Friday, January 18, 2008


The movie, “Harvey” (1950) is an all time classic in my opinion. It is the inspiration for the title of my blog. The movie is in black and white, but like any good movie, you really don’t notice after a few minutes.

The main character is Elwood P. Dowd (played by James Stewart). Elwood is a 42 year old man that has wrestled with reality for a long time and claimed to have finally won out.

Dowd lives in the post WWII American Midwest. He must have a very big inheritance from his mother, as he does not have to work. He can also afford to have his sister and her daughter living with him.

Elwood is as easy going as can be. He enjoys conversations with others and always has something nice to say about everyone. He has a wonderful time, wherever he is.

His philosophy is, “ must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant.” He admits to trying “smart” for quite a while and as a result, he recommends “pleasant”.

Elwood likes to spend his time in bars about the city and his favorite hangout is Charley’s Place. Some of the people Elwood encounters (in the establishments) are of questionable character, but he treats everyone with the same pleasant respect.

Now for the extraordinary thing about Elwood...his best friend is a pooka.

According to the movie, a pooka is... “From old Celtic mythology. A fairy spirit in animal form. The pooka appears here and there, now and then, to this one and that one at his own caprice. A wise, but mischievous creature. Very fond of rum-pots, crack pots...”

Some people may think of a pooka as an imaginary friend or playmate. And they might not be far off. This pooka’s name is Harvey, a rabbit that is six foot three and a half feet tall. He is protective of Elwood and would do anything for him. And he has some amazing powers.

Harvey can stop a clock for you. Then you are free to go wherever you wish and when you return, not one second will have ticked off. He also seems to be able to foretell certain future events.

Elwood is not shy about introducing his friend to anyone he meets. And he gets mixed results, as no one else can see Harvey, but Elwood.

His sister, Vita (Josephine Hull) and niece, Myrtle Mae (Victoria Horne) are tired of Elwood embarrassing them in social situations and decide to have him committed to an insane asylum. But Harvey has other plans. What follows is a story to remember.

Josephine Hull received an academy award for her performance. The entire cast is very good and Mr. Wilson (Jesse White) and Dr. Chumley (Cecil Kellaway) give memorable performances in this movie.

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