James Stewart has an invisible friend, a two meter long rabbit called Harvey. Directed by Henry Koster.
This must surely be one of the best performances by James Stewart. I can't really think of an other actor from that period that could have done the job as well. As with a lot of old comedies I find this film to be more appealing than actually funny. The times it IS funny it's always character based. You don't get the feeling the film makers tried to cram in as many jokes as possible, just to get the laughs. If there is something that separates this film from modern comedies I can't really think of an other word than CLASS. That works both ways, of course, since the opposite of class, rudeness and tastelessness, often is very funny.
It's made me think of what recent comedies I've liked, and I can only think of Liar Liar and Knocked Up. They're both sort of exceptions. I don't like most of the films of Jim Carrey or Judd Apatow. Two of their films, Fun With Dick And Jane and Funny People actually made me angry of having wasted my time after having watched them. That can't really be a good thing for comedies, I would think. A lot of these films seem to be based on improvisation. You take actors that are known to be funny, put them together and hope that at least one of them will say or do something funny. Sometimes it works. Most of the times you get unfunny drek like The Wedding Crashers or The Hangover. But to be fair, it might be a generation thing. Animal House and Stripes I still find funny and can watch over and over.
Oh, another thing, while I'm up on my soapbox - why are trailers for comedies so awful? It might be a good film, but based on the trailer, the last thing you want to do is go see it. Oh, well... Next up: Philadelphia Story!