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Harvey-1950


molo14
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Sometimes I wish I could have the patience to take notes while watching a movie, but it's just too much work. If anything, modern technology makes it easier to actually post one's thoughts online while watching a movie. Well, at least when you watch it on video.

 

Taking notes while watching a movie at a cinema is another thing altogether. Guess you either have to learn to write in the dark or have a small lamp with you that hopefully won't bother other moviegoers. I do wonder how professional reviewers manage.

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*Did you see Lynn down there? Was she spiffed too??*

 

*When is she not?*

 

HEY! I resemble that remark. And for the record, I only get spiffed like that when I'm talking to Frankie. There's just something about talking with him that drives us both to drink (and most folks around us as well.)

 

*She's got three pookas. Well, actually, one. She sees three pookas.*

 

No, the truth of the matter is I only see one pooka most of the time. It's only late at night when I take my glasses off that they multiply (and that is usually following a long night of listening to Frankie.) See Frankie, it's all your fault!

 

As for note taking, if I start writing stuff down while watching movies, Mr Cutter usually asks "what are you doing?"

 

"I'm taking notes." I reply

 

"Why? Is there a test?" he asks bewildered.

 

"Sometimes." I say.

 

Sometimes, he thinks I'm just crazy.

 

Message was edited by: lzcutter

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HEY! I resemble that remark. And for the record, I only get spiffed like that when

I'm talking to Frankie. There's just something about talking with him that drives us

both to drink (and most folks around us as well.)

 

Are you saying I'm a pooka? :)

 

No, the truth of the matter is I only see one pooka most of the time. It's only late

at night when I take my glasses off that they multiply (and that is usually following

a long night of listening to Frankie.) See Frankie, it's all your fault!

 

You are saying I'm a pooka! Shhhhhh!

 

As for note taking, if I start writing stuff down while watching movies, Mr Cutter

usually asks "what are you doing?"

 

"I'm taking notes." I reply

 

"Why? Is there a test?" he asks bewildered.

 

"Sometimes." I say.

 

Sometimes, he thinks I'm just crazy.

 

Mr. Cutter is still at the "thinks your crazy" stage? Wait until he finds out you ARE crazy.

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> Mr. Cutter is still at the "thinks your crazy" stage? Wait until he finds out you ARE crazy.

 

I don't believe that to be the case at all, Frank. In fact I think she's extraordinarily intelligent and very, very knowledgeable about movies in general.

 

Having said that, I wouldn't mind trying some of that legendary Kool Aid I keep hearing about. ;)

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*Mr. Cutter is still at the "thinks your crazy" stage? Wait until he finds out you ARE crazy.*

 

Gee, Frankie, you know how to make a girl feel so special!

 

As for crazy, yeah, I probably am, crazy about the movies that is.

 

And as for pookas, no, you're not a pooka. Besides Mr C and I have a pookie (our baby turtle) and I talk to him enough for both of us.

 

And as for drinking buddies, well, let's see I've got you and the bartender not to mention my buddies here and the ones from college. Yeah, college (which considering I'm older than dirt goes back some years) but then I tend to keep my friends for many years.

 

Lest we forget, after all!

 

:)

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*Molo wrote: Sadly, It's been all down hill from there.*

 

*Frank wrote: And those words are perfect for this film.*

 

Interesting. What do you mean by that?

 

Anyway,

 

I'm going to take a stab at a few things here and see if I hit on anything.

 

Frank what you wrote got me to thinking, which as you know, can be very dangerous! :)

 

I'll try to venture into the dark side of the story some, since I know that's where you are most comfortable. :)

 

There is a lot to talk about and I am only going to scratch the service tonight. I'll respond to some of your other comments later.

 

Well, Harvey and I sit in the bars, have a drink or two, play the jukebox. And soon the

faces of all...all the other people, they turn to mine and they smile. They're

saying, 'we... we don't know your name, mister, but you're a very nice fellow.' Harvey

and I... warm ourselves in all these golden moments. We've entered as strangers. Soon

we have friends. And they come over and sit with us, they drink with us, 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, their loves and their hates, all very

large... because nobody ever brings something small into a bar. And then... I introduce

them to Harvey. And he's bigger and grander than anything they offer me. And... and

when they leave, they leave impressed. The same people seldom come back, but

that's envy... envy my dear. There's a little bit of envy in the best of us. That's too

bad, isn't it?

