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Harvey-1950


molo14
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Hola, Molo the Magnificent -- Well I guess there are two schools of thought out

there. Do you feel that Elwood believes Harvey is real in a literal sense.

 

Yes, I do believe that.

 

I still can't get past Veta and Dr. Chumley both having dealings with Harvey as well.

 

I don't believe Dr. Chumley had any dealings with Harvey. Veta is the one where you could

say Harvey existed because of what you mentioned before: her not finding her keys.

 

It's an interesting difference in the way we view the film.

 

It really is. That's testament to how good the film really is. It's the most philosophical film

from the classical realm that I've encountered to date.

 

I am one of those people who tends to believe in everything no matter how fantastic. It

drives my more logical friends nuts because I'm otherwise a pretty logical person

myself. I don't have any (real) proof of it but I want to believe.

 

I tend to be a skeptic but I'm one who supports and encourages others. This is why I first

compared Harvey to The Curse of the Cat People. Amy can see Irena but no

one else can. Irena provides Amy with comfort and strength. My friend, my friend.

 

I also think that message really attracts people. They want to be reminded of this.

People might not hold on to the message but after watching the film, you can't help

but do a little self evaluating. It's universally human and very appealing.

 

Nicely said. I do believe one of the strengths of the film is how it can provide one with

some perspective on life.

 

When the great-grandchildren come to visit my mom, it's like all her anxieties and

pains melt away. She gets this big smile on her face. I wonder sometimes that after

they leave, does a sadness creep in? I feel there is a joy of being in the moment and

a melancholy that tries to take hold when the moment has passed. I guess the trick

is to try and stay in the moment.

 

That's absolutely wonderful. I guess it all depends on what moments you relive in your

mind. Are they good ones or bad ones? Most of us are either chasing (dreams) or running

away (demons). Sometimes we need to just stop.

 

When Elwood is in the alley talking to Sanderson and Miss Kelly, he is pondering the

past. Indeed, Sanderson encourages this. In the Doctor's view you have to reflect to heal.

 

Great point. Dr. Sanderson believes all the answers to human behavior can be easily found

through retracing one's steps. Who knows, he may be right. We all have a story to

tell. Some of us are great mysteries.

 

I think it is telling that Elwood never mention's his mother, yet we get the sense, listening

to others; that it was a terrible loss for him.

 

Our only clue from Elwood about his mother is his replacing her painting with the painting of

him and Harvey. I consider that to be a significant clue.

 

Elwood cannot dwell on it. He must try to stay in the moment. Harvey is there to fill

the void.

 

Definitely. Harvey is the here and now for Elwood. He's his happiness. Without him...

 

This is another interesting aspect to me. I always took Elwood's drinking in stride but

I would agree that he isn't necessarily a drunk. I don't think we ever see him take a

drink. We do see him reorder though.

 

Elwood even admits to his liking a drink now and then. He thought of denying this, but

I believe Harvey guilted him into speaking the truth.

 

Also who do you think is drinking Harvey's martinis?

 

Good point. My grandma told me that her son, my uncle, used to tell my great aunt that

he needed two cookies, one for him and one for his imaginary friend, Henner. I wonder if

he got the idea from Harvey.

 

 

You brought up some very interesting points with regard to Elwood's drinking and how

Harvey fits into all that. I still think social drinking is a "simple pleasure" to Elwood and

something in life he enjoys. Taking it too far and being an out and out drunk wouldn't be

very pleasant at all.

 

That all makes sense to me... you're in trouble.

 

I thought what you and Jackie said about Elwood heading down that road or even

already being a drunk, and Harvey picking that time to appear made a lot of sense. Maybe

with Harvey looking after him he has struck a balance with his drinking.

 

That's what I believe, but I wouldn't argue with anyone who said Elwood was still an

alcoholic.

 

So you think Aunt Ethel may be ringing up Veta later with questions?

 

No. I don't think Aunt Ethel really cares for Veta.

 

Do you think she just needs time to process what has happened and that she might

learn to accept Elwood's peculiarity to some degree?

 

No, I can't see Aunt Ethel accepting Elwood having an imaginary friend.

 

I think it is a shock and she has made a quick judgment. I never really thought about

what she might do regarding Elwood once she exits.

 

Keep in mind, Aunt Ethel wondered what happened to Elwood before she ran into him again,

so she didn't aggressively pursue the answer for herself. She has found out what happened

to him and I think that's it.

 

Well it's a thought. The way she interacts with her husband and her general demeanor

have always suggested to me that she is unaware of that side of her husband. I'm not

even sure how successful Dr. Chumley is in his philandering.

 

Dr. Chumley is certainly running from some demons, so this makes me believe he's had

some success.

