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Last updated: December 28th, 2002
Contents of this document
Movie Mistakes (NOT book / movie disparities)
Misconceptions
Trivia
Book / Movie Mistakes

Movie mistakes (NOT book / movie disparities)

  • At the beginning, Dumbledore is taking out all of the street lights, from one shot, the street light closest to Dumbledore on HIS right is still lit, but in the next shot, which is a close up of him taking the light, and shots later, the street light is out and he never "took" the light from that one. [Well, something has to be cut...]
  • At the beginning when Harry first walks out of his closet, the shirt tail is up around the top of his pants, yet is pulled down when he walks through the door into the kitchen the next moment.
  • Harry was born on July 31, 1980. If that's so, then the movie would have taken place in 1991. But, in the movie, when Harry and the Dursleys' are leaving the house to go to the zoo, the car they get into is a '98.
  • After Hagrid bend the barrel of Vernon's gun he fired it. This will under normal circumstances result in an explosion in the barrel. Instead the bullet passes the bend (magically?) and makes a big(!) hole in the ceiling.
  • When Harry and Ron are sat on the train, Ron's hair begins with a centre parting, but soon changes to a side parting (and back again).
  • When Ron is in the Hogwarts train with Harry he has a big dark dirt stain on his nose, but when he is sitting on the other side (with Harry) it's barely there! And he couldn't of wiped it off beacause Hermione later comes in and informs him, THEN he tries to wipe it off.
  • How did Hermione know it was Harry Potter when on Hogwarts Express his scar was covered by his fringe?
  • On the train to Hogwarts, Hermione tells Harry and Ron that they need to get their school clothes on, as they will arrive soon. It is daytime outside. Yet the train arrives at Hogsmeade Station in the middle of the night.
  • In the sorting ceremony, we see Susan Bones, the girl with long curly hair, was sorted into Hufflepuff House. Later, in Professor Snape's Potion class, we see Susan was sitting behind Harry when Snape questions him. Only Gryffindor and Slytherin are attending in that class together - Susan was in the wrong class!
  • When Harry is sitting in the window with Hedwig, first shot his ankles are crossed - close up, they are not.
  • When professor McGonagal turns from a cat back into a human she isn't wearing her glasses, but in the next shot she is wearing them!
  • Ron tells Professor McGonnagal that her tranformation was "bloody brilliant" and she doesn't bat an eye. This is rather obscene language for an eleven-year old to use in school. Americans don't realize how inappropriate this language would be in a formal British school. [On the other hand, she might be so confused about the glasses that she didn't notice what he said ;) ]
  • When Harry is in the potions class he is caught writing notes down, we see his neat writing in close up ... but when the camera angle changes we can see that the writing has changed in size to very large letters and quite messy writing.
  • When Harry, Ron, and Hermoine get off the stairs (which have just moved) onto the third floor, the stairs bounce, clearly illustrating that they are not made of the hard stone they appear to be.
  • During the flying lesson when Neville's broom goes out of control, Ron covers his face with his hand. In the next shot, from above, both of Ron's hands are down at his sides.
  • When Quirrel enters the Great Hall telling about the troll he falls face down with his right leg to the side of the aisle. In a later shot both legs are in the center of the aisle.
  • When the troll is about to swing at Harry for the third time with his club, Ron levitates his club in mid-air. When the club falls, it hits the trolls head with a loud thunk, then falls to the ground. But you never hear any sound of the club hitting the ground.
  • In the end of the troll scene Snape is seen being hurt on his right leg, but before the Quidditch match he is limping like his left leg is hurt.
  • Harry's scar vanishes when he is upside down during the Quidditch match, the Troll scene, when he talks to Snape ("what would 3 young Gryffindors be doing inside on a day like this?"), and at Olivanders (when his hair is "windy" - afterwards the scar is there). Ok, a better look at the Quidditch scene reveals that there actually IS a scar, but it has a different texture than everywhere else in the movie. (Actually it looks more like a normal scar, but magic scars might not look like ordinary scars).
  • In the scene when Harry is sitting in the dark looking at the mirror, just before the Dumbledore comes from behind to talk to him, you can easily see the shadow of a camera man and camera on the wall.
  • During the soft-cut from winter to spring, the camera zooms past the Quidditch Pitch and towards Hogwarts. It only shows the hoops, not the stands around the Pitch.
  • When Harry, Ron, and Hermione are telling Hagrid that Snape is trying to steal the stone, he tells them that Snape helped protect the stone, and 'he's not about to steal it'. So far so good, sticks to the book. However when they actually try to save the stone, Snape's challenge, the logic one with potions, is missing!
  • In the scene when Harry, Ron, and Hermione visit Hagrid, Malfoy is visible through the window. He appears to be eye level with the window and is shown turning and running away. When the camera zooms out later in the film, the same window that Malfoy is supposedly looking through is far too high for anybody to see through without a ladder. He obviously didn't have a ladder or he would have fallen off it when he turned to run away.
  • This must always be a risk when working with child actors and filming out of sequence, but Daniel Radcliffe's voice obviously started to break during filming. It was most noticeable during the scene in the forest when his voice went from high to low to high again (and again, and again...)
  • Starwars sounds on flying owls and, especially, the centaur, and during Quidditch.
  • In the scene where Harry is talking to Hermione and Ron about Hagrid's dragon, he says "Hagrid's always wanted a dragon, he told me so the first time I ever met him," but in the movie Hagrid never tells this to Harry. [Watch the deleted scenes - it was cut (I'll call THAT a mistake ;) ]
  • When the three children get past Fluffy because the harp is playing, as Fluffy wakes he dribbles on Ron's shoulder. However, when they fall down into the Devil's Snare, his shirt is completely dry.
  • After Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) is knocked unconscious in the chess scene he moves/twitches three times (his body when flying debris hits him, his leg when the camera pulls away, and his mouth when Harry and Hermione are running towards his body).
  • After the final confrontation Harry has scratches on his face, particularly one on his chin. When visited by Prof Dumbledore the chin scratch is barely there but in the scene in the refectory it is back and appears larger than before.
  • In the last scene in the Great Hall Malfroy's hair is sometimes completely covered by his hat, and sometimes you can see his fringe - is changes quite a number of times. Apparently Malfroy noticed, because in the end he takes off the hat and smashes it on the table. ;)
  • Last scene of the Hogwarts Express: the trees to the left of the screen are blowing madly in the wind, while the trees to the right aren't moving at all.
  • Harry's eyes are sometimes green, sometimes blue. Maybe due to lighting? Actually the same is true for his hair which is supposed to be jet-black. It is sometimes rather brownish.
Misconceptions
  • When Malfoy first talks, the window behind him is bright blue. He talks about "it's true then, what they are saying on the train, Harry Potter has come to Hogwarts." Everyone says "Harry Potter" and when it cuts back to Malfoy, the window is much much darker. Both a mistake in terms of continuity between windows, and also a mistake because we'd seen everyone turn up in total darkness earlier, so the window shouldn't have been light in the first place.