 

*So what's your take on that monologue?*

 

This scene is where I think we really get a glimpse of what makes Elwood the way he is. He's reflective and there is more than a wisp of melancholy in his voice. Elwood walks out into the alley after watching Sanderson and Kelly begin their dance. He's looking for Harvey. We have heard him speak of being pleasant rather than smart, or of winning out over reality, but here he is asked a simple question.

 

harvey-14.jpg?t=1238127339

 

He gives a very eloquent reply. He seeks out humanity, he basks in it's warmth, he listens to it's troubles, it's regrets, and it's dreams. Fortified by alcohol, no doubt, people will open up to him. What happens right before this scene is what I found interesting. He tells Kelly he hasn't danced in years, he even tells her of some of the old dances he used to do. there is also that look that he gives her and Sanderson.I get the feeling there is some regret in Elwood's mind.

 

harvey-13.jpg?t=1238127418

 

It reminds me of this saying

 

The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you're still a rat.

 

 

Elwood seems to really understand that. He has taken himself out of the game that everyone else is playing. He knows that there should be something more, even if there isn't. He's found that something in Harvey. When Harvey is with Dr. Chumley, Elwood seems a little lost, he needs Harvey.

 

harvey-6.jpg?t=1238127526

 

 

*I do believe the film is about acceptance. I also got the sense of inner*

*peace, the joy of life, and allowing others to seek their own happiness. It's funny as to*

*what comes to represent "normal" in life.*

 

I really think you are on to something with that inner peace comment. I think Elwood is doing what he can to find peace in a very harsh world. Maybe something happened in Elwood's past to make him want to get away from life's anxieties, to rise above the mundane, to wish something so badly that he attracted the attention of a six foot three and half inch pooka. Or maybe he's just wiser than we are. I can't get around the fact that he was on this path even before he met Harvey. He also drinks a lot, which is one of the most popular ways to escape. Whatever his reasons, he seems to know that without fantasy or escape or dreams there isn't much of a point to all this.

 

That is something even Veta can understand in her heart, even if she can't open up to it in life.

 

harvey-15.jpg?t=1238128779

harvey-16.jpg?t=1238128840

harvey-17.jpg?t=1238128868

harvey-18.jpg?t=1238128900

 

*That is one of the most important pieces of dialogue spoken in the film and it's*

*fascinating that it comes from Veta. Our dreams do carry us on. Many of us dream*

*of the same things, but our paintings are different. We are the same but different.*

 

Exactly, that is a big theme here, there is a definite message about acceptance. There is also, as you said. a point about accepting one's own self. You can't cope if you can't do that. Elwood seems to be coping the best way he can. While he engages socially with people whenever he is able to, he has separated himself from them at the same time. Like Kathy and April were saying earlier, Harvey serves as a means of keeping Elwood apart. He is always trying to introduce people to his pooka and bring them in, but as he says: most people are blind. They can't appreciate what Elwood has and that keeps him and Harvey on the outside looking in.

 

Getting back to the monologue. So people tell Elwood everything and he offers them Harvey. Harvey represents the most important thing in life. Our dreams. Only Harvey can take our dreams to the next level. He can allow us to live our dreams. We know Harvey is mischievous, is Elwood better off with his pooka? I have to believe he is.

 

But there is a dark side to it, isn't there?

 

Now see what you've done Frank? You've taken my nice little mood brightening film and turned it into a potential nightmare! Thanks. :)

 

I'm going to throw this back at you.

 

harvey-7.jpg?t=1238633807

harvey-8.jpg?t=1238130791

 

What do you think Elwood means here. Is he thinking of himself? Is he envious of Sanderson and Kelly? Does he miss the game a little? I am reminded of that look on his face as he watches them dance. He is smiling, and then he starts to think, but quickly he remembers Harvey, and he gets up and leaves.