 

When Dr. Chumley tells Elwood of his desire to go to Akron and not wanting the

woman to talk, just beer and poor thing, well what does that say about him and his

relationship to Mrs. Chumley? These are areas of the film that I haven't delved into

that deeply but I have always noticed them on a surface level. I was always struck

by how pleasant Mrs. Chumley seemed, how in their one scene together, the Doctor

somewhat ignores her and takes her car. (Granted he has important things on his mind)

and how he fantasizes of Akron, beer, and women who can't talk.

 

I agree with what Jackie wrote, that Dr. Chumley is used to listening to others talk and

I'm pretty sure his wife also talks his ears off. He wants someone to listen to him for a

change, someone to sympathize with him. I also think he's like Elwood, he's wanting

a mother figure in his life, someone to tell him, "Poor thing. You poor, poor thing."

 

harvey104.jpg

 

Well this is a whole new can of beans isn't it? Ha! I think that screencap you used

is perfect. Veta mentions the word "sex" more than anyone in the film. Maybe she's the

only one who does say the word. Veta seems to have definite opinions about it and

also some issues with it.

 

Veta is looking to hide Myrtle Mae from sex and Myrtle Mae is dying to find it. I'll talk

about the sexual side of Harvey tomorrow evening. I'll be curious to see what you

and others think about it. There is one scene in the film where I feel a sexual undercurrent

but I may be making more out of it than what's really there.

 

I've never seen all that much romantic in her relationship with the Judge though. I'm

very interested in your take on this.

 

The romance comes from the Judge with Veta. That's his "girl." He really lights up around

her and he likes protecting her. Veta also turns to the Judge when in need. He's really her

man. But Veta is so caught up with making impressions with others and running

Myrtle Mae's life that she just doesn't care about her own lovelife.

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In the past five years of watching this often, I've lost Jimmy Stewart almost entirely, only watching the supporting cast. Jesse White, Cecil Kellaway, Josephine Hull & Victoria Horne, even Wallace Ford turn in my favorite roles for them. They really have small roles and only a few scenes each, and I know I liked this film before I 'saw' them with such a focus, but I love this film because of their contributions. And that Jimmy guy's still there, I assume.

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Hi Jackie,

 

 

*Elwood is definitely different than most of us, or the rest of the people in the movie. Most people talk about their troubles at the drop of a hat. Especially in bars.*

 

Elwood seems genuinely interested in other people and what they have to say. This may also help to keep him from dwelling on his own feelings.

 

*Aunt Ethel strikes me as the kind of person who would do one of two things: She would go home and forcibly put it out of her mind forever, maybe occasionally thinking of Elwood, then shoving that thought out of her mind quickly as she busies herself with something else.*

 

I think this is the option Aunt Ethel will choose. Frank made a good point about this in his previous post as well.

 

*Dr. Chumley has a lot of responsibilities, therefore, he dreams of being taken care of by a woman who can't talk... I am wondering if that is more due to his job as a psychiatrist than his relationship with Mrs. Chumley (who seems remarkably well adjusted). He must listen all day to people talking talking talking...... and though his wife is friendly and outgoing, she is not going to pat him on the head and say, there, there.... poor thing. She probably babbles about her day as he drifts off thinking of the beautiful woman who is there just for him. Unfortunately, they seem like every couple I know. Dr. Chumley is an everyman, beset by responsibilities he doesn't really want, including the responsibility of saying "Uh-huh..." occasionally to his wife.*

 

Jackie that is a great point and you brought up some interesting insights into Dr. Chumley's mindset that make a lot of sense. One thing that I noticed with him is that early on we are told that Dr. Chumley sees no one. When he is told by Sanderson that a mistake has been made, he is obviously frustrated and even says that he will have to do something he hasn't had to do in many years. He has to get involved in the whole Elwood/Veta mix up.

 

So what does Dr. Chumley do in his office all day? I suppose he might deal with patients through consultations with Sanderson and handle administrative tasks. I think he is definitely burned out on the whole psychiatry gig. I get the feeling that he is more interested in analyzing himself rather than other people. He has shut himself away and that has been going on for a long time. He doesn't want to be bothered with the problems of others anymore, even though he has built his career and his reputation on running that home. He's in a rut psychologically and he seeks escape.

 

*I think what Veta says is what we all think sometimes.... she is an everyman too. Or everywoman, anyway. I think her comments on sex and the psychological profession are pretty accurate, and they make me guffaw. But as a character, she also has a little small town fear of sex in her too. She is rather repressed, and the word just keeps popping out of her all the time.... I find this to be one of the funniest aspects of Veta and the movie.*

 

I don't care what anyone says, there's something sweet about every young girl. And a man takes that sweetness and look what he does with it! Veta Louise Simmons

 

I totally agree with you here Jackie. Veta shows remarkable insight in her off the cuff remarks and she is hilarious doing it. Veta seems in constant conflict with what she knows is, and what she feels ought to be. I think this plays out in her relationship with Myrtle Mae. I also think Veta's inner conflict and her suppression of her more playful side is something that attracts Harvey.

