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4.11  ·  Rating Details ·  7,555 Ratings  ·  79 Reviews
When Elwood P. Dowd starts to introduce his imaginary friend Harvey, a six and a half foot rabbit, to guests at a dinner party, his sister, Veta, has seen as much of his eccentric behavior as she can tolerate. She decides to have him committed to a sanitarium to spare her daughter, Myrtle Mae, and their family, from future embarrassment. Problems arise, however, when Veta ...more
Paperback, 80 pages
Published December 1st 1990 by Dramatists Play Service (first published 1944)
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Hamlet by William ShakespeareMacbeth by William ShakespeareThe Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar WildeRomeo and Juliet by William ShakespeareThe Crucible by Arthur Miller
Best Play Ever
439 books — 399 voters
A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee WilliamsDeath of a Salesman by Arthur MillerThe Crucible by Arthur MillerThe Glass Menagerie by Tennessee WilliamsWho's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Edward Albee
Best American Plays
204 books — 303 voters

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Community Reviews

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Feb 11, 2012 Mariel rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: let's pretend we're bunny rabbits
Recommended to Mariel by: Tom Hanks my former bff until he stabbed me in the back I don't want to talk about it
I want a six foot rabbit for my friend. He doesn't have to be named Harvey. Harry is a good name since Harry Potter came into my life. I didn't like the name Harry before then. If the bunny is a good enough friend any name at all will do. Frank, Fiver, Bigwig, Hazel, Roger Rabbit, Cadbury, Peter Cottontail, the Easter Bunny, the white rabbit, a Canadian bunny voiced by Samantha Morton (that's Max and Ruby to you. Ruby, not Max, I mean). Lennie and George could let me tend the rabbits on their li ...more
در جستجوی نام خویش
من نمایش رو دیدم. اینقدر زیبا بود که نمیخوام نمایشنامه رو بخونم. فوق العاده بود، هم خود نمایشنامه، هم کارگردانی و هم بازی بازیگران مخصوصا جناب کاظم سیاحی. انصافا لذت بردم.
(view spoiler)
Rebecca McNutt
Veta's adult brother's imaginary friend, a six-foot rabbit no one else can see, is becoming a burden on her reputation so she plans to commit her brother to the loony-bin. However, things don't work out that way and she ends up learning important things about herself and the people around her. This classic story is often hilarious and also unforgettable.
Feb 13, 2010 Kim rated it it was amazing
Shelves: drama
I was pleased to find that the stage play was not altered all that much when made into a film, which is where I, like most people, first met Elwood P. Down and his pooka-friend Harvey. The play, of course, uses fewer locations, but much stronger language than the film censors would have allowed. Several lines from the play have stayed with me, mainly because they caught me off-guard the first time I heard them. But the line I recall most often since I first saw the film is spoken by Elwood about ...more
Jan 16, 2011 Bailey rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
"Years ago my mother used to say to me, she'd say, 'In this world, Elwood, you must be' -- she
always called me Elwood -- 'In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant.'
Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me."
Yehia Nasser
Oct 01, 2015 Yehia Nasser rated it it was amazing
Harvey and I sit in the bars... have a drink or two... play the juke box. And soon the faces of all the other people they turn toward mine and they smile. And they're saying, "We don't know your name, mister, but you're a very nice fella." Harvey and I warm ourselves in all these golden moments. We've entered as strangers - soon we have friends. And they come over... and they sit with us... and they drink with us... and they talk to us. They tell about the big terrible things they've done and th ...more
Jan 06, 2009 Mike rated it really liked it
Shelves: plays
This is a short play, with about a dozen characters, but it joyfully combines mysticism, alcoholism, kindness, good-fellowship, and thoughts on sanity/insanity together to create a memorable character. I read it aloud with my kids, ages 14 and 11, taking various parts. I didn't tell them beforehand about Elwood P. Dowd's mysterious friend, but they were delighted as Harvey emerged, made his presence known in the play, and eventually saved Dowd from a sinister-sounding "treatment".

