Monday, February 27, 2017

The 100 Greatest Comedies - #35: Harvey

I am in the process of watching all of the Top 10 Fantasy movies according to AFI and reviewing them for my list (

The current film I just watched is Harvey, which is #7

This movie is also on the 100 Greatest Comedies list (#35).

In high school I had helped work on a production of Harvey, so I had a bit of an idea what the general premise of the movie was, although it's been a rather long time so I did not remember all of the particulars. I will try to not give any of the big secrets away because they are worth experiencing them for yourself. The general premise of Harvey is about a man, Elwood P Dowd (played by Jimmy Stewart), who is friends with an invisible 6 foot tall rabbit. One of the keys to this movie is that it is on the Top 10 Fantasy Films list. This tells you that not everything is as it seems at the beginning of the movie. The main thing that jumped right out at me during the opening third of this movie is how abysmally people with mental disorders (or perceived mental disorders) are treated. The bulk of the movie takes place in and around a mental sanatorium where the main "enforcer" brutally treats the patients with aggression and force. Definitely not my favorite part of the movie. However, Jimmy Stewart is beyond excellent in this role. I swear, if he isn't high during the filming of this, he sure plays high very well. He is the personification of the "nice guy" who nobody can feel mad or irritated at. If you can get passed the mental treatment issues though, the movie is very funny and a joy to watch. I laughed a good deal through the movie, not something I often do on the Comedies list and was generally intrigued about how the movie was going progress. The entire movie is well acted. The way that characters routinely cut off Stewart's character is perfect because each time the audience kind of holds its collective breath, knowing that if he was allowed to finish, the movie would go much differently. Overall, even though this movie has some issues, I still greatly enjoyed it and would recommend it to most people as a light hearted comedy.

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