Starring: James Stewart, Josephine Hull, Peggy Dow
Director: Henry Koster
Running Time: 105 mins
Harvey is an American film about a man, insistent he has an invisible six foot three white rabbit for a best friend, who is sent to be locked up in a mental institution by his family, however they don’t realise that he may be wiser and more sane that any of them.
This film is totally insane, like its main character, as well as heartwarming and thoughtful, like its main character. It’s enjoyable from start to finish, due to its consistent comedy and strong performances, while the plot is a lot of fun, if not a little empty.
The main reason, however, why this film is as enjoyable and charming as it is is James Stewart’s performance as Elwood, the man who insists Harvey, the rabbit, exists. It’s a brilliant showing from Stewart, as he presents Elwood as an innocent but intelligent man, who is not oblivious to the possibility Harvey is imaginary, but is dedicated and warm-hearted enough to care about him, and that makes him very happy.
Also, his very kind and friendly persona helps a lot in making this film particularly pleasant to watch. Quite simply, Elwood is the nicest film character I’ve ever seen, he’s always thinking about and helping others, even to the extent of his invisible friend Harvey, and that really makes you as the viewer feel delightedly happy watching his escapades, and means you can’t dispel him as crazy, because he’s just too nice to not support.
In terms of the comedy in this film, it ranges from the slightly farcical to the completely insane. It starts as a more pleasant and slower story, with simple jokes here and there that put a smile on your face, however by the end, it becomes a crazy rat race which Elwood is stuck, although it doesn’t bother him, right in the middle of, and that entire story is hugely funny.
However, the only problem I would have this film is the fact that very little development happens. Sure, it’s a simple, fun story, but I would have liked just a little bit more of development rather than a constant pounding of chaotic mishaps, which although largely funny, does become a little dull towards the end, however on the whole, this film is so heartwarming and enjoyable that I’ll give it a 7.6.