5.9/10
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Harriet the Spy (1996)

PG | | Comedy, Drama, Family | 10 July 1996 (USA)
Harriet M. Welsch is a spy. But when Harriet's friends find her secret notebook the tables are turned on her. Can she win her friends back and still keep on going with the spy business?

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (adaptation) | 3 more credits »
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3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Teisha Kim ...
Cecilley Carroll ...
Dov Tiefenbach ...
Boy with Purple Socks
Nina Shock ...
Carrie Andrews
Conor Devitt ...
Alisha Morrison ...
Laura Peters
Nancy Beatty ...

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Storyline

Harriet M. Welsch is a spy. But when Harriet's friends find her secret notebook the tables are turned on her. Can she win her friends back and still keep on going with the spy business?

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

On your case!

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Family

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild language and some thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 July 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Pequena Espiã  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$9,580,000 (USA) (12 July 1996)

Gross:

$26,539,321 (USA) (8 November 1996)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The telephone number of the Hong Kong Restaurant, 555-0134, is the same as Eddie Alden's in Someone Like You... (2001), Teddy's number in Memento (2000), Marla Singer's in Fight Club (1999), and a Mental institution in an episode of Millennium (1996). See more »

Goofs

After Miss Elson writes the word "Pirates" on the blackboard, its appearance changes twice. See more »

Quotes

Harriet M. Welsch: I hate money.
Sport: You'd like it a lot more if you didn't have any.
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the opening credits, items from Harriet's spy kit (i.e. magnifying glass, flashlight, and compass) are seen interacting with the credits as they appear. See more »

Connections

Features Mata Hari (1931) See more »

Soundtracks

La Serenata
Composed by Francesco Paolo Tosti
Lyrics by Giovanni Alfredo Cesareo
Performed by Beniamino Gigli
See more »

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User Reviews

Is About Itself
8 March 2005 | by (Virginia Beach) – See all my reviews

This little film has been roundly criticized for being disjointed and amateurish.

Well, it _is_ disjointed: part of it is surreal allegory, part realistic morality play. Part of it moves with a natural rhythm while other parts seem to have been transplanted from afternoon TeeVee. Some is done with a cartoon cosmology, and the rest is straight from Marlo Thomas' heart. Distributed throughout are mottles of bad acting and unconsidered dialog.

And I loved it all. Why?

Because this is in the tradition of movies and books that generate themselves. Rather, the characters in the stories play double duty as the authors of the story and the creators of the world that surrounds it. So it makes sense as precisely what a preteen would imagine her older self writing about her.

Indeed, the whole thing is a meditation on how someone might abstract the world (for writing) without a mature faculty for abstraction — which is to say how a kid would imagine an adult's mind imagining a kid's mind.

Its all about the deep problems of writing. I imagine the author of the original book sitting down and having trouble writing, them ruminating about why on the page.

Therefore, we have a youthful experimenter, a blocked writer, a "gardener" who makes environments from trash, another maker of environments (cages) who craves companionship, a woman who lives in a cage (Kitt), the Dad who is a movie comedian, together with lesser characters.

And the spy who spies so she can write what we see. It is all about sight and callow abstraction, just what movies were made for. Sure, it differs from the book because film can amplify what the book cannot. The adapter (the guy that did the game as life as game "Jumanji" project) understood this.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.


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