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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - September, 2012

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 “Harvey" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Jim Milton

movies-sept-2012-Harvey

Synopsis

James Stewart gives one of his finest performances in this lighthearted film, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play. Stewart stars as the good-natured Elwood P. Dowd, whose constant companion is Harvey, a six-foot tall rabbit that only he can see. To his sister, Veta Louise, Elwood’s obsession with Harvey has been a thorn in the side of her plans to marry off her daughter. But when Veta Louise decides to put Elwood in a mental hospital, a hilarious mix-up occurs and she finds herself committed instead. It’s up to Elwood to straighten out the mess with his kindly philosophy, and his “imaginary” friend, in this popular classic that features a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award-wining performance by Josephine Hull.

  • Universal Studios
  • 2012, B/W, Rated G, 1 Hr 45 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: MPEG 4
  • English DTS-HD Master 2.0
  • Starring: Jimmy Stewart, Cecil Kellaway, Charles Drake
  • Directed by Henry Koster
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: No
  • Sex: No
  • Language: No

Commentary

This is perhaps my favorite Jimmy Stewart movie. He plays a character that is unusual, not because he drinks a bit or sees an invisible 6 foot Pooka, but because he is genuinely interested in people and invests in kindness. These are traits that are so rare, that to exhibit them can brand you as an odd-ball. This movie is adapted from a play and is so well written that the run time seems incredibly short. The actors are all wonderful. Jesse White is in this movie…you may remember him as the old Maytag repairman from the commercials in the 70-80’s.

Technical

Fortunately, Universal has done this classic film the treatment it deserves. The image is crisp with wonderful detail and depth for a B/W movie. Film grain is apparent but not distracting. The only scene that had a few vertical lines in it was when Dowd was in the doctors office ¾ of the way through. Otherwise, no spots or blemishes appear during the film. Frankly, I don’t think it looked this good in the theaters all those years ago.

Extras

Jimmy Stewart narration with photographic montage, production notes, The Carl Laemmle Era, The Lew Wasserman Era and theatrical trailer.