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Harriet the Spy

Harriet the Spy

5.0 2
Director: Bronwen Hughes

Cast: Michelle Trachtenberg, Rosie O'Donnell, Vanessa Lee Chester


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The first feature film from the Nickelodeon cable channel, Harriet the Spy is an updated version of Louise Fitzhugh's best-selling 1964 children's novel. Sixth grade outcast Harriet (Michelle Trachtenberg) is an only child who has mostly been raised by her nanny, Golly (Rosie O'Donnell), rather than her materialistic parents. Harriet wants to be a writer when


The first feature film from the Nickelodeon cable channel, Harriet the Spy is an updated version of Louise Fitzhugh's best-selling 1964 children's novel. Sixth grade outcast Harriet (Michelle Trachtenberg) is an only child who has mostly been raised by her nanny, Golly (Rosie O'Donnell), rather than her materialistic parents. Harriet wants to be a writer when she grows up, and only Golly encourages her creative pursuits. Meanwhile, Harriet dons a yellow raincoat and a belt full of gadgets to spy on everyone around her, including her eccentric neighbor with a lot of cats and the other kids at school. Carefully taking notes in her private notebook, Harriet makes clever and cruel observations about her subjects, including her best friends, would-be scientist Janie (Vanessa Lee Chester) and overburdened Sport (Gregory Smith). Harriet's world begins to change when Golly leaves, signaling that it is time for her to grow up. Then a snobby girl a school, Marion, gets her hands on Harriet's special notebook and makes its contents known to the whole school. Soon everyone is against Harriet, and she must concoct a plan to get even.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Donald Liebenson
"I learn about everything I can and I write down everything I see. If I want to be a writer, I'd better start now; which is why I am a spy." Preteens, especially, will want to sneak a peek at this somewhat edgy adaptation of Louise Fitzhugh's beloved 1964 novel. Michelle Trachtenberg stars as Harriet, who records observations about her sixth-grade classmates and neighborhood characters in her notebook. She's got a lot of explaining to do when the notebook falls into her friends' hands and they form a spy-catchers' club in retaliation. Rosie O'Donnell costars as Harriet's nanny, Golly, who tells her, "There are as many ways to live as there are people in this world, and they all deserve a closer look." And so does this movie, produced under the Nickelodeon banner. Trachtenberg may have worn out her welcome on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but she is pitch-perfect here as the plucky would-be scribe. As is said often on The Simpsons, it's funny because it's true.
All Movie Guide - Andrea LeVasseur
Updating the '60s children's novel for a '90s Nickelodeon audience, Harriet the Spy retells the classic story with all the wild design and green slime that kids have come to expect from the cable network. As Harriet M. Welsch, ten-year-old Michelle Trachtenberg (from the underrated Adventures of Pete & Pete TV series) creates a realistic ego-driven creative force, a bona fide heroine who suffers for her art. Stylistically, the world in which Harriet resides is full of bright colors and wacky patterns, with everything having an oversized cartoon sense to it. She and her friends even hang out in a magical play garden full of hands-on junkyard art and trees bearing bottles of soda pop. Yet, the fun is interrupted as the group of wealthy and privileged classmates begin to display a real mean-spiritedness in their ridicule of Harriet, and she too is cruel in her revenge. Though sometimes heading in the direction of sentiment in the scenes with Golly (Rosie O'Donnell), the story mostly remains full of sharp humor and inventive dialogue. While it sometimes seems like an extra-long Nickelodeon TV show, Harriet the Spy nevertheless is a smart kid's movie, celebrating youthful exuberance and managing to address some brutal life lessons.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Paramount Catalog
Region Code:

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Michelle Trachtenberg Harriet M. Welsch
Rosie O'Donnell Ole Golly
Vanessa Lee Chester Janie Gibbs
Gregory Smith Sport
J. Smith-Cameron Mrs. Welch
Robert Joy Mr. Welsch
Eartha Kitt Agatha K. Plummer
Don Francks Harrison Withers
Eugene Lipinski George Waldenstein
Charlotte Sullivan Marion Hawthorne
Nancy Beatty Miss Elson
Sally Cahill Maid
Cecilley Carroll Beth Ellen Hansen
Roger Clown Doctor Wagner
Connor Devitt Pinky Whitehead
Mercedes Enriquez Windchime Lady
Vic Ho Acupuncturist
Jamie Jones Pickpocket
Teisha Kim Rachel Hennessy
Roland Kirouac Choreographer
Paul Sun-Hyung Lee Bruno Hong Fat
Kwok-Wing Leung Grandpa Hong Fat
Kim Lieu Paige Hong Fat
Alisha Morrison Laura Peters
Gladys O'Connor Woman With Purse
Gerry Quigley Sport's Dad
Jackie Richardson Janie's Mother
Nina Shock Carrie Andrews
Dov Tiefenbach Boy With Purple Socks
Tsui Mung-Ling Mrs, Hong Fat
Bob Windsor Dog Delivery Guy
Byron Wong Frankie Hong Fat

Technical Credits
Bronwen Hughes Director
Paul Denham Austerberry Art Director
Jeffrey T. Barabe Asst. Director
Debbie Beece Executive Producer
Douglas Bell Special Effects
Douglas Bell Special Effects
Jason Board Special Effects
Thomas Carnegie Set Decoration/Design
Debra Chiate Editor
Lester Cohen Production Designer
Angelo Colavecchia Camera Operator
Jennifer Deathe Asst. Director
Cameron Frankley Sound/Sound Designer
Glen Gauthier Sound Mixer
Bob Hall Special Effects
John Hobson Camera Operator
Scott Jacobson Set Decoration/Design
Francis Kenny Cinematographer
Arthur Langevin Special Effects
Nava Levin Co-producer
Tim Lidstone Special Effects
Henri Lopez Sound Mixer
Douglas Petrie Screenwriter
Julia Pistor Associate Producer
Marykay Powell Producer
Theresa Rebeck Screenwriter
Don Reddy Camera Operator
Gary Sales Asst. Director
Jill Greenberg Sands Casting
Liz Schrek Musical Direction/Supervision
Jamshied Sharifi Score Composer
Andrew Shea Asst. Director
Gordon Sim Set Decoration/Design
Ken A. Smith Asst. Director
Julie Talen Screenwriter
Greg "Fingers" Taylor Screenwriter
David Van Slyke Sound/Sound Designer
Donna Zakowska Costumes/Costume Designer

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Sixth Grade [9:20]
2. Golly [7:13]
3. Tomato Sandwich [5:45]
4. Dinner and a Movie [5:34]
5. The Time has Come [5:18]
6. Something's Different [4:49]
7. Pageant Ideas [6:31]
8. A Good Spy Never Gets Caught [6:04]
9. Bumper Tag [7:30]
10. Spycatcher's Club [6:22]
11. Everybody Hates Me [7:08]
12. Revenge [5:27]
13. Beauty is Truth [6:46]
14. I'm Sorry [7:38]
15. Seen and Heard [6:51]
16. End Credits [3:08]


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Harriet the Spy 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
goodgirl2 More than 1 year ago
yes a very cute movie.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Harriet The Spy VHS Harriet The Spy DVD
Guest More than 1 year ago
Exellent movie. Often i find unsatisfying films that have tried to sqeeze an epic story and adventure into too little time or have missed a big part that should be in that movie, this is not one them. An exellent story in which Michelle Tratchenberg plays the main role of an 11 year old girl who dreams of being a famous writer one day(Of course,you should probably Know i'm under 13) so this movie inspired me to write my own notebook and become a spy. It went quite well for about a day until the affects of the movie wore off.I sorta gave up and couldn't be bothered after that. Harriet is a smart young girl in a sixth grade class with her best friends Janiee and sport. Her Nanny Golly tells her that she should Write down the things that interest her, so with her daily route, her foolproof costume,( a yellow rain coat,), and of course , her trusty notebook, she becomes ,Harriet the spy. But when her class mates discover the contents of her secret journal, even her best friends turn against her,will Harriet ever fix it , or will she have to choose between being a spy, and everything else. A great family movie though prefferably for pre-teens that will laeve children asking for their very own , Harriet the spy notebook.