Matinee Monday: Harvey


In 1950, Universal brought the popular Broadway play “Harvey” to the screen, with America’s favorite Everyman, Jimmy Stewart in the starring role. The movie tells of a day in the life of Elwood P. Dowd, a slow, mild man who imagines he has a 6’3″ rabbit for a friend.

Stewart delightfully plays the amiable Dowd with a charm and warmth that only he possesses. The absolute gem of the film is the dowager Josephine Hull, brought from Broadway for the role of Elwood’s sister Vida. Poor Vida is so exasperated at being socially shunned because of her brother’s eccentricities, that she finally conspires with a local judge to have her brother committed to the local sanitarium, Chumley’s Rest.

The plot centers on the mix-up on who is being committed, and Elwood’s gentle delight in introducing his friend Harvey to others. If you have never watched Harvey, you are so much the poorer for not having had a pookah in your life; rent it. In the clip below, there is a wonderful nugget of truth.

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