She always told me about this film, but for one reason or another I never quite got around to seeing it.
Well - yesterday, I finally did.
Harvey (1950), starring Jimmy Stewart.
This is now in my Top Ten Films of all time!
It's THAT good!
James Stewart reportedly said he wasn't happy with his performance. Bollox! He's one of the true masters of the screen in this film. The scene when he's in the alley outside the bar(*) made my jaw drop in its subtle sensitivity.
"... HARVEY will make you laugh and at the same time show you the power of kindness. JAMES STEWART makes you believe someone is there even though his friend is an invisible 6-foot tall rabbit..."
And the quotes! I love that it's a stage play! It's SO well-written! Makes me laugh and cry with joy.
Harvey is real. That's the simple beauty of Elwood P. Dowd's world.
Elwood P. Dowd: Here, let me give you one of my cards. Now if you should want to call me, use this number. This other one is the old number.
Dr. Sanderson: Think carefully, Dowd. Didn't you know somebody, sometime, someplace by the name of Harvey? Didn't you ever know anybody by that name?
Elwood P. Dowd: No, no, not one, Doctor. Maybe that's why I always had such hopes for it.
Elwood P. Dowd: Well, I've wrestled with reality for 35 years, Doctor, and I'm happy to state I finally won out over it.
Elwood P. Dowd: I always have a wonderful time, wherever I am, whomever I'm with.
Elwood P. Dowd: Years ago my mother used to say to me, she'd say, "In this world, Elwood, you must be" - she always called me Elwood - "In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant." Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.
Elwood P. Dowd: Wouldn't that get a little monotonous, just Akron, cold beer and 'poor, poor thing' for two weeks?
Veta Louise Simmons: Myrtle Mae, you have a lot to learn, and I hope you never learn it.
(*) Elwood P. Dowd: Harvey and I sit in the bars... have a drink or two... play the juke box. And soon the faces of all the other people they turn toward mine and they smile. And they're saying, "We don't know your name, mister, but you're a very nice fella." Harvey and I warm ourselves in all these golden moments. We've entered as strangers - soon we have friends. And they come over... and they sit with us... and they drink with us... and they talk to us. They tell about the big terrible things they've done and the big wonderful things they'll do. Their hopes, and their regrets, and their loves, and their hates. All very large, because nobody ever brings anything small into a bar. And then I introduce them to Harvey... and he's bigger and grander than anything they offer me. And when they leave, they leave impressed. The same people seldom come back; but that's envy, my dear. There's a little bit of envy in the best of us.
Elwood P. Dowd: I'd just put Ed Hickey into a taxi. Ed had been mixing his rye with his gin, and I just felt that he needed conveying. Well, anyway, I was walking down along the street and I heard this voice saying, "Good evening, Mr. Dowd." Well, I turned around and here was this big six-foot rabbit leaning up against a lamp-post. Well, I thought nothing of that because when you've lived in a town as long as I've lived in this one, you get used to the fact that everybody knows your name. And naturally I went over to chat with him. And he said to me... he said, "Ed Hickey was a little spiffed this evening, or could I be mistaken?" Well, of course, he was not mistaken. I think the world and all of Ed, but he was spiffed. Well, we talked like that for awhile and then I said to him, I said, "You have the advantage on me. You know my name and I don't know yours." And, and right back at me he said, "What name do you like?" Well, I didn't even have to think twice about that. Harvey's always been my favorite name. So I said to him, I said, "Harvey." And, uh, this is the interesting thing about the whole thing: He said, "What a coincidence. My name happens to be Harvey."
Attractive sales lady at a department store: What can I do for you, Mr. Dowd?
Elwood P. Dowd: What did you have in mind?
Veta Louise Simmons: Oh, Myrtle, don't be didactic. It's not becoming in a young girl. Besides, men loathe it.
Mrs. Ethel Chauvenet: Is, is that Mrs. Frank Cummings? Doesn't she look ghastly, I thought she was dead. I must get a closer look.
Veta Louise Simmons: As I was going down to the taxi cab to get Elwood's things, this awful man stepped out. He was a white slaver, I know he was. He was wearing one of those white suits, that's how they advertise.
Veta Louise Simmons: Judge Gaffney, is that all those doctors do in places like that - think about sex?
Judge Gaffney: I don't know.
Veta Louise Simmons: Because if it is they ought to be ashamed of themselves. It's all in their heads anyway. Why don't they get out and take long walks in the fresh air?
Wilson: Who's Harvey?
Miss Kelly: A white rabbit, six feet tall.
Wilson: Six feet?
Elwood P. Dowd: Six feet three and a half inches. Now let's stick to the facts.
Veta Louise Simmons: I took a course in art last winter. I learnt the difference between a fine oil painting, and a mechanical thing, like a photograph. The photograph shows only the reality. The painting shows not only the reality, but the dream behind it. It's our dreams, doctor, that carry us on. They separate us from the beasts. I wouldn't want to go on living if I thought it was all just eating, and sleeping, and taking my clothes off, I mean putting them on...
The Taxi Driver: ...I've been driving this route for 15 years. I've brought 'em out here to get that stuff, and I've drove 'em home after they had it. It changes them... On the way out here, they sit back and enjoy the ride. They talk to me; sometimes we stop and watch the sunsets, and look at the birds flyin'. Sometimes we stop and watch the birds when there ain't no birds. And look at the sunsets when its raining. We have a swell time. And I always get a big tip. But afterwards, oh oh...
Veta Louise Simmons: "Afterwards, oh oh"? What do you mean, "afterwards, oh oh"?
