Harvey – 1950 – English
Film directed in 1950 by Henry Koster, and starring James Stewart, Josephine Hull, Peggy Dow, Charles Drake, Cecil Kellaway, Jesse White, Victoria Horne, Wallace Ford…
Synopsis: The classic stage hit gets the Hollywood treatment in the story of Elwood P. Dowd who makes friends with a spirit taking the form of a human-sized rabbit named Harvey that only he sees (and a few privileged others on occasion also.)
After his sister tries to commit him to a mental institution, a comedy of errors ensues. Elwood and Harvey become the catalysts for a family mending its wounds and for romance blossoming in unexpected places.
Review: I wasn’t expecting to like Harvey, but when I saw it I was blown away. It is a wonderful film, with everything that a fantasy film should be. The cinematography, scenery, costumes and sets are beautiful, not dated at all, if it was dated if anything it added to Harvey’s charm.
The music by Frank Skinner is jaunty and very sweet, it really gives the meaning to the term feel-good.
The script is excellent, it is witty, fresh and quite touching. And I was also very taken with the story, it may seem strange at first but it was a lovingly-told story and was actually quite intelligent if you think about it.
The film moves quickly and is beautifully directed by Henry Koster, while the acting is great. James Stewart is back with his Mr Nice Guy persona, Elwood isn’t the most complex of his characters but this character didn’t require complexity as such, the character was likable enough just by Stewart playing him wonderfully, which he indeed did.
The supporting cast ably support him, especially Josephine Hull who is simply delightful here as Veta Louise. Overall, beautiful and immensely engaging film.