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One not-inconsiderable reason for the bittersweet quality of some of the scenes is Frank Skinner's wonderful musical score. His source cue playing while Elwood tells his story in the alley behind Charlie's Place is a perfect example of distant atmospheric scoring.

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Frank Skinner's music score for Harvey is great. It expresses the way it should be. Just look at the scene where Elwood brings the portrait of him and Harvey to his house. Frank Skinner also did the score for Alfred Hitchcock's Saboteur (1942).

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SPOILERS

 

I believe the play was very different from the film. Playwright Mary Chase and Writer Oscar Brodney did a different screenplay for the film. In the play, Harvey isn't real. But in the film, Harvey is real.

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> {quote:title=konway87 wrote:}{quote}

> SPOILERS

>

> I believe the play was very different from the film. Playwright Mary Chase and Writer Oscar Brodney did a different screenplay for the film. In the play, Harvey isn't real. But in the film, Harvey is real.

 

 

That's very interesting, Konway! That's a pretty big change. The play sounds like it was more "psychological" in its leanings whereas the movie is more whimsical and a bit of a fantasy.

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  • 10 months later...

From lzcutter in rambles:

 

*Mighty Mo,*

 

*I know that you and Glo are probably at some really ritzy cocktail party with the Charles' and the Chans', etc but I'm here at our watering hole waiting to talk about Veta and the Judge.*

 

*Get here soon or I'll be spiffed.*

 

Lynn,

 

Oh no! You must really be spiffed by now!

 

As for this weekend, it was nothing that exciting! I just took a little time off to watch basketball and do yard stuff and run around.

 

I thought we would meet here. Whenever you get a chance.

 

I think it was actually Frank Grimes that brought up the the love interest that Judge Gaffney had for Veta. For Veta's part, she relied on the Judge and was always calling him to do this or do that. He would always come running.

 

So what is your take on thier relationship?

 

Edited by: molo14 on Mar 29, 2010 7:00 PM Wow. I can't believe it's been so long since we chatted here but it's still safely within the one year limit.

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Mighty Mo,

 

Are you buying? We tapped out Chumley's tab so we need a new financier.

 

I was spiffed but now am not. I'll likely be spiffed by the time you read this but I'm not now.

 

As for Veta and the Judge, I like to think that they met and fell in love in high school. They courted, as couples were wont to do back then, but then the War (WWI) came.

 

Gaffney went to war and Veta tried to wait. But the war dragged on, Gaffney did not return though he wrote wonderful love letters. Veta found a young man, Mr. Simmons, who turned her head. He came from a nice family and, though she loved Gaffney, he was away in France and Simmons was here at home.

 

She ended up marrying Simmons. Gaffney returned, found Veta married and decided to make a name for himself. He went to law school and became a damn fine lawyer.

 

Mr. Simmons lost what small fortune he had in the Depression and Veta turned to Gaffney to help her husband declare bankruptcy.

 

Gaffney could not turn her away, still carrying a torch for her, he helped her husband.

 

Gaffney became their attorney and advised them over the years. Gaffney finally found someone to love and they married. Unfortunately, she died around the time Mr. Simmons did as well.

 

Gaffney never stopped carrying a torch for Veta and now that they are alone in life he continues to be her fiercest protector. He would like to live out his days with Veta but the ball is in her court.

 

That's my take on Veta and the Judge.

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Your tab has been taken care of at Chumley's by Elwood. So you can return and start a new one. But be careful when you go back there, remember Veta Louise saw a white slaver step out of a taxi. He was wearing a white suit, that's how they advertise.So watch your self old girl....

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Hi Lynn,

 

*I was spiffed but now am not. I'll likely be spiffed by the time you read this but I'm not now.*

 

Um...I think you still sound a little spiffed to me. :D

 

I love your backstory on Veta and the Judge. A romance interrupted forever by war. Mr. Simmons losing his money during the depression....

 

*As for Veta and the Judge, I like to think that they met and fell in love in high school. They courted, as couples were wont to do back then, but then the War (WWI) came.*

 

Interesting, you think they were an item in the past? I find it hard to ponder what Veta may have been like as a young woman. This is an obvious point, but you get a lot of the character's life experience from how they behave in the present. We get a lot of clues but not much hard evidence. This is as true with Veta as it is with Elwood. Bear with me as I go the long way around and most likely end up absolutely nowhere. :)

 

We know Veta is a widow and that she has fallen on hard, or at least, harder times. She is trying to keep up appearances and get Myrtle Mae started in society with the right people. She is doing her best to conform to what she feels society expects from her. She is always spouting off practicalities, but when pressed, we see a glimpse of her romantic nature, It's hidden, but it's there, just under the surface.

