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Henry Fool Details


Simon Grim (James Urbaniak) is a garbageman, and his life is about as unpleasant and uneventful as you'd expect given his profession; he doesn't much care for his work, he's treated with violence or contempt by most of the people in his neighborhood, and he shares a house with Mary (Maria Porter), his cranky, pill-head mother, and Fay (Parker Posey), his morally suggestible sister. One day, Henry Fool (Thomas Jay Ryan) appears; he claims to be a writer in the midst of a major project, entitled "Confessions," and needs a place to stay. Henry ends up moving in with Simon and his family, where he wastes no time in bedding both Mary and Fay, and encourages Simon to write in a journal. Simon begins to write in long torrents of words that surprisingly fall together into iambic pentameter; Henry tells Simon that what he's writing is poetry, and he's truly gifted. Simon seems dubious at first, but when several of Simon's pieces are posted on the Internet, he developes a huge and rabid following and is acclaimed as one of the great authors of our time. Henry, however, isn't able to get anywhere with his own book or his own life; as Simon's star slowly rises, Henry's orbit slowly sinks past the horizon. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

  • Release date:June 19, 1998


Awarded by
Cannes Film Festival Hal Hartley Best Screenplay 1998 Winner


Thomas Jay Ryan
as Henry Fool
James Urbaniak
as Simon Grim
Parker Posey
as Fay Grim
Maria Porter
as Mary
James Saito
as Mr. Deng
Kevin Corrigan
as Warren
Liam Aiken
as Ned
Miho Nikaido
as Gnoc Deng
Nicholas Hope
as Father Hawkes
Diana Ruppe
as Amy
Veanne Cox
as Laura
Jan Leslie Harding
as Vicky
Chuck Montgomery
as Angus
Paul Greco
as Concierge


Hal Hartley
Hal Hartley
Hal Hartley
Michael Spiller
Hal Hartley
Composer (Music Score)
Steve Hamilton
Steve Rosenzweig
Production Designer
Jerome Brownstein
Associate Producer
Thierry Cagianut
Associate Producer
Keith Abell
Executive Producer
Larry Meistrich
Executive Producer
Daniel J. Victor
Executive Producer
Jocelyn Joson
Costume Designer
Daniel McIntosh
Sound/Sound Designer
Richard Sylvarnes
Still Photographer