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Henry Fool

Promotional one-sheet
Directed by Hal Hartley
Produced by Larry Meistrich
Hal Hartley
Written by Hal Hartley
Starring Thomas Jay Ryan
James Urbaniak
Parker Posey
Liam Aiken
Music by Hal Hartley
Cinematography Michael Spiller
Editing by Steve Hamilton
Distributed by Sony Pictures Classics
Release date(s) September 7, 1997 (Toronto Film Festival)
June 19, 1998 (wide)
Running time 137 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Followed by Fay Grim (2006)

Henry Fool is a 1997 seriocomic film directed, written, and produced by Hal Hartley, featuring Thomas Jay Ryan, James Urbaniak, and Parker Posey. As in The Unbelievable Truth, an earlier Hartley film, expectation and reality again conflict.

The film won the best screenplay award at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival, where it was also nominated for the Golden Palm.[1] A sequel, titled Fay Grim, was released in 2007.



Socially inept garbageman Simon Grim is befriended by Henry Fool, a witty rogue, but untalented novelist. Henry opens the world of literature to Simon, who then writes "the great American poem.” As Simon begins his ascent to the dizzying heights of Nobel Prize-winning poet, Henry sinks to a life of drinking in low-life bars. Henry's own attempts at fame result only in rejection by the same publisher who contracts with Simon to distribute his work. The friends fall out and lose touch until Henry’s criminal past catches up with him and needs Simon’s help in fleeing the country.



  • A withdrawn Canadian $1 bill is on display at the cash in the convenience store, along with a second foreign banknote.
  • A passage from this movie is featured at the beginning of the Rise Against song "Reception Fades", from their debut album The Unraveling, released in 2001.


External links



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