    The light is due to the moon, the dark window is due to the shade of a building/tower (there are many at Hogwarts). I do admit that the windows seems unusual bright even considering the light of a full moon - but that seems to happen all over the movie, including the scene in the restricted section of the library, when Quirrel and Snape has an argue, and at the mirror of Erised.

  • At the start of term feast, after Harry is sorted into Gryffindor, he sits down on the right side of the table next to Ron. When the feast appears, Harry is on the other side of the table, next to Hermione.

    The new students are not supposed to sit by themselfes at the end of the table during the feast, but during the sorting the empty seats are at one end of the tables. Therefore they've been mixed with the other students.

  • Near the start, Percy says "Boys upstairs and down on your left, girls the same on your right". However, after the three heroes have been to investigate Fluffy and they go back to the dorms, when they reach the top of the stairs Hermione goes to the left and the boys head right.

    When Hermione turns left the camera is turned 180 degrees from the point of Percy. That is: She IS turning right.

  • When Ron, Hermione, and Harry are looking at James Potter's seeker plaque in the trophy case, a similar crest next to his says that McGonnagall was on the same Gryffindor Quidditch team - the movie leads you to believe she was pretty old. That means, by my reasoning, that she would have been at least 20 years old when she started playing for the Gryffindors in the 1970s.

    This might be a different McGonagall, or a child of Professor McGonagall, for there's no evidence that this is the McGonagall currently teaching at the time.

