Harvey - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Harvey Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ December 2, 2016
This sweet movie is adorable like James Stewart's character, who charms us distributing business cards and being nice to everyone that he meets, while Josephine Hull deserved the Oscar she won for her hilarious, on-the-edge-of-hysteria performance.
½ November 23, 2016
I've never seen this movie until today. Wow! What a great movie and performance by Jimmy Stewart!
November 12, 2016
A wonderful adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize winning play largely due to superb casting and an agreeably light touch. Stewart seems like the only actor who could play this part. You have to accept that Elwood P. Dowd can charm people to the point that they are willing to ignore that he's a drunk who may be dangerously delusional. You buy that when it's Stewart. Like many studio comedies, the supporting cast is an embarrassment of riches.
September 17, 2016
Hollywood seldom makes films as charming as this anymore, Jimmy Stewart is his usual endearing self in this slightly odd comedy film. Left me feeling warm and happy and wanting a friend like Harvey. Worth viewing again and again over the years.
July 28, 2016
In my top 5 of all time... a masterpiece of whimsy
July 23, 2016
Harvey features James Stewart's best role and performance, and makes you feel good.
June 29, 2016
This movie overstayed its welcome, but it's ok. It has enough charm to enjoy. However, this is by no means one of the greatest movies.
½ June 19, 2016
Another lost flixster rating :(
June 18, 2016
And the moral of this story is: If you're dealing with addiction or insanity, run away as quick as you can!
½ March 7, 2016
The main takeaway of 'Harvey'? Being mentally ill is totally fine and doesn't require treatment as long as you're pleasant.
Super Reviewer
January 27, 2016
Whimsical, old fashioned and extremely likable. The film doesn't seem dated but some of the acting does, James Stewart is wonderful as Elwood P. Dowd, one of cinema's best loved characters but the supporting casts performances can grate a little. That though is my only criticism. The story is brilliant and James Stewart is at his best, a real slice of cinematic magic.
January 24, 2016
easily the best movie of all time. the acting is fabulous and the plot is so deeply intriguing.
January 13, 2016
It is an average movie that my mom has referred to my whole life but I could have went the rest of my life without seeing it. It was nice to learn about the Irish Pca ghost though.
January 5, 2016
This movie is comical and very abstract. It is a very unique film that has many unexpected twists in the situation. The movie is well written and has a very good actors that portrayed the illusion of the rabbit and the story very well.
January 4, 2016
If you are in the mood for a fun, cheerful, and unique movie, Harvey is the one to see. Filled with crazy characters, goofy acting, and humor fit for the whole family, this movie will leave you with a smile on your face and perhaps even the slight questioning of your own sanity.
December 18, 2015
While it mostly works on the back of Stewart's presence and Hull's looney performance, Harvey suffers from an extended focus on relatively uninteresting side-characters at the expense of Stewart's Dowd. The central premise works, but the film spends way too much time having Dowd explain the already simple central conceit to other characters, resulting in long dead-patches. Additionally, the script gets bogged down in contrivances that come off as though they were written with an end point in mind and, as a result, the progression doesn't feel natural. If the game of escalating misunderstandings is done well, it appears effortless and Harvey often feels labored in its attempt to move pieces from point A to point B. It's sweet and charming, but this is a minor work. Its status as a classic doesn't seem to hold up under further scrutiny.
August 15, 2015
I forgot how funny and charming this movie is. So great seeing it on the big screen with a full audience.
½ July 9, 2015
One of the best comedies I've ever seen.
July 8, 2015
If evidence was ever needed that deft writing and convincing acting can pull off even the most ludicrous of plots, Harvey is such evidence. On paper, it reads like a Dr. Suess book; middle aged man believes he has giant rabbit best friend, and over the course of 104 minutes, they indulge in some antics, meeting and inspiring people along the way. Deadpan wit is the order of the day, here. It could have so easy been lost in the shallow grandeur of the 50s, but Mary Chase's adaption of her own play ending up being so gosh-darn charming, and Jimmy Stewart's gentle performance as a genial alcoholic is so tender, you can't help but get swept up in the punch-drunkenness of it all. Sure, it has hardly anything in terms of plot and not what you'd call a lot of witty banter either, but Harvey is an out-and-out joy to watch, a smirk-inducing, atmospheric bit of celluloid, perfectly capturing the naivety, the delight, and the mystery life has if you look hard enough
June 21, 2015
The interesting thing about Elwood Dowd, aside of course from the 6-foot-8-inch 'Pooka', the tall rabbit that he seems to only see and no one else doesn't (or can't?), is that he always has cards to give out to people with his information. This is a significant character trait for Elwood, especially given the fact that he doesn't seem to work or have steady employment. He's in actuality the nicest man you may ever see in a motion picture (not Mr. Smith or George Bailey I should say)... and yet Elwood is also a drunk, though in keeping with his personality he's a pleasant, happy drunk it would seem as well. One wonders what would happen if he didn't have the booze - and one never sees what happens to that second martini he always orders, now do we - or all of those faces at the bar looking at him and his friend Harvey. Will anyone else see this pesky wabbit? Perhaps...

Harvey is a charming, weird movie. It's weird because of how the movie takes on its premise, and actually treats it as a kind of serious comedy, or a very light-hearted drama. The factor I think is the mental hospital, where-in his sister wants to commit him (played by Oscar-winning Josephine Hull, mostly in a performance where she has to cry a good deal and be in hysterics). But, needless to say, due to a misunderstanding he commits *her* instead (and maybe latent sexism perhaps, that this male doctor doesn't trust this woman, but I digress), and Elwood walks out. Now the doctors and everyone gave to get him back. But will it be such a struggle to get him there?

Stewart is the reason to see this movie, as is the case with all of his major performances and this is certainly one of them. As Dowd he commands the screen and yet is so genial and friendly to all of the characters. The movie is ultimately a comedy of manners as much (if not more) than about some crazy person. The writing, based on a play, takes the time to understand this man, and by proxy Stewart fully understands him, and really admires him it seems like. We kind of want to believe this rabbit exists (maybe, and this isn't a spoiler so much as a hint, maybe it does?) by how Elwood makes it seem... alright, somehow. What do you do with someone who isn't seeing things as 'normal', but has the sort of good manners and respect for others, even those who may not deserve it, that would give regal families a run for their money? Stewart gives Elwood charm and humility and, at one point, kind of a tragedy when he tells about what it is he does to the doctor and his assistant in the alley (that may be the best scene in the film).

It may not be a perfect movie; the supporting performances are a mixed bag for me, or it may also be in the writing. As the characters scramble and get into misunderstandings and even a possible romance (!) blooms between one of the orderlies and Elwood's niece, it's a lot of like comic stuff that only adds so much to the narrative. And yet it's hard to begrudge these creations - and Hull, though sort of one note, gives Veta Simmons her all - because Elwood strips down their devices through so much kindness and warmth. If anything Harvey is so strange because it isn't afraid to be so genuine in spirit, and it's disarming at first (and the laughs are bigger, and sporadically it's a very funny time) and then one comes to see it's just how the movie is. And of course it's the right move to make the rabbit an invisible thing; the moment it's actually *there* on screen, the magic is lost.
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