 

I think this scene is very telling and kind of sad:

 

harvey-9.jpg?t=1238130974

harvey-10.jpg?t=1238131035

harvey-11.jpg?t=1238131072

harvey-12.jpg?t=1238131100

 

So anyway I made it down here to 18th and Fairfax.

 

 

Where did everybody go?

 

Frank?.....Kathy?....Lynn?

 

Oh wait, who is that over there?.......

 

Message was edited by: molo14

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> Elwood seems to really understand that. He has taken himself out of the game that everyone else is playing. He knows that there should be something more, even if there isn't. He's found that something in Harvey. When Harvey is with Dr. Chumley, Elwood seems a little lost, he needs Harvey.

 

That is a good point, and one of the things that I liked best about the movie. The message is as relevant in 2009 as it would have been in 1950, sometimes it may be better and wiser to take yourself out of the game and forget about the rat race, especially when being in the rat race has been having detrimental effects to your health.

 

In this day and age, quality of life is about so much more than just being in the rat race. Elwood understood that, and in that regard I wish there were more people like him.

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The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you're still a rat.

 

Hello there "brother rat". :P Nice to see you down here on the corner!! It is late and I am just popping in here one last time to see what's what before I call it a day...

 

You and the Grey Guy have given me a lot to munch on... and I also went back in and reread some of the older posts on here as well... I will stop by here again tomorrow sometime (I hope) because I want to reply to some of your fine comments.

 

Have a "hop, hop, hop, hop, hippety hoppity" evening!! :-)

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*Where did everybody go?*

 

*Frank?.....Kathy?....Lynn?*

 

Not to worry, Molo. I'll be reading this, mulling it over and responding hopefully later on today.

 

Till then, have Harvey bring Frankie and me another round.

 

We'll be here when you get back.

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The thing that I have always liked about "Harvey" (and it has been a while since I have seen it though it is at hand) is the unforced wisdom and the wonderful eloquence that comes from Elwood.

 

Being a gentle soul lends itself to his way of thinking. The beauty of Elwood is that all this is perfectly natural. I think he wonders why everyone doesn't have their own pooka. We should all be so laid back and carefree and only want to be a source of encouragement for others.

 

Doesn't someone wonder in the movie if Elwood doesn't have the better of life? He probably does.

 

Message was edited by: movieman1957. Clarification.

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> The beauty of Elwood is that all this is perfectly natural. I think he wonders why everyone doesn't have their own pooka. We should all be so laid back and carefree and only want to be a source of encouragement for others.

 

That's a great point. And it also highlights the importance of having cast Jimmy Stewart in the lead role, there weren't very many actors who could have pulled it off so beautifully. The only other one who even comes close, I think, is Henry Fonda. But Stewart had an almost dream-like quality that made him ideally suited for the role of Elwood. A great star shines in the movie, and the movie comes to life thanks to him. What a great performance, too!

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*Hey, where can a girl get a drink around here?*

 

You should head over to Charlie's at 12th and Main. You can join up with Elwood, Frank, Lynn and Harvey. They should be in their usual booth.

 

 

Just be warned though. They've been there for quite a while now, so I'm sure they're all pretty spiffed! :)

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Hiya Molo and everybody!!

 

Well... it's good to be back on the corner here with you!!

 

Grey Guy.. you said you took a lot of notes the other day when you watched this film... I have to say this is the first time I have ever taken notes while reading through a THREAD before... there were just so many good little tidbits though and I was too lazy to go in and copy and paste them all in here so I could highlight them.. so you will just have to take my word when I start saying "so-in-so" said "such-and-such" on here... Ha.

 

Molo... I think it was your original post where you made a comment about liking the dialogue even if it was a bit "hokey". For me, I think it is ANYTHING but hokey... It is actually quite nicely written and very witty as well as rather poignant sometimes... YES ..there is a lot of "sentimentalism" in the middle of it all now and then... but that is ok too because it fits with the storyline so well.... but... Hokey... okey dokey if you want to call it that... I just didnt' see it that way...