  • When Professor Quirrel runs into the dining hall, to tell everyone about the troll, he faints. It is shown that he falls down face first, but when it shows all the students running, Quirrel is suddenly flipped over, lying on his back.

    Not true, but he's position is changed

  • When Harry first views the golden snitch, and it begins to fly in the air, both characters are apparently watching it, but are looking in different directions.

    When the snitch is released Harry and Oliver are looking in different directions because only Harry can see it, Oliver is trying to see where it went.

  • In the scene when Harry is in the restricted section of the library he walks in in the dark with only a lantern. He puts the lantern down in front of himself and begins to read. If you look at the bookshelf, his shadow is cast on the other side of the lantern as though the light is behind him.

    The light IS comming from behind, namely from the moon through the window.

  • When Harry, Ron and Hermione come out of the castle after exams, and Harry sees Hagrid, Hermione has her schoolbag in her right hand, but when they start running, it suddenly shows up in her left hand.

    As she is carrying all her books the bag must be rather heavy (it looks heavy too). Therefore it is no wonder that she switches it from one hand to the other.

  • When Ron is playing chess on top of the knight, why does he not just get off it when the other side's piece comes to destroy it? I could not understand why he clung on. It took an age for the other piece to arrive to destroy his knight, he had all the time in the world!

    Jumping off would be the same as resigning.

  • During the final chess game when the Queen is moving into position to smash Rons knight, they cut back and forth from the Queen to Ron. During one cut, the queen figure has its fingers laced and sticking out; in the next shot, one hand is a fist being covered by the other hand. Then it cuts back to outstretched laced fingers again.

    The other hand configuration belongs to the King.

  • At the battle with Quirrel, the profesor was perfectly fine when he tried to strangle Harry. It's only when he was touched by Harry's hands did he start to melt. But later Dumbledore said that the power was in Harry's skin (But apparently not at the neck).

    The power is in his touch, ie. when Harry uses his hands - it doesn't necessarily apply to any part of his body, and Quirrel seems to KNOW that: When Harry meets Quirrel at the Leaky Cauldron Harry tries to shake hands with Quirrel - but Quirrel looks anxious at the hands without returning the handshake.

  • When Harry is in the hospital wing, and he's been sleeping there for a while (time not known) as soon as he wakes up, before even lifting his head, he reaches over to the right side of his bed, picks up his glasses, and puts them on. But eairler in the movie his nightstand was on the left side of his bed, when he slept in the dormitory. It's odd how automatic Harry knew where his glasses were, even when they changed sides - he was presumably unconscious when they put him in bed, so he can't have noticed then.

    He actually looks to the left - not seeing a table he turns around and hands out for his glasses.

  • At the end of the movie Hagrid hands Harry the photo album. After Harry looks at it and tells Hagrid goodbye, he walks back to the train with his hands at his side and there is no sign of the album in either hand.

    When Harry turns away from Hagrid you can see the album in his hand. Afterwards you can only see one of his hands at a time. Also he might have put the album in one of the many (magic) pockets of his robe.

  • At the end of the movie, when the train is leaving Hogwarts, where is the big lake that they crossed in boats in the beginning of the movie? If you look at Hogwarts there is clearly no lake around it.

    There's no lake around the castle - it's on the south side. First years just cross the lake because it's tradition.

  • The promotional photos show Harry Potter with a scar on his forehead over his right eye. On the covers of all the books, the scar is clearly shown to be over his left eye. This is to correct the mistake about the scar being in the wrong location on Harry's head.

    JKR has commented on this and said that in the text of the books, the scar's location is never indicated (only that it's on his forehead somewhere) and it was the novel's artist who decided that it should be centered (see the 4th book cover for the best view). The movie people decided to make it off-centre, and Rowling was fine with that.

Trivia
  • The Hogwarts Express leaves from platform nine and three-quarters, between platforms nine and ten at King's Cross station, London. The platforms shown in the film as nine and ten are, in fact, four and five (the only platforms that have a wall between them as shown in the film). The real platforms nine and ten are in a separate part of the real station. In addition, when Hagrid and Harry are on the footbridge, they are walking towards platform one, away from both the real platforms 9 & 10 and the film's platforms 9 & 10. No wonder Harry feels lost when Hagrid leaves him to find the train on his own! (Incidentally, in the third book, there is a reference to an InterCity 125 arriving in platform 9; these trains never use that platform).

