User Reviews (15)

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  • Anyone who wants to remake "Harvey" better have a very good reason... It's hard to improve on a classic! But the creators of this "Harvey," and the actors in it, are predictably short on vision. The parts are miscast and misinterpreted -- again, how to improve on the original? Some of the choices are baffling -- Mrs. Chumley, a blond bombshell? (And a poor actress to boot?) I thought Nurse Kelly was supposed to be the sexy romantic lead. And who took the edge off Wilson's comic relief? Key parts of the script have been altered, and scenes added and deleted -- Mary Chase's pulitzer material wasn't good enough, apparently. Even Anderson is an embarrassment -- he seems uncomfortable with the project, as well he should be. Do yourself a favor -- boycott the silly remake and see the original!
  • This truly is a dire, catastrophic mess of a wonderful original. WHY do they have to remake things like this at all? And then castrate them, turning something great into bland pap? The thing that depresses me most of all is that several of the reviewers on here seem to be unaware that the James Stewart original even exists. Pathetic.
  • I was blessedly unaware of this version of the film until today. I am a great lover of the original starring James Stewart, and was today flicking through the TV channels when I came across this remake.

    I cannot understand why the film was remade, especially with no real changes, just another cast and filmed in colour. The actor playing Elwood has none of the innocence and charm of James Stewart's portrayal and as far as I can tell is just trying to impersonate Stewart and failing terribly. The ultimate result is farcical, where the original is heart warming. The only scene that has any connection to the original is the taxi driver's speech towards the end, which verges on the magic of the original.

    Leslie Neilsen gives a dreadful unconvincing hammy turn as the doctor, and the other actors are similar pantomime-esquire when compared to the 1950 version. If you have not seen the original I urge you not to watch this dreadful imitation first and see the real thing.

    Pointless and an insult to the genius of the original.
  • I happened to catch this on TV the other night. I was pleasantly surprised. The casting choice of Harry Anderson more than did justice to Jimmy Stewart's performance. Credit the director for maintaining the classic ambiance of the film with original dialogue and 1950s set. 4 stars for this heart-felt, oh-so-pleasant remake.
  • fuzzypatters5 August 2009
    I was flipping through the channels and saw this was on this afternoon. It is a very poorly done remake. Many of the lines were so poorly delivered that I got the impression that the actors new it wasn't going to be very good.

    On the other hand, I highly recommend the original Jimmy Stewart version. It has all of the charm that this version lacks. Stewart's Dowd cannot help but be loved, while Anderson's Dowd feels wooden, and I ordinarily like Harry Anderson. When watching the original, you find yourself hoping that Harvey is real and you come to love him. In the remake, you find yourself not believing that any of the characters are real. They all come across as actors on a stage acting a part rather than actually being the characters. If you want to see Harvey, do yourself a favor and see the original. This version is not very good.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Well, that ends the run of 8/10's. It was a good run while it lasted, many weeks of happiness but life goes on. WOAH! Don't jump to conclusions, this isn't a bad film, i still enjoyed it, though it wasn't as good as the last few films i've saw recently.

    It's basically about Elwood P. Dowd, who has an imaginary friend, a 6ft 8.5 inch tall rabbit called Harvey, who spends his time with Harvey at Charlies Place, he buys theatre tickets for Harvey, a place is set for him at the dinner table, Harvey is Elwoods best friend, but is it time that Elwood woke up and smelt the coffee, that Harvey doesn't really exist?....

    Leslie Nielsen stars in this film (if you didn't know, he's one of my favourite actors) i liked his performance, it was funny but i hated his dodgy French accent, he should've kept his usual, striking voice that he is remembered by! Other than that his performance was good.

    So overall, a good, enjoyable film, it's not a classic, far from it but, there's nothing wrong with it.

  • I've wanted to see the old version of Harvey for years, but I always seem to miss it, so I snagged the DVD of this when I found it. I like Harry Anderson far more than Jimmy Stewart, so I thought I'd like this version better anyway... but it left me really wanting to see the original. This one was likable, but something was more than a little amiss.

