Harvey (1950)

Harvey (1950), directed by Henry Koster.


Orderly (searching for Elwood): Is he alone?

Bartender: Well, there's two schools of thought, sir...

In memory this is the mildest of the gentle, good natured eccentric family comedies. When watching it I'm pulled into its wacky but humane vision and it always seems so much better than I remember.

We think we know James Stewart in all his aspects, but it's amazing how he wears the role like a comfortable suit of clothes, as if he's been Elwood P. Dowd all his life.

I suspect everyone would start seeing the pooka if they hung around long enough. Like the artist who painted his portrait? But I don't know who drinks his martinis, unless... well, never mind.

Obviously adapted from a stage play, which can be a problem, but in this case the story is opened up into a number of locations.

Photographed by William H. Daniels; you can tell. I identify movies by the director, but if I were a real cinephile I would pay vastly more attention to the rest of the crew.

Available on a very nice Blu-ray, with an image both detailed and finely grained.


Years ago, my mother used to say to me, she'd say "In this world, Elwood, you can be oh so so smart, or oh so pleasant." Well, for years I was smart... I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.