    JKR has admitted that she interchanged the Kings Cross and xxx stations when she wrote the books.

  • More trivia than anything else, but the only major character to be cut out of the books was Peeves the poltergeist - he was due to be played by Rik Mayall (people in the US might not know him, but he's big in the UK - been in various TV shows and films). He filmed all of his parts, but then got cut due to an over-long running time.

    It's a shame he wasn't on the deleted material either.

  • The little girl named "Susan Bones" who was sorted into Hufflepuff was shown prominently throughout the film, even in some of the Gryffindor classes. The reason she was used so much is that she is actually Chris Columbus's (the director) daughter, Eleanor Columbus.

Book / Movie Mistakes
  • On almost all of the close ups on Harry his eyes are almost always blue-gray not green (The biggest mistake ever!!)
  • Pheeves was not present
  • The students sometimes wore Muggle clothing, and wore it well! Note, Wood when he was teaching Harry about Quidditch or nearly the Weasleys before they get on the train. In GoF it was made clear Magic Folk are not very good at dressing in Muggle clothing... much less dress like Muggles in their off hours
  • McGonagall doesn't change into a cat during class in the first book ... she does it in the third book after a Divination lesson, and wondered why there was no applause.
  • When Hagrid arrives with baby Harry he makes no mention of the fact that he got the motorbike from ‘young Sirius Black’.
  • We never see what Dursely life was like before Harry enters their lives, but I assume this is because of time purposes (The movie was over two hours as is.)
  • The snake at the zoo in the book was a Brazilian Boa and in the movie it was a Burmese Python.
  • Harry never changed rooms, so the letters never changed ("The Cupboard under the Stairs", "The Smallest Bedroom" etc.) So in the second movie is he still going to be in the cupboard? (The teaser answers that one)
  • When the Griphook opened vault 713 in Gringotts the door just melted away, there were no locks as in the movie.
  • There isn't a magical measuring tape measuring Harry while he's at Ollivanders.
  • Harry and Hagrid go from Diagon alley to Kings Cross Station where Hagrid suddenly has to leave and therefore Harry has to find platform 9 ¾ by himself. No Dursleys and their sniggering.
  • Harry never read the back of the ‘Dumbledore Card’. (That was cut - watch the deleted scenes)
  • Harry never meets Draco Malfoy on the train nor at Madame Malkins. Instead he meets him while waiting to be sorted.
  • In the movie, Ron and Harry are in one boat while Hermione is in another. Also there are clearly five students in Hermione's boat. In the book Ron, Harry, Hermione and Neville are in one boat, and Hagrid makes it very clear no more than four per boat.
  • The sorting hat doesn’t sing.
  • The sorting doesn’t go in alphabetical order
  • We don’t meet the ghosts until after they’ve been sorted.
  • When Nearly-headless-Nick, pops throught the plate of chicken Ron was eating at the moment at the feast at the beginning of the year, he didn't mention not being able to join the headless hunt then, that doesn't come up until the second book. He doesn't come through the chicken either, he was already sitting at the table.
  • In the movie, although they only show Charms, Transfiguration and Potions, Draco Malfoy's face seems to appear in all three classes. But in the book, Slytherin only have Potions with Gryffindor.
  • In the books Snape's class is supposed to be in the dungeon, but in the movie the potions class has very tall windows.
  • After the first flying lesson when McGonagall brings Harry to meet with Oliver Wood she actually "borrows Wood" not from Quirell and not Flitwick (???)
  • In the book, Harry being Seeker is kept secret until Malfoy catches him walking up the stairs with his broomstick. In the Movie, Everybody knows he's seeker from the moment he finishes talking with McGonagall and Wood.
  • At the Quidditch match when Quirrell hexes Harry broom he is sitting on the top row intead of the bottom row.
  • Professor Dumbledore attended the Quidditch match versus Slytherin. In the book it was an important fact that he did not attend the first match and that's why Quirrell was able to hex Harry's broom. However in the book Dumbledore did attend the second match. It kind of conflicts with Hermione's statement when she said "as long as Dumbledores around you cant be touched" to Harry.