 

And I do agree with you that a lot of this film is about what lies in our hearts and our dreams... But it is also a little bit about living as who we really ARE and how that counts WAY more than trying to be what the world thinks we should be.... and being true to yourself and not trying to change yourself to fit in someone else's mold.

 

Elwood is just a natural sort of guy... he accepts folks for the way they are... and he more or less expects them to do the same for him... I don't think it even really ever enters his mind much that folks would not "get" Harvey... He never tried to hide the fact that Harvey was there. He just accepted Harvey for who he was.. and he more or less expected that everyone else would too.

 

So many times when you see a movie about someone having a relationship w/ an "invisible" character.. that person is always getting frustrated and running around trying to hide the fact that the invisible friend is there... or trying to explain away their conversations with that unseen person... Elwood never does this... because he KNOWS Harvey is there... To him Harvey is just as real as anyone else he is talking or relating to at the moment... so he treats Harvey that way. It's not HIS fault you can't see him. So he doesn't take any false responsibility to try and convince you. As far as Elwood is concerned... that would be like him trying to convince Harvey that YOU exist... and that would be a bit silly, now wouldn't it? :-)

 

I REALLY liked the relationship between Elwood and Veta. She really DOES love here brother. But SHE is the one who is all caught up in what people think... and what's more... She knows Harvey is real too... and that is where the difference comes in... She is like the characters in the other stories I mentioned... trying to explain away this "invisible" friend and carry on like everything was "normal"... Which explains why Elwood was so at peace with himself and Veta was such a basket case.

 

And I enjoy some of the other little lessons in this film...

 

I like what Miss G said way back when about how "Elwood places greater value on kindness than on smartness" And that "he thinks consideration of people other than himself is more important than self-importance". There are so many examples of this too... like how no matter HOW nasty anyone gets... (such as when Wilson gets VERY nasty in the bar..) Elwood never responds in kind... he sticks with "pleasant" because it works for him..

 

And he always treats every conversation with anyone he meets as the most important thing he has to do at the moment... he talks with kindness and respect toward all... no matter what their station. (like the excon at the bar) And Konway87 mentioned Herman Schimmelplusser... I liked how he tells Elwood that "most folks just call him Herman". But Elwood follows up by calling him Mr. Schimmelplusser... (he calls everyone "mr or miss"... and shows admiration for all the work and ingenuity that went into the fence design... while everyone else in the world that passed through those gates never gave it a second thought. Elwood notices a LOT of things everyone else is too busy to see... maybe THAT'S why Harvey took the time to introduce himself...

 

Grey Guy.. you were right about how all you have to do to get the difference between "smart and pleasant" was to compare Dr. Sanderson with Elwood... Sanderson was so egotistical and overconfident in his own ability that he had totally lost sight of anyone outside himself. Elwood was no longer caught up in himself and his best "ability" was the way he was able to see others and their needs and to care about them as individuals. And as a result.. he made a better "head doctor" than the REAL doctor did.

 

Ok.. I am babbling on and on.. I am sure there is more to say... but will stop for now... I will go have another slice of cake and some iced tea. (my pooka and I are teetotalers after all.. Ha. ) And will look forward to reading more comments from the rest of you folks... PS.. Chris and Jackie.... welcome to the corner... hope you will chime in some more too...

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Good evening, Mr. Molo! -- I'm glad you could make it.

 

Molo wrote: Sadly, It's been all down hill from there.

 

Frank wrote: And those words are perfect for this film.

 

Interesting. What do you mean by that?

 

I believe one of themes of Harvey is that as we become "responsible" adults, we lose

sight of all the many beautiful things in life. We get caught up in our responsibilities.

As Elwood says, "I don't know. I just don't seem to have the time any more. I have so

many things to do." In otherwords, it's all downhill.

 

harvey17.jpg

 

Frank what you wrote got me to thinking, which as you know, can be very dangerous!

 

:D Smart can be dangerous, as I'm sure Elwood would agree.

 

I'll try to venture into the dark side of the story some, since I know that's where you are

most comfortable.

 

All right! Shall we start with Miss Kelly? :P There is some interesting talk in regards to...