 

harvey-15.jpg?t=1269985920;

 

((What does Veta dream about?))

 

I think this is what attracts Harvey to Veta. He knows there is something in her trying to get out. She is the only person in the film, aside from Elwood and (possibly Dr. Chumley), who sees Harvey. She spends the whole film trying to basically split Harvey and Elwood up, a tacit acceptance of her belief in Harvey's existence.

 

Veta has a lot of stuff bubbling around in her, so where does sex and romance fit into it all?

 

harvey-44.jpg?t=1269992696;

 

Here are a few excerpts from our previous discussions:

 

Frank provided a screencap:

 

harvey92.jpg

 

Then these little tidbits:

 

_*Molo:*_ *Veta mentions the word "sex" more than anyone in the film. Maybe she's the only one who does say the word. Veta seems to have definite opinions about it and also some issues with it. I've never seen all that much romantic in her relationship with the Judge though. I'm very interested in your take on this.*

 

_*Jackie:*_ *I think what Veta says is what we all think sometimes.... she is an everyman too. Or everywoman, anyway. I think her comments on sex and the psychological profession are pretty accurate, and they make me guffaw. But as a character, she also has a little small town fear of sex in her too. She is rather repressed, and the word just keeps popping out of her all the time.... I find this to be one of the funniest aspects of Veta and the movie.*

 

_*Frank:*_ *Veta is looking to hide Myrtle Mae from sex and Myrtle Mae is dying to find it. I'll talk* *about the sexual side of Harvey tomorrow evening. I'll be curious to see what you*

*and others think about it....*

 

I think your comment here is very true:

 

*Gaffney never stopped carrying a torch for Veta and now that they are alone in life he continues to be her fiercest protector. He would like to live out his days with Veta but the ball is in her court.*

 

It's similar to a comment Frank made earlier:

 

_*Frank:*_ *The romance comes from the Judge with Veta. That's his "girl." He really lights up* *around her and he likes protecting her. Veta also turns to the Judge when in need. He's really her* *man. But Veta is so caught up with making impressions with others and running Myrtle Mae's life* *that she just doesn't care about her own lovelife.*

 

This is really where I think Veta stands on the subject. She is so wrapped up in making impressions and trying to get Myrtle Mae settled, so to speak, that she doesn't pay much attention to the Judge's feelings for her. She is such a bundle of nerves and actions and reactions in this film that she never takes the time to ponder her own dreams...until maybe the end.

 

I always found this scene kind of interesting. The Judge has pretty much had it with Veta's change of heart after all she has put him through. Veta then turns on the Judge:

 

harvey-47.jpg?t=1269993045;

harvey-48.jpg?t=1269993075;

 

and finally...

 

harvey-49.jpg?t=1269993116;

 

Judge Gaffney leaves in a huff. He even takes the cab. Oh, he'll be back, I'm sure he will continue to pine for Veta, but does that scene clarify anything in their relationship? If we are to go by the ending, we have to accept that Veta has had a change of heart about keeping up appearances. She has finally realized that other things are more important. Does that leave the door open for the Judge?

 

There's this one other comment from Frank that I'm curious about:

 

_*Frank:*_ *There is one scene in the film where I feel a sexual undercurrent but I may be making more out of it than what's really there.*

 

Frank is really busy in a lot of other discussions right now but I would be curious to know which scene he was referring to when he gets a chance.

 

So anyway, I like your thoughts on Veta and the Judge. I never thought much about their relationship until reading the thoughts of yourself and others. The ball really is in her court. What will Veta do? :)

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Spiffed is the best way to be.

 

I loved reading your post. After the bankruptcy, Mr. S tried to protect Veta. He thought Veta had no head for figures (a judgement the Judge knew better than to make) and so he steered her towards the social things that would help them try to regain their former social status.

 

Because he tried to protect Veta from the all the financial realities of their lives, they lived a bit beyond their means. Veta became more and more flighty as a defense against a husband who would continually tell her "don't worry, I'll take care of it".

 

Veta only discovered what a disarray their finances were really in when Mr. S passed away.

 

The irony is if she had waited for young Mr. Gaffney to return from the War, she likely would have had the life of social graces that she so wanted to experience fully instead of the way she did.

 

Now that we have a new tab (thanks for the heads up, Fredb!), I'm ordering another round.

 

You in?

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