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Harvey [Blu-ray] (Sous-titres français) [Import]
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James Stewart gives one of his finest performances in this lighthearted film, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play. Stewart stars as the good-natured Elwood P. Dowd, whose constant companion is Harvey, a six-foot tall rabbit that only he can see. To his sister, Veta Louise, Elwoodâ€™s obsession with Harvey has been a thorn in the side of her plans to marry off her daughter. But when Veta Louise decides to put Elwood in a mental hospital, a hilarious mix-up occurs and she finds herself committed instead. Itâ€™s up to Elwood to straighten out the mess with his kindly philosophy, and his â€œimaginaryâ€? friend, in this popular classic that features a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award-wining performance by Josephine Hull.
Top Customer Reviews
Summary; Harvey is a whimsical story about a fun loving inebriate millionaire Elwood P. Dowd (Stewart - he is perfectly cast - in an Oscar Nomination Role for Best Actor) & his very large white invisible rabbit (6 foot 8 inches), Harvey. Through his eccentric behavior with his friend Harvey, aggravates & is a constant embarressment to his family, especially his sister Vera Louise (Josephine Hull - she came from the original Broadway cast - in an Oscar Winning performance - Best Supporting Actress). Vera tries everyway to have Elwood addmitted to a mental hospital. A wonderous journey & many funny turn of events occur. And how everyones lives are effected by this unusual pair.
The DVD is a Black & White Full Screen (before WideScreen) presentation. The video transfer is outstanding. The extras/bonus materials include a 1990 Jimmy Stewart "Special introduction with photographic montage", production notes, mini bios & trailer. A great family film. Enjoy.
It tells the story of a man named Elwood P. Dowd who loves to drink, but it doesn't affect his friendly personality. Meanwhile, his sister and niece find him an embarrassing nuicance who is standing in the way of his niece, Myrtle May's, introduction into high-class society. However, Elwood seems oblivious to their behavior towards him and never has anything but a kind word for anyone. Everyone outside his family seems to adore him and his family would love him too if it wasn't for his best friend. A best friend that no one can see. Except Elwood. A 6-foot-tall white rabbit named Harvey. As Elwood goes throughout his day, inviting bums from bars back to their fancy home for dinner, buying people he doesn't even know countless drinks, and giving them his card before introducing them to Harvey, his sister finally decides that that's the last straw and she decides to get rid of him. So she goes to a mental institution to begin the process of having him admitted. And that's where all their problems really begin...
This is a wonderful movie that my entire family makes a ritual of watching at least a couple times a year. My little sister who recently turned 8 right up to my parents adore it and laugh and cry with the characters. I hope you'll love it too.
"Harvey" is a gentle comedy of confused identities. The people around him are sure Elwood Dowd's six-foot tall rabbit friend is simply a delusion. But their efforts to have him institutionalized only result in making them look like the delusional ones. This makes "Harvey" a gentle prod to think about just what it means to be in touch with reality. What does it mean to be sane anyway?
Jimmy Stewart hits just the right notes in his performance. He is gentle and grounded, firmly assured of Harvey's reality, but not defensive when that assurance is challenged. In many subtle ways -- worth repeated viewings to appreciate the performance -- he manages to sell the reality of the title character. He towers over the supporting cast, who are almost all excellent in their own rights. Josephine Hull won her Supporting Actress Oscar for this performance. Director Henry Koster keeps things moving at a leisurely, thoughtful pace. Unfortunately, it may be too leisurely for a generation trained by contemporary fast-paced screwball comedies. But a patient viewing of this classic is time well spent. It's a gentle affirmation of hope and possibilities with a strong sense that life is good and tomorrow is worth living for.
My quibble with this edition is the lack of film-related special features. The "100 Years of Universal" features on Carl Laemmle and Lew Wasserman are interesting, but aren't really related to "Harvey." James Stewart's introduction is a nice addition. But this is a Pulitzer-winning story that has become a significant influence on western culture. I was hoping for some more substantial supplements. Maybe Criterion will take up that challenge down the road…
If you like the classic comedies from the 40s and 50s, this is a film worth adding to your collection.