 

There is a lot to talk about and I am only going to scratch the service tonight. I'll respond

to some of your other comments later.

 

Excellent! I'll join you and join you again.

 

This scene is where I think we really get a glimpse of what makes Elwood the way

he is. He's reflective and there is more than a wisp of melancholy in his voice. Elwood

walks out into the alley after watching Sanderson and Kelly begin their dance. He's

looking for Harvey. We have heard him speak of being pleasant rather than smart, or

of winning out over reality, but here he is asked a simple question.

 

He gives a very eloquent reply. He seeks out humanity, he basks in it's warmth, he

listens to it's troubles, it's regrets, and it's dreams. Fortified by alcohol, no doubt,

people will open up to him. What happens right before this scene is what I found

interesting. He tells Kelly he hasn't danced in years, he even tells her of some of

the old dances he used to do. there is also that look that he gives her and

Sanderson. I get the feeling there is some regret in Elwood's mind.

 

You have brought up my favorite segment in the film, and I thank you for that. This

is why I like replying to the words of others. Once given something, I wish to take

it with the idea of giving something back.

 

Here is the segment I speak of:

 

harvey8.jpg

 

harvey9.jpg

 

harvey10.jpg

 

harvey11.jpg

 

I believe you are absolutely correct about Elwood's melancholy. He's happy to see

Ruth and Lyman coming together. He wanted them to come together. He saw

their love for each other despite Lyman not seeing it. But immediately after smiling

over Ruth and Lyman, he feels personal pain. He leaves the bar, looking for "Harvey."

Harvey is his way of fighting off his loneliness, his unhappiness.

 

I really like Miss Kelly's saying, "We shouldn't have left him alone!" What she means

is that Elwood is escaping. But we know the real meaning behind those words.

 

This will lead us into the darker side of the story: depression.

 

harvey16.jpg

 

And, of course, "two schools of thought," speaks to acceptance and the willingness to

accept the thinking of others.

 

It reminds me of this saying

 

The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you're still a rat.

 

Elwood seems to really understand that. He has taken himself out of the game that

everyone else is playing. He knows that there should be something more, even if

there isn't. He's found that something in Harvey. When Harvey is with Dr. Chumley,

Elwood seems a little lost, he needs Harvey.

 

Elwood has "taken himself out of the game." That is PERFECT. The game of life.

 

I also believe Harvey would never leave Elwood. He is his and his alone.

 

I really think you are on to something with that inner peace comment. I think

Elwood is doing what he can to find peace in a very harsh world. Maybe something

happened in Elwood's past to make him want to get away from life's anxieties, to

rise above the mundane, to wish something so badly that he attracted the attention

of a six foot three and half inch pooka. Or maybe he's just wiser than we are. I can't

get around the fact that he was on this path even before he met Harvey. He also

drinks a lot, which is one of the most popular ways to escape. Whatever his reasons,

he seems to know that without fantasy or escape or dreams there isn't much of a

point to all this.

 

I actually believe Dr. Sanderson was correct. I think Elwood fell into a depression

after his mother died. That changed him. He felt alone. This is part of the dark side

of Harvey, for me.

 

I find it interesting as to when Harvey came to be. What do you make of this?:

 

There was a rather interesting coincidence on that, Doctor. One night, several years

ago, I was walking early in the evening down along Fairfax Street. It was between 18th

and 19th. Do you know the block? (Sanderson replies, "Yes, yes.") I'd just put Ed

Hickey into a taxi. Ed had been mixing his rye with his gin, and he... I just felt 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 lamppost. 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. 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 a while 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 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... th-this is the

interesting thing about the whole thing. He said, "What a coincidence. My name

happens to be Harvey."

 

Why did Elwood tell this story to explain how and when Harvey came to be?

 

That is something even Veta can understand in her heart, even if she can't open up to

it in life.

 

Phenomenal point. And, as you wisely pointed out, this is why she can sometimes see

Harvey.

