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Harvey-1950


molo14
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> {quote:title=FrankGrimes wrote:}{quote}

> That's very good! But do you believe others listen to Elwood? He seems to impart

> pleasant wisdom, but I wonder how many actually listen to him.

 

You have a good point. Elwood seems to be the only listener in the movie.....

 

I think that a person must be receptive to Elwood's message.... They must be open to it. How they become open is another matter entirely. Maybe being drunk has something to do with how easily you might believe in a giant white rabbit..... :)

 

Or, like Veta, they must be dragged kicking and screaming into a tub of water and face many other traumas...before they realize that life is just too short to worry about what others think.

 

> Now that's very interesting. You're right, they're probably scared straight because

> they don't want to end up like the drunk with the imaginary friend. :D

 

Exactly!

 

> My take on Dr. Chumley is that he was running from his demons (cheating on his wife)

> until they finally chased him down. Harvey left Charlie's with Dr. Chumley because

> I think Elwood helped the Doc confront his demons.

 

I can't say anything more eloquently than you have. I love the reversal of roles here.

 

> Dr. Chumley, who is the most ironic character in the film, does the most ironic

> thing in the film, he sets off the alarm while looking to escape HIS crazy

> house. Yep, the head of the crazy house is also crazy.

 

This is my favorite part of the movie - I just love the irony of his "escape".

 

> Dr. Chumley eventually becomes the patient to Elwood's doctor. For, you see,

> Elwood is the bar room psychologist. He's amongst the people, not locked away

> in some crazy house.

 

Yes, there is a lot of self delusion in ivory towers, isn't there? Or perhaps I should say, in institutions .The movie tells us this again and again. Yale, Chumley's Rest, wherever Dr. Sanderson went to school, even society - these are all institutions, and therefore as far from reality as you can get. Prison is an institution as well, as you so nicely pointed out.

 

>But is Harvey real or is he just an outward extension of Elwood's conscience, his inner peace?

 

Ahhh. Though I prefer Harvey to be real, this is what I think may be the truth of the matter - he is an extension of Elwood, made real by Elwood's choices - his openness. He has popped out. He is a representation of Elwood's psyche. I shudder to think what my psyche would look like, should I happen to meet it in a dark alley..... a tangled, brackish, thorny thicket, I imagine. Maybe, on a good day, with a sparrow sitting in it, singing a little song........ :)

 

> So do you believe Judge Gaffney would look down upon Elwood being a lawyer? Elwood

> is doing nothing right now, so wouldn't Judge Gaffney mention something about Elwood

> possibly returning to what he used to do instead of saying, "he could've done anything,

> been anything"? Being a lawyer in the past would be a huge step up from doing nothing.

 

YES! YES! I BELIEVE JUDGE GAFFNEY WOULD LOOK DOWN ON A LAWYER! That's my story and I'm sticking to it, no matter how much you make sense! You are breaking me down.....sob.... sob. Gee, Perry Mason. You would've made a good lawyer yourself. :)

 

> I think that is very possible. We never see Elwood take a drink. Veta really doesn't

> know the truth with Elwood, so I don't believe her saying he drinks in excess. I think

> that is her own active imagination at work. Elwood does admit to drinking, but is he

> telling the truth? I'm of the belief Elwood DID drink in excess but that he doesn't now.

>

> I believe the following is a very important sequence in the film:

>

> harvey75.jpg

>

> harvey76.jpg

>

> harvey77.jpg

>

> harvey78.jpg

>

> When asked if he drinks, Elwood's gut reaction is to look down and DENY it. Then

> he looks up to Harvey and then looks at Dr. Sanderson, telling him the truth, that he

> does drink. Harvey forces Elwood to face REALITY. The "insane" guy is the one

> who is living in reality while the "sane" ones are living in fantasy, in denial.

 

THAT is fascinating. I somehow missed this particular little part in the movie. I have to go back and look again. And I agree with your take on this - that Elwood is the sane one, and Sanderson is in denial. Great!

 

> And Harvey shows up as Dowd is escorting Ed Hickey to his cab. Why did he not

> pick Ed Hickey as his friend? I believe it is because Elwood is the perfect mix of "oh,

> so smart, and oh, so pleasant".

>

> I don't think ol' Ed Hickey could hear or see Harvey. He was spiffed.

 

Harvey came to Elwood because he was not spiffed. _Very_ interesting.