The Taxi Driver: They crab, crab, crab. They yell at me. Watch the lights. Watch the brakes, Watch the intersections. They scream at me to hurry. They got no faith in me, or my buggy. Yet, it's the same cab, the same driver. and we're going back over the very same road. It's no fun. And no tips... After this he'll be a perfectly normal human being. And you know what stinkers they are!
[Elwood bumps into an old friend he hasn't seen for some time]
Elwood P. Dowd: You've been away.
Mr. Miggles: For 90 days. Been doin' a job for the state. Makin' license plates.
Elwood P. Dowd: Oh, is that so? Interesting work?
Mr. Miggles: I can take it or leave it alone.
Elwood P. Dowd: Oh, I see.
Mr. Miggles: I did a job for 'em last year too. Helpin' 'em build a road.
Myrtle Mae Simmons: Oh, mother, people get run over by trucks every day. Why can't something like that happen to Uncle Elwood?
Mrs. Ethel Chauvenet: Does Elwood see anybody these days?
Veta Louise Simmons: Oh, yes, Aunt Ethel, Elwood sees somebody.
Miss Kelly: Well what shall I say to Mr. Dowd? What do I do? He'll probably be so furious he'll refuse to come down here.
Dr. Sanderson: Look, Miss Kelly. He's probably fit to be tied, but he's a man, isn't he?
Miss Kelly: I guess so. His name's *Mister*!
Dr. Sanderson: Well, then, go into your old routine. You know, the eyes, the swish, the works. I'm immune to it, but I've seen it work on some people, some of the patients out here. Now, you get him down here, Kelly, if you have to do a striptease!
Wilson: I'll tell you something, Myrt.
Myrtle Mae Simmons: Yeah?
Wilson: You know, you not only got a nice build, but you got something else, too.
Myrtle Mae Simmons: Really? What?
Wilson: You got the screwiest uncle that ever stuck his puss inside our nuthouse.
Dr. Chumley: I'm Dr. Chumley. You're Mrs. Simmons, of course.
Veta Louise Simmons: Yes, well, I'm glad to know you, Dr. Chumley. Would you mind asking Judge Gaffney to come back here?
Dr. Chumley: Why, certainly, certainly.
Veta Louise Simmons: I want to tell him to sue you for $100,000. I don't think $50,000 is enough.
Dr. Sanderson: It sounds funny, but I'll miss this place. I guess I'll miss a lot of things around here.
Miss Kelly: You will?
Dr. Sanderson: You won't laugh?
Miss Kelly: Of course not.
Dr. Sanderson: You know how it is working around people day after day. You sort of get attached to them.
Miss Kelly: I know, Lyman.
Dr. Sanderson: It may be ridiculous, but I'm gonna miss every one of the psychos, and the neuros, and the schizos in the place.
Elwood P. Dowd: You see, science has overcome time and space. Well, Harvey has overcome not only time and space, but any objections.
Dr. Chumley: Fly specks, fly specks! I've been spending my life among fly specks while miracles have been leaning on lampposts at 18th and Fairfax!
Dr. Chumley: This sister of yours is at the bottom of a conspiracy against you. She's trying to persuade me to lock you up. Today, she had commitment papers drawn up. She has your power of attorney and the key to your safety box, and she brought you here!
Elwood P. Dowd: My sister did all that in one afternoon. That Veta certainly is a whirlwind, isn't she?
Elwood P. Dowd: Miss Kelly, perhaps you'd like this flower. I seem to have misplaced my buttonhole.
Wilson: [reading from an encyclopedia] "P O O K A - Pooka - from old Celtic mythology - a fairy spirit in animal form - always very large. The pooka appears here and there - now and then - to this one and that one - a benign but mischievous creature - very fond of rumpots, crackpots, and how are you, Mr. Wilson?" "How are you, Mr. Wilson?" Who in the encyclopedia wants to know?
Wilson: Hello, sweetheart. Well, well. Those for me?
Veta Louise Simmons: [Picking flowers] For you? I should say not. They're for my brother, Elwood. He's devoted to ranunculur.
Wilson: Sure. Well, wouldn't you like to come inside and pick some off the wallpaper.
Veta Louise Simmons: Well - no thank you, these will do nicely. Good day.
Veta Louise Simmons: Oh good! Nobody here but people.
Wilson: Is he alone?
Mr. Cracker, the Bartender: Well, there's two schools of thought, sir.
Elwood P. Dowd: I've never heard Harvey say a word against Akron.
Mailman: Beautiful day...
Elwood P. Dowd: Oh, every day is a beautiful day.
Dr. Sanderson: I think that your sister's condition stems from trauma.
Elwood P. Dowd: From what?
Dr. Sanderson: Uh, trauma. Spelled t-r-a-u-m-a. It means shock. There's nothing unusual about it. There's the "birth trauma" - the shock of being born...
Elwood P. Dowd: That's the one we never get over.
Mr. Cracker, the Bartender: [to Wilson] One more peep outta you, weisenheimer, and I'll butter your necktie.
Elwood P. Dowd: [talking about Harvey] Did I tell you he could stop clocks?
Dr. Chumley: To what purpose.
Elwood P. Dowd: Well, you've heard the expression; 'his face would stop a clock'.
Dr. Chumley: Mm-hmm.
Elwood P. Dowd: Well, Harvey can look at your clock... and stop it. And you can go anywhere you like, with anyone you like, and stay as long as you like, and when you get back... not one minute will have ticked by.
Elwood P. Dowd: Miss Kelly, you make this flower look beautiful.
Elwood P. Dowd: Well, thank you Harvey! I prefer you too.
We need more Elwood P. Dowds!
Peas be with ewe
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