    As the film ended, I noticed it was dated 1996, and after seeing it, I can understand why it was shelved for three years. Most of the performances are top-notch (particularly Swoosie Kurtz, who devours the scenery whole) and would have worked beautifully on the stage. On film, however, it barely works. The screenplay seems to have been too closely adapted from the stage version, with stilted wording, awkward pauses for audience laughter and completely unrealistic dialog that simply doesn't flow on film. The direction was competent, but neither the acting nor direction could make up for the script's shortcomings.

    Which brings me back to the acting. Leslie Nielsen was completely and utterly miscast as the wacky German doctor -- most likely for his name value. His performance in this film was almost painful to watch, and the actions of his character were virtually senseless. The rest of the cast, however, were perfect for their roles. Anderson exudes charm as Elwood P. Dowd, Kurtz stole every scene as his sister, Jessica Hecht was just smarmy enough as the nurse -- even Jonathan Banks was wonderful in an over-billed cameo as a cab driver. It's just a shame that they weren't given a better script to work with.

    I didn't dislike this film, but I'd hoped to like it more than I did. I surmise that this is a prime example of why the classics shouldn't be remade.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Limp and dire. I fell upon this dreadful TV version being shown one afternoon on ITV1. The brilliant original overflows with abundant warmth, charm, wit, humour and is beautifully acted. Alas the trash that I watched had the heart of the original ripped out of it, it lacked the pace, eccentricity and repeatability that the original film had and the acting seemed one dimensional compared to the outstanding original. So I was utterly disappointed when I watched the television version it is nothing more that TV fodder to fill a gap between two other television programs. Luckily I have a video copy of the original and watched the brilliance of Josephine Hull and James Stewart their performances are such an amazing contrast to the lack luster television production
  • steve-829-46300427 October 2013
    Warning: Spoilers
    Let me put it this way. I finally registered with IMDb just so I could try to warn others away from this dreck.

    Harry Anderson plows through his lines like it's an initial read-through. There's nothing likable about his Dowd, which makes the climactic scene meaningless. He's just an average joe, so the serum at the mental hospital will make him - himself. No big whoop.

    There's no chemistry between the doctor and the nurse, no comedy in Wilson. Leslie Nielsen pulls of Dr. Chumley, but he can't save the rest of this mess. But in the end, the whole thing centers around Dowd and Anderson seems like he must be thinking of the paycheck rather than the character. Truly, truly terrible.
  • Harry Anderson is a good actor and a good comedian, but he's just not James Stewart. I also love the work of Leslie Nielsen, but unfortunately, he's not Cecil Kellaway, either. This is not a bad remake, though. In fact, it's really quite good. It only fails in comparison to the original. If you have never seen the James Stewart Harvey, then this will seem very good to you. It's funny, and the actors here convey the same intensity and humor that the originals did. It's just that James Steward WAS Elwood P. Dowd, and any other actor.....ANY other actor, will just not be as good. A valiant effort, and a really nice remake, but just not the original at all.
  • This movie is one of those few that captures the essence of our souls. The actors were well thought out I might say and it is a wonderful remake of the old one. If you ever teased another kid when you was younger about his imaginary friend, it makes you think, "Did he call him Harvey?" This movie is a true gift. Just remember if you're pleasant enough, you can have your very own pooka for yourself.
  • Just like the original, the story of Harvey the six-foot white rabbit is as wonderful in this remake as the original film version in 1950. Harry Anderson takes on the role that James Stewart originated, Elwood P. Dowd, and superbly plays the part. However, not al the acting was great, Swoosie Kurtz probably wasnt the best choice.

    The only addition that I noticed was that in the latter half of the film, Harvey the rabbit seems to open doors on his own, its more magical than the original in that respect. It was 46 years after the original film, special effects had come a long way. And some of the language by the cab driver towards the end of this version was more expletive.