 

> I definitely believe Elwood is an observer. He also chooses to see the good in people

> versus the bad. Since he is so observant of humanity, he is better equipped to help

> them compared to the professionals. He is a business, he's just not getting paid for

> what he does. He does it for free.

 

I hate to say this, but that was beautiful.

 

> harvey84.jpg

 

Again, my favorite part of the film is where Chumley escapes from his self-made "prison" setting off his own alarms, and falling over his own sign or rules.

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Are you ready for the formula, Jackie? -- You could use a six pack! :P

 

You have a good point. Elwood seems to be the only listener in the movie.

 

I think Miss Kelly not only hears Elwood but she listens to him. Myrtle Mae is a

VERY curious listener. But she doesn't want to hear anything Elwood has to

say. She's interested in what others are saying.

 

I think that a person must be receptive to Elwood's message.... They must be open

to it. How they become open is another matter entirely. Maybe being drunk has

something to do with how easily you might believe in a giant white rabbit.

 

:D That's what I believe, as well. Most everyone likes Elwood but the moment he

introduces Harvey to them, he loses the majority of them.

 

Or, like Veta, they must be dragged kicking and screaming into a tub of water

and face many other traumas...before they realize that life is just too short to worry

about what others think.

 

How much happier would Veta be with Judge Gaffney? Omar adores his "girl." But

Veta is looking to impress [/i]society[/i]. Love on a personal and private level doesn't

seem to interest her nearly as much as being accepted by society. She is the

opposite of Elwood. Look at how relaxed Elwood is amongst society compared

to Veta, who is a nervous wreck, always looking to make an impression.

 

Yes, there is a lot of self delusion in ivory towers, isn't there? Or perhaps I should

say, in institutions .The movie tells us this again and again. Yale, Chumley's Rest,

wherever Dr. Sanderson went to school, even society - these are all institutions,

and therefore as far from reality as you can get. Prison is an institution as well, as

you so nicely pointed out.

 

"There is a lot of self-delusion in ivory towers" and "far from reality." I really like

that. I agree with you.

 

harvey85.jpg

 

Ahhh. Though I prefer Harvey to be real, this is what I think may be the truth of the

matter - he is an extension of Elwood, made real by Elwood's choices - his

openness. He has popped out. He is a representation of Elwood's psyche.

 

That's what I believe. Me and my shadow. But I'm not sure if it's right or wrong.

 

I shudder to think what my psyche would look like, should I happen to meet it

in a dark alley..... a tangled, brackish, thorny thicket, I imagine. Maybe, on a good

day, with a sparrow sitting in it, singing a little song.

 

:D That's so darn funny! Such tough honesty. Mine would be a billy goat. :)

 

YES! YES! I BELIEVE JUDGE GAFFNEY WOULD LOOK DOWN ON A LAWYER!

That's my story and I'm sticking to it, no matter how much you make sense! You are

breaking me down.....sob.... sob. Gee, Perry Mason. You would've made a good

lawyer yourself.

 

You're innocent of all charges! I'm a sucker for a gal who cries. I'll go over there

tomorrow.

 

harvey86.jpg

 

harvey87.jpg

 

harvey88.jpg

 

harvey89.jpg

 

 

THAT is fascinating. I somehow missed this particular little part in the movie. I have

to go back and look again. And I agree with your take on this - that Elwood is the

sane one, and Sanderson is in denial. Great!

 

:D Elwood still fights his denial, but Harvey is there to keep him on the path of

righteousness.

 

Harvey came to Elwood because he was not spiffed. Very interesting.

 

You'd think seeing and hearing a 6-foot-3-and-a-half-inch rabbit could only be done

while spiffed. Ahhh, irony.

 

Again, my favorite part of the film is where Chumley escapes from his self-made

"prison" setting off his own alarms, and falling over his own sign or rules.

 

That was brilliantly said! I think we're all guilty of constructing our own gates, some

are conscious and some are not. We are trying to prevent things about ourselves

from getting out while also attempting to prevent things from getting in. We look to

judge, yet we also fear to be judged.

 

One of my favorite lines in the film is said by Myrtle Mae:

 

harvey90.jpg

 

Can we truly relax and be ourselves? Of course, this leads to:

 

harvey91.jpg

 

A pinch! :D

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> I have a VHS copy of "Harvey" with a short intro from Stewart done about 1990 or so. Does anyone have that on their DVD?

 

Looking at the DVD sleeve, it seems that it's included as well. It's just too bad that Harvey himself couldn't join him in the intro.

