James Stewart delivers ahare-raising performance in Harvey.
HARVEY (Universal, 1950) D: Henry Koster, w/ James Stewart, Josephine Hull. Rating: NNNNN; Blu-ray package: NNN Rating: NNNNN
Harvey is one of those movies that stays with people a long time and becomes beloved. This may have something to do with its being, arguably, the saddest comedy ever put on film.
Harvey, the character, is a 6-foot-tall invisible rabbit who hangs out with Elwood P. Dowd (James Stewart) and is the reason Elwood's sister tries to have him committed: the rabbit is ruining her standing in society and her daughter's chances of marriage.
Dowd's gentle charm fits Stewart's persona to a T, but his wistfulness and occasional furtive glances suggest there's trouble under the affable surface. Josephine Hull's prim, fussy Veta gives Stewart a perfect foil. He talks about her performance in an audio intro that's well worth a listen.
As a movie, Harvey lacks the fluidity and polish of The Philadelphia Story or the manic energy of Bringing Up Baby, but it's still big fun.
EXTRAS Stewart intro, docs on Universal execs Carl Laemmle and Lew Wasserman. English, French, Spanish audio and subtitles.