Year: 1950
Studio: Universal
Director: Henry Koster
Writer: Mary Chase/Oscar Brodney
Cast: James Stewart

One of James Stewart's most iconic performances, although to be honest his good guy appeal and distinctive voice made every performance iconic.

It's an enigmatic tale about a grown man who has an imaginary friend (a six foot bipedal rabbit only he can see) that we find out towards the end may not be as imaginary as we thought, or at least I interpreted it that way.

Elwood Dowd (Stewart) is a good-natured man who doesn't want to hurt anyone. You're never sure whether to consider him eccentric or potentially dangerous. To the people around him, he's mentally disabled. But he's he always happy, cheery and charming to everyone he meets, handing out calling cards and inviting stranger to visit him at every opportunity, and on the surface the film asks us what's wrong with that?

Freudian types will see a lot more in it about things like social prejudice and not losing your inner child, and you'll probably see a lot in it than someone else will, but that's Harvey's appeal – it can be many things to many people. Get it on DVD quick before the Spielberg remake.

Stewart's hard not to like and he remains the template for the slightly bumbling everyman to this day for good reason.

© 2011-2022 Filmism.net. Site design and programming by psipublishinganddesign.com | adambraimbridge.com | humaan.com.au