Harriet the Spy (film)

1996 film by Bronwen Hughes

Harriet the Spy is a 1996 comedy-drama/mystery film about a girl spy. But when her friends find her secret notebook, the tables are turned on her. Can she win them back and still keep on going with the spy business?

Directed by Bronwen Hughes. Written by Doug Petrie and Theresa Rebeck, based on the 1964 novel of the same name, drawn and written by Louise Fitzhugh.
See the world through the eyes of a spy.taglines

Harriet M. Welsch

  • I want to learn everything I can, and I write down everything I see. Golly says if I want to be a writer someday, I better start now, and that is why I am a spy.
  • The only thing worse than being Marion Hawthorn, is wanting to be Marion Hawthorn.
  • Carrie Andrews thinks she's cool because she spent her summer vacation growing boobs.

Katherine "Ole Golly"

  • There are as many ways to live in this world as there are people in this world, and each one deserves a closer look.
  • You know what? You're an individual, and that makes people nervous. And it's going to keep making people nervous for the rest of your life.
  • Good friends are one of life's blessings. Don't give them up without a fight.
  • Just because you're going to be alone now doesn't mean the world stops turning. You'll keep writing in your notebooks and when you're grown up and you publish your first novel, I'll be first in line at that bookstore, getting an autographed copy.
  • You remember, a good spy can get in there and fight. Goodbye, Harriet the Spy.

Simon "Sport" Rocque

  • This stuff is beyond crap. It is what crap wants to be when it grows up.


  • Janie's Mom: JANIE! I am sick to death of this mad scientist baloney! Look at this! Look at this!


Harriet: I want to remember everything. And I want to know everything.
Ole: Well, you must realize, Harriet, knowing everything won't do you a bit of good unless you use it to put beauty in this world. True or false?
Harriet: True.
Ole: Of course it is.

Ole: The time has come, the walrus said...
Harriet: To talk of many things...
Ole: Of shoes and ships and ceiling wax...
Harriet: Of cabbages and kings...
Ole: And why the sea is boiling hot...
Harriet: And whether pigs have wings!
Ole: Do you have any wings?
Harriet: Yeah.
Ole: [starts "spanking" her] Yeah? Let me see them!
Harriet: [laughing] Ow! Ow! Child abuse! Child abuse!
Ole: You want to see child abuse? Take that! And that!

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

Sport's Dad: [overly ecstatic] Will you take a look at this. Huh? Huh? What do you think of your old man now, Sport? Ten thousand smackaroos! No more paying with change. No more, no more spaghetti. Going to feel like steak. And you know those fancy basketball sneakers with the, with the buckles and the Velcro and the crap all over them? Their yours, buddy boy, all yours! [his phone rings, he answers it] Hello? Murray. Hey, hey I take it all back. All agents aren't useless. Oh, I'm kidding you, I'm kidding you, man. You know I was always in your corner. Oh, yeah, I knew you'd come through. Well, Sport and I are going to do a little celebrating today...
[knock at the door, Sport answers. It's Harriet]
Harriet: Hey.
Sport: Hey.
Harriet: Sold his book?
Sport: Got a real job.
Sport's Dad: [notices Harriet] Hey, Harriet, you hear the good news?
Harriet: [smiling] You're a writer. So how's it feel?
Sport's Dad: Oh, big slice off heaven, side order of fries. Say, you hungry? I feel like going to the fanciest, schmaniest restaurant in town. We'll abuse the waiter. Who's with me? Harriet?
Sport: She can't come.
Sport's Dad: What do you mean she can't come? You haven't even asked her.
Sport: [firmly] I said she can't come. [to Harriet] You can't be my friend if you're not my friend. [he closes the door on Harriet]
Harriet: [from the other side of the door, crying] I'm sorry, Sport. I'm sorry.

Harriet: How long have you known me, Golly?
Ole Golly: Since you were born. That's 11 years and 12,000 tomato sandwiches ago.
Harriet: And you'll never leave me, right?
Ole Golly: Well I won't leave you leave you, but one day you'll be old enough and... well, old enough to take care of yourself and when that day comes you won't need me around anymore. But that day is not today.

Harriet: [Golly closes the door on her parents screaming] Hey, I want to hear that.
Ole Golly: Yeah? Well I want to sing opera, but I can't, so I don't.

Harriet: [in tears] I'm not gonna cry, I'm not gonna cry, I'm not gonna cry.
Ole Golly: Nah it's okay to cry, but whatever you do, don't laugh, no Harriet, I will not tolerate laughter as I leave. No.

Harriet: Are you gonna go be some other kid's nanny now?
Ole Golly: And love them more than you? Never. Remember in my life, in this world, there will always only be one Harriet.

Miss Elson: [to the class] Good morning. Today we're... [pauses and sees Harriet's hand raised] Yes, Harriet?
[Harriet puts her hand down and stands up out of her desk]
Harriet: Miss Elson, I've been thinking a lot, and you know how class president automatically gets to be editor of the sixth grade newspaper?
Miss Elson: Yes.
Harriet: Well... I think... I think it's too much for one person and it's not fair to everybody because everybody deserves a chance, and we should change it.
[Marion slams her hand down on her desk]
Marion: [shouting loudly] OBJECTION!
Miss Elson: This isn't a courtroom, Marion. [as Harriet sits back down in her seat] I like that idea, Harriet. Let's see what the class thinks.
Marion: [gets up from her desk] Miss Elson, I think I speak for everybody when I say this is... this is a really, really, stupid idea!
Miss Elson: That is one opinion. But let's take a vote. Marion is now editor of The Guidepost, would anyone like to nominate another candidate?
[the class whispers among themselves about another candidate]
Miss Elson: Well... I guess if no one has anything to say...
Boy with Purple Socks: [gets up from his desk and finally speaks in front of the entire class, much to everybody's surprise] I have something to say: I think that Harriet is a very good writer, and if we only listen to one person's opinion, we may never get anywhere new. But Harriet might have something very original, and I'd like to read what she has to write.
[sits back down]
Miss Elson: Is there a second?
Sport: [raises his hand] I second it.
Janie Gibbs: [raises her hand] I third it.
Miss Elson: Okay, then. Harriet Welsch is now a candidate for editor. Who votes for Harriet?
[much to Marion's dismay, the entire class raises their hands in approval for Harriet as editor; Harriet raises both hands]
Miss Elson: And that... is that.
Harriet: [whispers] Yes!


  • See the world through the eyes of a spy.
  • On your case!
  • Some kids collect insects. Others collect dolls. Harriet M. Welsh collects secrets.
  • There's no lead she won't follow. No question she won't ask. And no way she'll ever get caught!


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