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>he is an extension of Elwood, made real by Elwood's choices - his openness. He has popped out. He is a representation of Elwood's psyche.

 

I agree that Harvey was self created by Elwood not as an alter ego but, as you say, a representation. I always thought Harvey was an unconscious creation as opposed to a subconscious one.

 

No one really sees Harvey but he is always tolerated in the home. (Even Veta lets Harvey in the room by opening the door twice when she wants to talk to Elwood.) However, Dr. Chumley shows up and changes every perspective. Does Dr. Chumley become so enamored with Harvey because of how Dowd deals with him, or how he "sees" Harvey deal with Elwood that he then takes on the idea of Harvey?

 

Thoughts from anyone are welcome.

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I have checked my DVD of *Harvey* and it does indeed include the intro, which was shot in 1990 and runs about 7 minutes.

 

nxqaoi.jpg

 

It has many great anecdotes about the movie and the play. Jimmy Stewart's love for the movie is very palpable from the beginning.

 

rlc2fl.jpg

 

Among my favorites are his recollections of having done the play in London (for about six months) and having faced some odd questions from the children attending the play.

 

24vl0ut.jpg

 

As he remembered it, usually during the Saturday matinee, by the 2nd act, some of the kids would be squirming in their seats and inevitably one would stand up and...

 

2d1radk.jpg

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>No one really sees Harvey but he is always tolerated in the home. (Even Veta lets Harvey in the room by opening the door twice when she wants to talk to Elwood.) However, Dr. Chumley shows up and changes every perspective. Does Dr. Chumley become so enamored with Harvey because of how Dowd deals with him, or how he "sees" Harvey deal with Elwood that he then takes on the idea of Harvey?

 

Just when I think I've got it all figured out, you throw this into the mix. Thanks..... :)

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Hiya Jack...

 

Though I prefer Harvey to be real, this is what I think may be the truth of the matter - he is an extension of Elwood, made real by Elwood's choices

 

Wow... Now you and Chris have me to where I mayI have to rethink (and re-read) some stuff on here...

 

So are you saying you dont' think Harvey is "real" and is only an imaginary character that some are more receptive to (like Veta and Chumley) ... or are you saying he somehow BECAME a reality that was "born' out of Elwood instead of just being an imaginary character???????? (almost like Pinocchio becoming a real boy... only Elwood was both Geppeto AND Pinocchio at the same time?)

 

I have always taken him for being who Elwood says he is... A "pooka" and that he more or less picks and chooses by whom and when he can be seen. And I have also thought this because of things Veta says (about sometimes seeing him too) and also things she does (like opening the doors for him) If you want to go delving even deeper.. in Dr. Chumley's office... he asks Elwood something like.... "Don't YOU see Harvey here??" With the implication being that at least temporarily.... the Doc was able to see Harvey when Elwood could not. So I think it DOES show that Harvey picks and chooses who does and doesn't see him at any given time...

 

And I think the director showing us the doors "magically" opening and closing themselves etc as a way to just more or less "prove" he really IS real after all. And his "presense" is also indicated by those creepy sounding four musical notes that always get played when he is around.... (ps... I have discovered that this MUSIC is part of the "creep factor for me by the way.... ha) It's like his own personal little "theme music" that gets played whenever he enters the room or does something we need to know was done by him...

 

So.... I think he was his own "person".... or at least his own "pooka self"... and not just someone's way of wishing . But... of course... it could all be in my head... ha! :-)

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> {quote:title=route66 wrote:}{quote}

> As he remembered it, usually during the Saturday matinee, by the 2nd act, some of the kids would be squirming in their seats and inevitably one would stand up and...

>

> 2d1radk.jpg

 

lol, that is so touching, 'where's the rabbit?' I can just imagine the look of disapintment in the little kid's face looking at the actors and he wants to see a big rabbit hopping about on-stage! :P

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I'm working on a longer post but I just wanted to quickly jump in here.

 

Kathy I think you are right! Harvey is a pooka.

 

Don't be thrown by these "ivory tower" types with their four dollar words and their big "theories" about manifestations of the self conscious.

 

Harvey is a pooka. He appears as a six foot rabbit.

 

harvey-45.jpg?t=1238718630

 

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. Grimes?

