On the first of November in 1944, a plucky Irish newspaper reporter from Denver named Mary Coyle Chase waited for the reviews to come in. It was her third try at a play – the first had closed after three weeks and the second never made it to a theater, though Hollywood bought the script. Maybe three would be a charm.
It was. ‘Harvey’ was a smash. It’s still the sixth-longest running play ever (not counting musicals) and it made Chase only the second woman ever to win a Pulitzer in drama. (In fact, between 1917 and 2010, only 12 Pulitzers in drama have gone to women.) ‘Harvey’ ran for four and a half years, 1,775 performances.
Only one remake has ever been made and it sank without a ripple. Many have been planned, but there seems to be a consensus that until there’s another Jimmy Stewart available, there’s not much point trying. Below, Elwood P. Dowd sums up life in 40 seconds – you can stream the whole thing on Netflix.
N.B. This blogger is on hiatus until the end of the month, so happy turkey day to all.