Good fun and f
Aug 04, 2011 Kim rated it it was amazing
This is one of my all time favorite plays. I had the honor of directing it with a great cast. The idea that life is simply finding happiness and exploring that is so lovely. I envy Elwood's ability to find a friend in each person he meets. He can find pleasantries in each encounter and if there are none, he simply moves on to the next encounter. Harvey gives Elwood the ability to search out the little joys in life. Having a pooka to teach you, join you, and be with would be a nice day. And the c ...more
Jun 22, 2008 Emma rated it liked it
Okay so I went to get a head start on my all school reading only to find that pages 27-42 in my Harvery had been replaced with pages 43-58. So I could read pages 43-58 twice but it would require me to miss a good portion of the first act... Why when I am trying to get a head start on something does the universe put it's foot down?
Alex Mitchell
Oct 17, 2014 Alex Mitchell rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
“Harvey.” If you’re familiar with the movie starring James Stewart, then you know the story. However, not even Stewart’s wonderfully endearing portrayal of Elwood lets you delve into the depths of Mary Chase’s moving story. For that, only immersing yourself in the dialogue of her play from 1943, originally titled “The White Rabbit,” will do. And it’s well worth your time for Mary Chase does what all great artists do, she takes life’s most profound questions and creates an effortless comedy. We l ...more
Feb 13, 2014 Chris rated it really liked it
Harvey is a wonderful film starring James Stewart as the charismatic and kind Elwood P Dowd who wanders around his hometown accompanied by an invisible 6 foot 1 inch rabbit called 'Harvey' who no-one can see except Elwood. Although harmless and pleasant to everyone Elwood is taken to be a madman by his long suffering sister and niece who spend the film trying to have him committed.

Before it was made into a film Harvey was a very successful stage play and this little book is the play in full inc
Lauren (likes literature)
Oct 15, 2014 Lauren (likes literature) rated it really liked it
Shelves: classic, plays
YES, I've been reading a shit ton of plays lately. So sue me.

This is a cute little play, albeit a bit outdated in some language. However, despite its length, it effortlessly encompasses romance,comedy and family drama. It deals with themes of misogyny- though this could be a product of the time frame; it has expertly placed one-liners and subtle jokes, excellent character development, and a critique on family values, social norms, romance and mischievous rabbits.

I was also the stage manager of
Ashton Chase
Jun 27, 2012 Ashton Chase rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I played Ruth Kelly, and after reading Harvey over and over, I have to say, it is not only my hands down favorite play, but one of my favorite stories of all time. I hold this story close to my heart <3
Kiana Na
Sep 05, 2015 Kiana Na rated it it was amazing
نمايشنامه اى كوتاه و سرزنده. مردى به نام الوود كه دوست نامرئيش هاروى خوگوشى ماوراء الطبيعه و شش فوتى است.ديگران نمى بينندش واو را ديوانه مى پندارند ولى ناپيدايى هاروى دليل بر عدم وجود او نيست به نظر من داستان بر پايه ى مرز باريك عقلانيت و جنون است كه تفكيك ايندو گاهى ناممكن است.
Nov 20, 2015 Nazanin rated it really liked it
it was an interesting book.situation comedy plus simplicity and implicity.
Wt Prater
Great play, I loved it.
Mar 20, 2017 Realini rated it really liked it
Harvey adapted by Mary Chase from her Pulitzer Winning Play

A different version of this note and thoughts on other books are available at:

- and

Harvey is a six foot-tall...rabbit.
So you get the idea:

This must be either a comedy or a horror film
You can't make a drama with a hero like that...

Well, they have a tall thing in the White House and that apparition seemed as unlikely as a six foot rabbit, only some months ago.

Elwood P.
Mar 20, 2017 Mary rated it really liked it
fun, upbeat, and funny!

“Harvey” di Mary Chase è la sceneggiatura per una commedia teatrale in tre atti del 1944. Praticamente sconosciuta in Italia, quest’opera ha permesso alla sua autrice di vincere il premio Pulitzer per il teatro nel 1945. Nel 1950 fu poi adattata per il grande schermo, con protagonisti attori del calibro di James Stewart e Josephine Hull, entrambi vincitori dell’Oscar. La storia è incentrata sulle vicende di Elwood P. Dowd, eccentrico personaggio benvoluto
La Stamberga dei Lettori
“Harvey” di Mary Chase è la sceneggiatura per una commedia teatrale in tre atti del 1944. Praticamente sconosciuta in Italia, quest’opera ha permesso alla sua autrice di vincere il premio Pulitzer per il teatro nel 1945. Nel 1950 fu poi adattata per il grande schermo, con protagonisti attori del calibro di James Stewart e Josephine Hull, entrambi vincitori dell’Oscar. La storia è incentrata sulle vicende di Elwood P. Dowd, eccentrico personaggio benvoluto da tutti per i suoi modi da galantuomo d ...more
Feb 15, 2017 Laura rated it it was amazing
The Jimmy Stewart version is the BEST!!!
Oct 16, 2014 Pronks rated it really liked it
Shelves: plays, fiction
A wonderful story about the idea of perceptions and reality, though analyzed and explored in a generally accessible way. The story centers around Elwood P. Dowd, who has a friend named Harvey. While there is nothing strange about the description at face value, the true nature of the play comes to view when the reader discovers Harvey is not a person, but a six foot tall rabbit, and there is incredible doubt within Elwood's family and the surrounding characters as to whether or not Harvey really ...more
Hank Stuever
Nov 16, 2014 Hank Stuever rated it really liked it
When I was a senior in high school I played "Dr. Chumley" in the Bishop McGuinness Queen's Players production of "Harvey," November 21-22, 1985. (Yikes -- 29 years ago to the EXACT DAY.) It was probably my favorite drama club experience, so I wanted to read Mary Chase's original script again to see if I remembered any of the lines. (Only a few.)