 

:P

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Hey there Mr. Grimes,

 

*Is he really looking for Harvey? Is he? Again, I find all of this to be*

*rather sad and touching. Is Elwood truly happy? Is he at peace? He seems to be*

*a lonely man with many friends.*

 

You ask a lot of good questions. Do you think Elwood, upon witnessing the blossoming relationship between Kelly and Sanderson, is longing, or maybe regretting, that he will never have that kind of closeness? That he missed his chance? As for being happy and at peace, I think Elwood copes well. He is still just coping though. Hey, aren't we all?

 

Most of the characters are focused on something very particular in their life. Veta on Myrtle Mae, Wilson on his job, Myrtle Mae on her future. Elwood doesn't have that sort of thing driving him. He ponders the human condition, he ponders the roses, and when you spend your time pondering life and the big picture, even to savor it, a little sadness and loneliness has to come through. Doesn't it? Your last sentence speaks to that.

 

*And I'm glad you posted those critical screen caps of Elwood*

*replacing the portrait of his Mother with a portrait of he and Harvey. I believe we are being*

*told of Elwood's emotional state with that moment. Harvey IS filling the void of his*

*mother. I believe Elwood always turned to his mother for strength and encouragement*

*and it's now Harvey who he turns to for this. Harvey has replaced his mother.*

 

I think that is a crucial point. It's something that my thoughts keep turning to as I think about Elwood's current situation. Everything points to Elwood and his mother being very close, though I don't think he ever mentions her. I do believe Elwood fell into a depression after his mother's death. He had no wife, no child to focus on. Harvey fills a void in Elwood's life that helps him greatly, but I still think that Elwood never really got past her death.

 

*That's another comment that I've been struggling with. My guess is that Elwood has*

*been lonely and unhappy throughout his life, looking for his "Harvey," his happiness.*

 

That's a good way to put it. I really agree with that assessment.

 

 

*One part of me believes Harvey*

*came to be because Elwood's conscience caught up with him. He saw himself headed*

*down the same path as Ed Hickey and this brought Harvey to life. Harvey had been*

*there all along, but Elwood could never hear or see him... until that night. For some*

*reason, we are told of Ed Hickey and his being spiffed.*

 

I was wondering what your take on that story would be. It's something that didn't occur to me at first but I think it's a sound explanation. I tend to think that Elwood drinks more than you and Jackie do. Oh wait...I mean more than you and Jackie think he does. :) I think Elwood has been drinking to escape things for a long time, even before his mother's death. I think he may have gotten worse after the loss, and quite possibly saw himself going down the road of Ed Hicky but I think alcohol was, and remains, a big part of his life.

 

I *thought she was a rich character. Veta and Myrtle Mae are doing all they can to*

*prevent Elwood from seeing someone like Aunt Ethel yet she is most interested in seeing*

*Elwood. She cares about Elwood while the others are "dead" to her.*

 

Those were very good observations. Aunt Ethel is a tough one for me to pin down.

 

*His greeting to Aunt Ethel is how he most likely always*

*greeted her. She is quite taken by him. He "hasn't changed." However, when he*

*introduces her to Harvey, she views him differently. In just a blink of an eye,*

*something is revealed about Elwood, and now Aunt Ethel wants nothing to do*

*with him. He has changed. His pleasantness goes right out the window. His*

*"pooka" is how he is judged now.*

 

She changes her disposition quite quickly. Is she in shock? For someone who loves Elwood and is family, I wonder why she didn't take Veta aside for questioning. It's as if the moment he introduces her to Harvey that's all she needs to know. She rushes out immediately. It seemed counterintuitive to me. I guess his "pooka' was more than she could deal with.

 

*The reason why I find Mrs. Chumley to be the most tragic figure in the film is*

*because she is being cheated on and I find her to be such a lovely woman. I find*

*this to be ironic and tragic. Mrs. Chumley is my third favorite character in the picture.*

 

I will talk more about Dr. Chumley later. Now that you mention it, it is a sad situation for her, even if she isn't fully aware of it. What she must be aware of is how Dr. Chumley is so dismissive of her. She does seem like quite a lovely and very open person. Contrast her to Aunt Ethel. I wonder if Mrs. Chumley would have ran away? Notice how she doesn't flinch at Elwood's rather forward manner with her . She also has an interest in things she doesn't understand. This is evidenced by her curiosity, which seems quite intense, about what a pooka is. Even if she doesn't allow her self time to explore it.

 

*Like so many who are responsible, Mrs Chumley lets her schedule dictate her*

*life. She was close to finding some enlightenment but time and duty chased her*

*away. Elwood has all the time in world, for nothing ties him down. He's free.*

 

That is a very good point. I wonder if she heads for the dictionary again when she get's home.