    Overall, this version was not bad. However, not as theatrical, but still worth 8 of 10.
  • HARVEY (1996) *1/2

    "Harvey" is such a lost, mismatched comedy it hurts to see so many familiar faces on the big screen making fools of themselves. It isn't funny or touching. It has a firm first act: the problem is that a grown man, named Elwood P. Dowd, has an imaginary friend that is a six foot tall rabbit-similar to the Easter bunny-named Harvey. But the film doesn't know where to go from there. Where it takes us is though a series of coincidences and mistakes, all of which the plot is built upon, and throws consideration into the wind. Now, that's not to say the movie doesn't make us laugh, because there are several sequences in the film that are down right hysterical, proving that a movie can be successfully made about an imaginary six foot rabbit, but most of the funny scenes accrue during the first twenty minutes, for the one joke this film has gets stale after a while. And finally, after the laughs die down and the movie's insanity begins, it follows a steady path going down hill into ludicrous-ville.

    The characters are cute and over-the-top, but too exaggerated. The character development is absent, as is the explanation of why Harvey exists, or where he logically came from (oh, come on, they don't actually think an audience is going to buy that "found him at the bottom of a light post" thing, do they)? There is a romantic sub-plot that is way out of place. And the actors are completely wasted. And get this: Leslie Nielsen, the Leslie Nielsen who stars in "Wrongfully Accused," is made out to be a dead-serious psychiatrist. The slapstick king stars as a man whose pastime is daydreaming of a private island where he can go to have women feel sorry for him. This film is ridiculous in its use of him.

    Geared toward a family audience, "Harvey" is slow moving and boring at times, assuring a loss of interest by children-and adults at that. I guess we're supposed to become involved with Elwood's defense, because people thin he his a nutcase. Well, I too thought he was a nutcase. I was thinking to myself that this man is disturbed in the greatest, and I think I was supposed to be wondering why other "sane" people would not except him. Gee. I dunno?

    There is a particularly bad scene in "Harvey" that not only proves my point about how bad the film is, but also make's public an obvious flaw that the majority of an audience would miss the first time watching it. It consists of Elwood's mother explaining to someone about how Harvey is always in the way. The family has to make a place for him at the dinner table, buy him, tickets to movies, make room for him on the couch. Now those things are funny. But why, dear reader, why, did they explain the misadventures of having Harvey as a family member instead of showing them to us? Well, at least the filmmakers were aware of their mistakes. Otherwise, they would have not make them know to so many.

    PS. See how a movie uses Leslie Nielsen in appropriate ways by reading my "Wrongfully Accused," review @ us. Or by clicking on my name at the top of this review. I Think it will help you understand the failure of "Harvey's" use of him.
  • From what I read, I wasn't expecting much from Harry's performance. Jimmy was...extraordinary. And I kept comparing Harry to him, until the part where he meets Mrs. Chumley.

    There, Harry just seemed to shine a bit and I forgot about comparing. I just concentrated on Harry as Elwood, instead. Not too bad.

    I love Swoosie Kurtz. I like to watch her films. She's a fun actress. Veta is just a tough role to perfect. I'd say it is the strongest. I don't find Josephine Hull to be an easy actress to match. It's almost like the role of Veta was 'made for her'.

    Hull's character was irritating but, also oddly charming and she nailed better than the other 'Veta' characters. Kurtz did have a few good moments. It just takes a certain kind of lady to make that role work on film. Otherwise, a stage performance may work better.

    This movie is more of a 5/10 but, I'll give it a 6/10 due to Harry's effort.
  • A remake of a classic film isn't usually the best place to start from, but I was pleasantly surprised that this one wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I can't say it is great, but I did enjoy it. Harry Anderson seemed to be trying a little too hard at times, but I could understand why with such a great performance in the original by Jimmy Stewart. His Elwood grew on me as the movie progressed. (Incidentally, Mr. Stewart wasn't happy with his performance, and wished he had done a better job putting more into the character, from what I've read).

    Not great, but not horrible. I'd watch the original over this is a heartbeat, but I wouldn't change the channel if this version were to re-air. I gave it a 5 out of 10.

    OB Loco