Harvey (1950) is one of the first old movies I remember seeing... along with Sound of Music and Million Dollar Mermaid. I had seen it one Friday night when my parents were out and the babysitter let me stay up to watch Classic movie Night on our local station. I thought it was awesome and I thought Jimmy Stewart was the coolest. Kids always think it's awesome when adults act childish and get away with it.
Anyhoo... my mom had seen the Mary Chase play at a regional theater in Little Rock when she was a kid, and she had the playbill tucked in an old scrapbook. Of course, in my fantastic eight year old imagination, my mom had seen the play on Broadway (you know Broadway is in Little Rock, right?) and eternally affable Jimmy Stewart was playing the lead. How would I have known any differently back in the days before cable television and the internet? I mean... the library was more than a bike ride away...
Harvey is the story is about a man whose best friend is a pooka named Harvey—in the form of a six-foot, three-and-one-half-inch tall invisible rabbit. Sound familiar? You may know the remake-of-sorts Donnie Darko. The Jake Gyllenhaal movie is definitely darker than it's original inspiration - the lighthearted farcical fare served up by Stewart, Josephine Hull, Peggy Dow and Charles Drake. Not only is this a funny fable, it's got a touching, melancholy core beautifully embodied by the Oscar-nominated Stewart. A must see for any child at heart.
Below is a short narration of Jimmy Stewart discussing his recollections on the film (and play) that was featured on the 1990 VHS release of the film. The video showcases stills from the film while Stewart waxes poetic on the lasting legacy of this charming film.