Going back to what I said earlier. Mrs. Chumley is responsible.She is "focused" on something. Elwood is free. He is free to wonder and ponder it all. Maybe it's my own neurosis, but that has to open you up to as much sadness as it does joy. Well, at least some sadness.

 

Anyhow, I still want to get to Veta and the Judge, among other things. I am learning a great deal from reading your comments and those of everyone else. This is great people! :)

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I tend to think that Elwood drinks more than you and Jackie do. Oh wait...I mean more than you and Jackie think he does.

 

I do, too. I mean I think Elwood drinks steadily. :)

 

I even wonder if the whole genesis of the idea for this play and story came from

the wives tale about drunkards seeing curious animals ("pink elephants", "big

white rabbits")?

 

Elwood's turning to alcohol must have been because of escape and depression. No one

ever brings anything small into a bar. He said that as if he'd experienced it, not simply

observed it in others. He seems a sadly peaceful man. All the anxiousness and explosive

emotion has been burnt out of him. As you observed before, Molo, he does get that curiously

intent look in his eye when someone brings up an idea or subject that interests him. It

makes me feel as if he were looking for something to set him on fire with interest again...

"What did you have in mind?

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*I was actually thinking of his conversation with VETA!! He saw HER as a patient... but he didn't REALLY see her at all... he just felt she was another person who needed his special formula to calm her down and bring her back to reality... He was not really LISTENING to her so much as he was responding to her "babbling" chatter... and in the process... he almost ended up treating the wrong "nutcase". Ha. But it would not have mattered.... because in his mind... they all get the same CURE in the end.*

 

When Veta is being questioned by Dr. Sanderson she talks about Harvey, in an almost unconscious way, as if he were real. She tells him that Harvey lives with them and that sometimes she sees him too, and that he is every bit as big as Elwood says he is.

 

Veta does sound kind of nutty and Dr. Sanderson, ever so sure of himself, latches right on to that.

 

This brings up a point I wanted to get into. The curious relationship between Harvey and Veta.

 

What I find interesting is that Veta, throughout the whole film, is always talking about Harvey in real terms. When Dr. Chumley tells her to say to Elwood on the phone that Harvey is at the house, she tells Dr. Chumley something to the effect that Harvey isn't there. She doesn't say it like it's not possible, she says it like it's not true.

 

In another scene, when she walks into Chumley's Rest she exclaims:

 

Oh good! Nobody here but people.

 

Then near the end, she says that she will deal with Harvey once Elwood is cured:

 

harvey-42.jpg?t=1238359971

 

There are many times during the film when Veta doesn't question so much whether Harvey is real, though I'm sure she hasn't come to terms with it, instead she is more concerned that Harvey has latched on to Elwood. This causes him to be an embarrassment to her and an impediment to how she wants Elwood to be and to the course she wants her own life to take.

 

So desperate to be accepted as normal and conforming, Veta would turn away something as miraculous as a Pooka, out of fear of not fitting in. She only wishes Elwood would do the same. Veta thinks people just shouldn't go around seeing pookas and such. It just isn't done, and it isn't normal, and it's kind of spooky and she doesn't want to deal with it. Harvey, for his part, is attracted to a side of Veta that she herself is always trying to suppress. I think this is actually addressed more in the play but there is plenty of it in the film.

 

The relationship between Veta and Harvey holds a lot of curiosity for me. Veta may wish Harvey wasn't there. She may wonder how he could be there, but I think she knows Harvey is there.

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So desperate to be accepted as normal and conforming, Veta would turn away something as miraculous as a Pooka, out of fear of not fitting in. She only wishes Elwood would do the same. Veta thinks people just shouldn't go around seeing pookas and such. It just isn't done, and it isn't normal, and it's kind of spooky and she doesn't want to deal with it. Harvey, for his part, is attracted to a side of Veta that she herself is always trying to suppress. I think this is actually addressed more in the play but there is plenty of it in the film.

 

Wow, Larry, I never thought about this part of the story before---the Veta/Harvey

connection. How cute! I mean the idea that Harvey likes Veta, likes to have

a little fun with her by appearing sometimes where she can see him. After all,

Veta is just as much a "Dowd" as Ellwood so maybe there's just as much

whimsicality underneath all that repression. :)

 

The way you just described her sounds an awful lot like one of the characters

she played in those Frank Borzage movies I've been watching. She was perfect

casting, I can't imagine anyone else in the role of Veta.

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