In one of his signature roles, James Stewart plays Elwood P. Dowd, a benignly unbalanced tippler who enjoys chatting with an imaginary friend named Harvey: a rabbit who's over six feet tall! Although most everyone takes Elwood's recurring routine as harmless bluff (if they even notice it), his older sister and guardian Veta (Hull) thinks Elwood's condition is worsening, and tries to have him committed to a mental institution. Will Elwood (and Harvey) really end up in the booby hatch?
This sterling film adaptation of the smash Broadway hit poses some thorny questions: for instance, just who is crazy in this modern world? And is a little pleasant fantasy (as a means of escape) such a bad thing? The part of Elwood is perfectly suited to Stewart's gentle comic gifts, and his Oscar nod was well-earned. Having reprised her own part in the Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Hull actually won a statuette for her role as the antagonistic sibling who may just be a little "off" herself. (Note: as you watch "Harvey," don't be surprised if you glimpse a very tall rabbit).