My memories are that the first five or 10 minutes of the play are difficult and sort of slow. (And the script reminded me of that.) There are some funny
Jan 27, 2014 Laura rated it it was amazing
I'll love anything that inspired that wonderful movie...not to mention Jimmy Stewart's performance *swoon*

But seriously, this play is funny, witty, and above all paints a picture of the niceties, or not-so-niceties, of society. People are locked away when deemed mentally ill, even for something that is just a quirk, an eccentricity, or a unique feature of their personality. People are so quick to judge.

Not so with Mr. Elwood P Dowd. He is such a happy and understanding character, almost as naive
Read Harder Challenge 2016:

23. Read a play

What intrigued me: I wanted to read a play that was currently running in MN. Clayton suggested Harvey because he likes giant bunnies.

What I liked: I enjoyed reading the play, but watching David Kelly bring Elwood P. Dowd to life made him one of my favorite fictional characters. It is a fantastic story!

What I didn't like: It was originally written in the 1940's and some of the word usage was over my head while reading the play. Once I saw the actors pla
Aug 11, 2013 William rated it it was amazing
I gave this little play five stars for what it is, not for its greatness. It is an enjoyable read and I think most of you will already be familiar with the story from the wonderful Jimmy Stewart comedy, so I'll just leave you with a couple of quotes I gleaned from the play: "The difference between a fine oil painting and a mechanical thing like a photograph is simply this: a photograph shows only the reality; a painting shows not only the reality but the dream behind it--. It's our dreams that k ...more
Jun 10, 2015 LucidStyle rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 20th-cent, drama, american
Truly enjoyable!

The overt conflict in Harvey is the strained relationship between Elwood and his family, Veta and Myrtle, caused by Elwood's interaction with the invisible pooka, Harvey. Veta and Myrtle believe that Elwood is crazy and should be treated for mental illness. Elwood is oblivious and has no desire to even acknowledge their attitudes: He treats everyone respectfully and in and openly friendly and engaging way. The underlying conflict is alluding to the willingness of society to have
Dylan Kawalec
Apr 23, 2015 Dylan Kawalec rated it really liked it
Shelves: plays-read
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 13, 2014 Adam rated it it was amazing
Shelves: drama, favorites
I gave this a play a five, not because its a masterpiece. It certainly isn't Hamlet or anything like that. But it is a fantastic little show. It's wonderfully written, funny, with a great bunch of characters. Elwood Dowd is just so easy to fall in love with (both for the reader and people in the show). I know that everyone on here has already written this, but the one line gives such a great summation of the show:

"Dr. Chumley, my mother used to say to me, she'd say, 'In this world, Elwood,' - s
Janet Gardner
May 05, 2014 Janet Gardner rated it liked it
Shelves: plays
My husband is auditioning for the role of Elwood P. Dowd for a community theater production, so I thought I'd read the play in order to be better able to help him with some line readings. It was a good read...not much different (if memory serves) from the famous film version with Jimmy Stewart. What's not to like in a play that contains this line: "Years ago my mother used to say to me, she'd say, 'In this world, Elwood, you must be,' — she always called me Elwood — 'In this world, you must be o ...more
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“Years ago my mother used to say to me, she'd say, "In this world, Elwood, you must be" - she always called me Elwood - "In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant." Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me. ” 39 likes
“Doctor I've wrestled with reality for 40 years and I'm happy to say that I've finally won out over it.” 18 likes
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