describes Harvey as a pca, which is a creature from Irish mythology, and in Celtic as well Nordish myth as well. Referred to as a bringer of either good or bad tidings, a pca can appear in the form of various animals, and sometimes as a human. In most cases, a pca is both friendly and very helpful.
  • Josephine Hull first performed her role in the Broadway version of Harvey. Jesse White also appeared in the original Broadway production and a 1972 television version.
  • Before starring in the film, James Stewart had played Elwood P. Dowd on stage during the role's originator, [?] Frank Fay's, vacation.
  • In many interviews, James Stewart referred to the role of Elwood P. Dowd as his favourite.
  • In 1990, James Stewart recorded an introduction to the VHS release of the film, which turned out to be one of the biggest selling videos of the year.
  • Henry Koster and James Stewart discovered that they worked extremely well together. Koster said later that working with Stewart was "without any doubt one of the most pleasant experiences of my life...It must have been his spirit. There was very little friction, ever, only ambition and craftsmanship and precision, just doing it right professionally. On top of that he put the whipped cream of great talent...He was always the first on the set."
  • James Stewart later declared in an interview that Josephine Hull had the most difficult role in the film, since she had to believe and not believe in the invisible rabbit ... at the same time.
  • Though James Stewart's character, Elwood P. Dowd, may certainly be referred to as an alcoholic, only at one time in the entire picture is he seen taking a drink. This is because the Hollywood Production Code at the time would not allow him to be shown getting drunk on film.
  • The film did well at the box office, but not quite well enough to recoup its production costs, which had been driven way up with the one million dollar price tag for the rights to the play.
  • As a joke, the cast and crew would often set a chair for the title character at lunch and order him something to eat.
  • Although James Stewart is 6'4'', he refers to Harvey as being 6'3 1/2'' tall in the film and looks up at him during the entire film. That's because this is Harvey's height in the original play by Mary Chase. In a 1990 interview, Stewart said that he had decided that for the film, Harvey was going to be 6'8'', so that he could indeed look up at him.
  • At the suggestion of James Stewart, the director changed many shots to make them wider so that "Harvey" would be in the frame.
  • Included among the American Film Institute's 2000 list of the Top 100 Funniest American Movies.
  • Although Josephine Hull played James Stewart's sister in the film, she was 31 years his senior in real life.
  • The only Oscar nominated performance by James Stewart in a non-Best Picture nominated film.
  • Josephine Hull's Oscar winning performance in this film is her only Academy Award nomination.