  • [In the book]During the Quidditch match......when Quirrell hexes Harry's broom.....and when the broom goes crazy.....Fred and George are supposed to try and help Harry, but the broom goes higher and higher. In the movie, no one on the Quidditch pitch notices that Harry's broom went wacko!
  • In the Prisoner of Azkaban when Gryffindor play Slytherin, the Slytherin beaters hit bludgers at Wood. Madame Hooch shrieks "You do not attack the Keeper unless the quaffle is in the scoring area" and awards Gryffindor a penalty. In the film the Slytherin captain is cleary seen hitting Wood with the bludger after the ball has left the scoring area yet know penalty is given. Also, time outs are allowed and surely Gryffindor would of called a time out if there Keeper and captain had just been knocked to the floor unless of course only the captain can call a time out.
  • The meeting between Snape and Quirell takes place in a hall not in the Forbidden Forest.
  • Instead of Neville getting detention with Hermione, Harry, and Draco; Ron does. They don't get detention because they were outside the castle at night, but because they were at the top of the astronomy tower, handling the Norbert situation. Ron was in the infirmary.
  • They never state dragons are illegal which was why Norbert had to go in the first place
  • We don't meet Bane and Ronan.
  • Ron and Hermione don't have qualms over saying the name 'Voldemort', e.g. Hermione at the fireplace after they have been to the forest.
  • There is no ‘duel’ challenge which leads to the discovery of ‘Fluffy’. It happens because of an accidental shifting of the staircases.
  • Harry gets his broom on the same day as the first Quidditch match. It is carried by Hedwig alone. (Don't you need to train on a new broom before you can use it well enough to play?)
  • Harry never gets a sweater from Mrs. Weasely. (Another cut)
  • Harry never gets the fifty pence from his Aunt and Uncle. So we don't hear Ron say " Weird! What a shape! This is money?". It makes this more perculiar because from what we saw in Gringotts, Galleons, Knuts, and Sickles look just like enlarged 50 pences.
  • In the book, the invisibility cloak is silvery and fluid. In the movie its a big brown thing.
  • There are no nightmares.
  • When Hermione shows Harry and Ron the trophy case, she shows Harry a plaque of James Potter it states he is a seeker, but JKR stated in a chat that James was a Chaser.
  • We never see the Christmas feast (cut)
  • The mirror of Erised is located in a spare room, but not a classroom.
  • Harry only sees his parents, not his whole family.
  • They hardly ever visit Hagrid.
  • Hargid's house in the book was made of wood (Harmione said so just after Norbert was born), but in the movie it was made of stone.
  • Fang was a Boar Hound, now known as Greek Danes, in the movie he was a Neopolitan Mastiff.
  • Norbert is sent to Romania via Dumbledore, and the whole school knows about it.
  • We never see Charlie, nor he’s friends.
  • They don't get Fluffy to sleep cause there's a harp playing. They play the flute that Hagrid got Harry for christmas.
  • ‘Fluffy’ is already asleep when they get there.
  • They don't meet the knocked out Troll which was supposedly Quirell's obstacle in the path of getting the stone.
  • There is no 4th task. (The bit where Hermione solves the riddle and the potions)
  • Hermione wins 50 points for Gryffindor for "the use of cool logic in the face of fire" in the book... when in the movie, she did not solve the logic puzzle with the bottles of potion. Instead, she is awarded points for "cool intellect". (This also ruins the fact that the four professors each had their own obstacle to guard the Stone, seeing as Snape's was supposed to be the logic puzzle.)
  • Another Hermione mistake... the Devil's Snare. They don't fall through; Hermione remembers that you can kill it with fire. Ron (in the book) yells, "Are you a witch or not?"... and after she remembers, they proceed down a stone passageway...
  • The keys: Harry is not attacked by the keys in the book, nor is he the only one on a broomstick. It states in the book that they all seized a broomstick, and corner the key.
  • When Harry finds Quirrell with the mirror, Harry gets bound by ropes.
  • In the book, Quirrell does not crumble and fade away, as he does in the movie. Harry passes out while fighting him, and wakes up in the hospital wing.
  • Harry ends up in the hospital wing for a somewhat different reason.