 

Exactly, that is a big theme here, there is a definite message about acceptance. There

is also, as you said. a point about accepting one's own self. You can't cope if you

can't do that. Elwood seems to be coping the best way he can. While he engages

socially with people whenever he is able to, he has separated himself from them at

the same time. Like Kathy and April were saying earlier, Harvey serves as a means

of keeping Elwood apart. He is always trying to introduce people to his pooka and bring

them in, but as he says: most people are blind. They can't appreciate what Elwood has

and that keeps him and Harvey on the outside looking in.

 

That was very nicely put. I'm with you all the way. Elwood is a kind, loving man who

looks to help and encourage others. He doesn't show a good face as a ruse. He's

not a phony who hides their true intent behind a false face.

 

Elwood is accepted by all until he introduces them to Harvey. Once he tells people

about Harvey, most disregard him, many are horrified. This speaks to social

norms. Many of us have "pookas." Some are considered worse than others. It

just depends on what society and culture in which we dwell. This is what I was

getting at with relativity. In a crazy house, it's the sane person who is "abnormal."

 

 

Getting back to the monologue. So people tell Elwood everything and he offers them

Harvey. Harvey represents the most important thing in life. Our dreams. Only Harvey

can take our dreams to the next level. He can allow us to live our dreams. We know

Harvey is mischievous, is Elwood better off with his pooka? I have to believe he is.

 

I agree with you. I believe Harvey represents our hopes and dreams. He is whatever

we wish him to be. "What a coincidence."

 

Now see what you've done Frank? You've taken my nice little mood brightening film

and turned it into a potential nightmare! Thanks.

 

:D I don't think it's a nightmare, but I believe there is some real sadness behind it

all. We are to take inventory, which is a good thing.

 

I'm going to throw this back at you. What do you think Elwood means here. Is he

thinking of himself? Is he envious of Sanderson and Kelly? Does he miss the game

a little? I am reminded of that look on his face as he watches them dance. He is

smiling, and then he starts to think, but quickly he remembers Harvey, and he gets

up and leaves. I think this scene is very telling and kind of sad:

 

Exactly. My feelings are of sadness for Elwood, at that moment.

 

As for the meaning of "The same people seldom come back but that's... that's envy,

my dear. There's a little bit of envy in the best of us. And that's too bad, isn't it?"

 

That's one I have struggled with. But I think it has to do with inner peace. We all

have our moments of envy, and these moments often lead us to feel bad about

ourselves and our lives. I believe Elwood was envious of Miss Kelly and

Dr. Sanderson after he saw them dancing together. It even gets the best of us.

 

harvey15.jpg

 

The following exchange happens four times in the film:

 

harvey13.jpg

 

harvey14.jpg[/i]

 

Mr. Cracker (the bartender), Dr. Sanderson, Mrs. Chumley, and Dr. Chumley are the

ones who ask Elwood this and he always answers the same.

 

There's always time to...

 

harvey12.jpg

 

And, as fate would have it, I actually had a Harvey moment yesterday. I stopped

by my local ba... I mean, Borders to get myself a DVD. While in the store, I decided to

browse some titles on the computer at the info desk. At the computer next to me was an

elderly gentleman, probably in his 80s. He was asking an employee about a book

and then a Handel Messiah "DVD." He meant CD. When the employee went to

check the shelves for the book, he remained behind at the computer. All of a

sudden, he started talking to himself, aloud. No, he did not have a phone dealy

in his ear. He was holding a conversation with himself. Oddly enough, I didn't

think of him as crazy. Instead, I felt a sadness for him. And then I actually

smiled, thinking about Harvey and pookas. It was rather an interesting moment.

Put that wrench down, Quiet Gal!

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>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.

 

This is the point at which Harvey seeks out Elwood. Up until this point, Elwood is a nice guy who has stepped off the beaten path. But......

 

Elwood has a talent. He finds people who are unhappy or in need of "conveying" (i.e. help)...... It seems that everyone has a need of some kind. They might not even know they are in need - re: Dr. Sanderson. This is why Elwood looks at people so intently. He is trying to find out if they need "conveying". He can see it, because he's been there. He might even still be there.

 

But who helps Elwood? Not Veta. Not Myrtle Mae. Not even Ed Hickey. It's Harvey. Harvey conveys Elwood.....

