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Harry Potter: book & film comparison


New Member
Hello there,

I am a student from Germany and I am writing an essay for my final exam on Harry Potter on the topic: a comparison between book and film ("the Philosopher`s stone" and "the chamber of secrets")

Can anyone help? I am interessted in your opinion on the adaptation and on differences between the book and the film. Are there any crucial mistakes and why? What do you think of the actors chosen? Do you think that the films are close to the books?



New Member
I have only seen the first Harry Potter movie, though I've read all the books, so I can only offer an opinion on that one. At any rate, I thought the first film was dreadful. Because of the director's slavish devotion to include every little incident from the novel, the film ended up seeming highly disjointed. For instance, Norbert the Dragon is a rather large subplot in the first book. In the movie, Norbert made two cameos, and so his role in furthering the main plot seemed like Deus ex Machina in the movie.
There is another scene in the movie where Ron makes fun if Hermione (i.e. says one partially insensitive sentence), and Hermione has a complete screaming, crying meltdown. Because no ground work has been set out in the movie, Hermione ends up seeming like a psychopath. In the book, though, we get to see the long build up to this explosion between Ron and Hermione.


New Member
yes, i would have to aggree with FUNES, the movies were dreadful. I would have rather not have watched either. I'll go into detail about the Sorceror's Stone first.
First off, there are many details missing all together in the 1st movie. The opening discussion between Dumbledore and McGonagall left out quite a few details that help to understand how dangerous Voldemort is. Also, in Diagon Alley, when Harry went to go get his wand, i thought that entire sequence was wrong. In the novel, when you are trying out wands, nothing happens until you find the right one, upon which, sparks will fly out of the end. But in the movie, stuff keeps breaking because they are the wrong wands and when he does find the right one, a bright shining light appears, like a sign from God. Also, in the film, Harry met Draco on the train when in the book, he met him while trying on robes. That's when he realizes he doesn't know much about the wizarding world (i.e. quiddich). Another thing was the sorting hat. Book- went alphabetically, movie- randomly. Also, they totally left out Harry's dream, the one with Quirrell's turban. Another thing i noticed was Neville wasn't with Harry, Ron, and Hermione when they met fluffy, like he was in the book. Another thing was the Mirror of Erised, in the book, Harry saw his whole family, including not immediate family members. In the movie, he just saw him, his mom, and dad. Also, they way Hermione figured out about Nicolas Flamel was different in the movie. They totally left out the room Snape made to protect the Sorceror's Stone, the potion room. That is important because it's suppose to show Snape was trying to protect the stone.
Now for the second movie. I found this one to be worse than the first. They left out the opening scene with Harry feeling sorry for himself about his friends, his threatening Dudley, and all the chores he had to do because of it. Also, they left out the whole scene of of the Malfoy's in Knockturn alley. That was showing how evil Lucius is. Another problem was the character developement of Gileroy Lockhart. In the books, he's quite the know-it-all that everyone hates but in the movies, he hardly seems cocky at all. He didn't seem quite as important in the movie as he did in the book. They totally left out Nearly-Headless Nick's Deathday party so the attacks didn't really go with how the book had it. In the dueling club, everyone was suppose to have gotten partnered up but the movie just shows everyone watching Draco and Harry. Also, Crabbe and Goyle seem like they couldn't hurt a fly, they look so sweet and innocent. Also, nothing was mentioned about Penelope Clearwater, Percy's girlfriend. Nothing about her getting petrified at all. Another thing they left out was Ginny finding out that Harry found the journal. That was suppose to happen on Valentines day when "cupid" knocked harry down and his bag (containing the journal) split in 2 making all his stuff go everywhere. That's why she went through his stuff to take it back.The whole battle with the Basilisk was totally messed up. Harry didn't go running away from it, hiding, he fought it, with the help of Fawkes.
Those are just some of the things i found very wrong with the movies. Also, i hate the way they pronouce Voldemort, the t is suppose to be silent. There are also other mis-pronounced words. The only actors i think do a good job protraying the characters are: Draco Malfoy, Hermione Granger, and Oliver Wood. The Weasley twins are very important too but they have all but 3 lines in the entire 2 movies. Their character development needs work, they don't seem like the mischevious guys we've grown to know and love. All i know is, i'm never watching another Harry Potter movie, i'm so overly critical about them that i can't enjoy it! Hope this helped you goettingen! email me if you need anymore help! bye


New Member
Well i have to say that i enjoyed both the Philosopher's Stone and Chamber of Secrets movies - okay so they wernt perfect, but who'd expect them to stick directly to the source material anyway, theres only so much you can do in a 2 hour movie

The kids were adequate for the roles, and they were all much better in the second one - and the adults were great, especially Alan Rickman as Snape and Robbie Coltrane as Hagrid :)



New Member
Just in case, what I meant to say was that I thought that the problem with the 1st Harry Potter movie was not that things were left out. Rather, I thought that a great deal more should have been left out. If you look at the LOTR movies, one of the real genius aspects of them is that so much was left out (i.e. Tom Bombadil and Bill the Horse, etc.).
Perhaps if the film makers had thought kids would sit through a three hour movie, and edited accordingly, maybe I'd have a higher opinion of it.
I also, in all honesty, have to admit that to an extent I had very high expectations for the Potter movie.


New Member
I enjoyed watching both the movies. I don't at all agree with IlUvSiRiUsBlAcK when s/he says the movies weren't good because they left so many things out... On the contrary, if they had filmed the book literally, it wouldn't have made good cinema at all... You'd be watching something way too stuffed, and the movie would probably go on for hours. What they did do was make a movie that was based on the book, but that would be enjoyable for those who haven't read it as well. And I think they managed to do just that. (although funes might be right, and kids might've thought it too long-winded)


New Member
Thank you!!!!! :)

Hey guys,

you are doing a great job. I am very happy with your comments and they help me a lot.

Maybe you got some more specific information on the following characters and settings:

- Harry Potter
- Hermione Granger
- Draco Malfoy
- Albus Dumbledore
- Dobby (how did you image him to look like?)

- the house of the Dursleys
- Hogwarts
- The great Hall
- The forbidden forest
- the Quidditch field

and/or any specific remarks on dialogues and language concerns?



New Member
I didn't mean that the Movies weren't great because they left out details, i was only explaining the differences between the books and the movies. I didn't enjoy the movies because the acting was bad for the most part (with the exception of the few i named before), and because of the character developement throughout the movies wasn't great. Also, the Weasleys have a lot more to do with the book than in the movie. I would have liked to have seen more of them in the movie. But other than that, there's nothing much else.


New Member
I thaught the first movie was OK for a first try and I agree that they included a lot more then they needed in some instances and not enouph in others but it was by no meand terrible and they did alot better with the second film. I expect the third film will be an even better imprvement if they can accuratly represent the whole time travel thing with Hermoine. i expect that will be difficult. I would also like to say that, tough Fred and George are practically my favorite characters(if it's possible to shoose any out of all the wonderful characters that JK Rowling has created. That i think is the bst thing about her books) the reoson their not mentioned much in the first two movies is that they werent mentioned tht much in the first two books. hey get much more attenton in the next three books so I expect they will in the next three movies.