Harriet the Spy (1996)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Welcome to the spyhouse: The beloved novel by Louise Fitzhugh arrives on the screen as a study in prepubescent torment, although one with energy, good performances and some sturdy object lessons.

Rating: PG (for mild language and some thematic elements)
Genre: Action & Adventure, Kids & Family, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Louise Fitzhugh, Douglas Petrie, Theresa Rebeck, Greg Taylor, Julie Talen
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 27, 2003
Paramount Pictures


as Catherine Golly

as Janie Gibbs

as Mrs. Welsch

as Mr. Welsch

as Agatha K. Plummer

as Harrison Withers

as Marion Hawthorne

as Rachel Hennessy

as Beth Ellen Hansen

as Boy With Purple Sock...

as Carrie Andrews

as Pinky Whitehead

as Laura Peters

as Pinky Whitehead

as Miss Elson

as George Waldenstein

as Sport's Dad

as Janie's Mother

as Choreographer

as Windchime Lady

as Bruno Hong Fat

as Mrs. Hong Fat

as Mr. Hong Fat

as Frankie Hong Fat

as Bruno Hong Fat

as Paige Hong Fat

as Grandpa Hong Fat

as Dr. Wagner

as Pickpocket

as Mrs, Hong Fat

as Dog Delivery Guy

as Woman With Purse

as Acupuncturist

as Choreographer
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Critic Reviews for Harriet the Spy

All Critics (41) | Top Critics (20)

A very draggy affair because Harriet's exploits are treated like an episodic laundry list.

Full Review… | February 9, 2002
Washington Post
Top Critic

...in busily updating the '60s story for the more worldly '90s, the filmmakers have ended up, ironically, with a product much more naively juvenile than the original.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Top Critic

Harriet the Spy has real character in some of its details, but it never feels like much more than a low-budget TV show.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

...a tedious adaptation...

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

There's a certain amateurish quality about Harriet the Spy, but it's more the TV-trained grownups behind the camera...than the pint-sized thespians in front of it.

January 1, 2000
Top Critic

The film's OK, a little thick with sensory overload, but it wasn't made for old guys like me.

January 1, 2000
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Harriet the Spy

This is another movie that really inspired me when I was younger. Many people can relate to Harriet's problems in this movie, or have wanted to be spies like her at some point in their childhood. This is a good movie. Also, this movie is based on a great children's book.

Aj V

Super Reviewer

True to the book, but it's fitted more for kids, so my rating is based off how I interpret it.

Spencer S.

Super Reviewer


Probably Michelle Trachtenberg's best performance. I thought this movie was okay as a kid, but now, I like it even better. I can't quite pinpoint the quality - perhaps it's the bluesy groove or Rosie O'Donnell's straightforward delivery of the life lessons.

Alice Shen

Super Reviewer

Harriet the Spy Quotes

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