 

So what is Harvey's help in all of this? I am not sure that he actually does anything. Is he simply there to show Elwood that it is OK to jump off the treadmill? To help him be himself? Not to be afraid of being strange? Because a person is certainly no stranger than a six foot tall rabbit or pooka. Is he an angel? A guardian angel (Thank you, Konway, for this)? Is he only an inspiration? If so, he need not be real at all, except to Elwood.

 

I've always felt that somehow, Elwood is propelling the other characters to do things they might not, had he not been there. The easiest example of this is with Kelly and Sanderson. Sanderson would never admit his feelings for Kelly if Elwood had not prompted him to do so.

 

So is Harvey real? I haven't the vaguest idea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Message was edited by: JackFavell because I just spent two hours cleaning Dr. Pepper off of the walls of my pantry, and my post made NO sense.

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

> Message was edited by: JackFavell because I just spent two hours cleaning Dr. Pepper off of the walls of my pantry, and my post made NO sense.

 

 

Ha haaa!! Wendy! If I'd been drinking Dr. Pepper I'd have spit it all over my keyboard!

 

I never let nonsensicalness stop me from posting, fire away!

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*He has taken himself out of the game that everyone else is playing. He knows that there should be something more, even if there isn't.*

 

Molo,

 

Great post! I think it's possible that Elwood had a nervous breakdown due to the stresses of his job and the loss of his mother. Was he always trying to live up to his mother's high standards or did she try and get him to stop and smell the roses but he always thought he would have time for that later? (We always think there will time enough later when we are older, retired, etc to do the things we keep putting off because of work and every day life.) We also have to remember that treatment for a breakdown was much different than it is today.

 

And there is the time and context of the film, the 1950s. As I've said before, it's the era of the Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, putting your nose to the grindstone and giving your all for the company. Add to that the need for material things after years of the Depression and the rationing of the War. They didn't necessarily need all those shiny new appliances, cars, fashion, etc but on some level, they were very desired. Especially if you belong to an old family that has fallen on hard times and is trying to regain their former social standing.

 

I think Harvey grew out of Elwood's need to cope with the fact that he didn't want to return to that life. That decision must have been incredibly hard for Elwood as he was likely the main source of money for the family. He would be letting down not only himself but his family as well.

 

But weighed against the trauma of a life that had brought him such despair, Elwood decided instead to break with the conventional widsom of the day and in doing so became the local, lovable eccentric.

 

People can tell their dreams, their hopes, their desires to Elwood because after all, he's harmless. They may envy him on some level for being able to ditch all the things that society says you must do to be considered successful. Many of the people drinking with Elwood and Harvey would likely love to get off the gravy train so to speak but they all lack the one thing Elwood has, courage to do so.

 

Being oh so smart only brought Elwood a lot of pain, being oh so pleasant has brought him a world of happiness.

 

Message was edited by: lzcutter

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*And he always treats every conversation with anyone he meets as the most important thing he has to do at the moment... he talks with kindness and respect toward all... no matter what their station. (like the excon at the bar)*

 

Ro,

 

Great catch on that. That is definitely one of the keys to Elwood. He treats people as he would like to be treated (perhaps as he wishes he had treated them when he was on the "stinkers" doing everything he could, ethics be damned, when he was part of the rat race).

 

Since abandoning his former life, he now treats everyone he meets with a modicum of respect. He likely felt he has a lot of lost time and crushed souls to make up for.

 

Harvey is his talisman. As long as Elwood has Harvey, he has no fear that he will return to being a stinker.

 

Harvey doesn't go with Chumley because he knows that no matter how good Elwood may feel at the moment he tells Harvey it's okay to go, Harvey knows that he helps keep Elwood grounded in the life that Elwood has come to cherish.

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Elwood has a talent. He finds people who are unhappy or in need of "conveying" (i.e. help

 

Hiya Jackie... that is a terrific observation... I think you have pegged Elwood's gift in life... and it may not even be one he was ever aware of. It was likely not even a conscious effort on his part... nice "no sense" posting, there young'un. :-)

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