Five “Harry Potter” Movie Mistakes That Left Us Confunded
Superfans can be a franchise’s worst critics. When I say that I love the Harry Potter films, I don’t mean that I think they’re in the top tier of cinema. Of course, I grew up attending the midnight premieres at theaters, so I’m attached to the actors, the music transports me, and the sets feel like home. The memorable movie-isms live in my head rent-free. But do I think the Harry Potter films are perfect? Not quite.
Just because I fondly point out the mistakes to my husband doesn’t mean I don’t find watching these movies to be enjoyable. In a way, the films’ imperfections are part of what makes them so lovable. Here are five silly mistakes that left us Confunded while watching some of the earlier Harry Potter films.
1. The Cloak of Visibility
In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Ron says that Harry’s Christmas gift is “really rare.” We would later learn that the cloak is one of the true Deathly Hallows. But for movie magic’s sake, the filmmakers used a green screen. These aren’t so uncommon, especially now in the age of live streaming and virtual meeting backgrounds. With a sharp eye, you can actually see a place where the editing team accidentally left the bright green fabric visible. Watch carefully as Harry wakes Ron and drags him across Hogwarts to see the Mirror of Erised. Just when they enter the room and run over to the mirror, you can clearly see the discarded green fabric lying on the castle floor.
2. Harry… Just Harry
Right after Ron’s iconic sacrifice in Sorcerer’s Stone, Hermione tells Harry, “You’re a great wizard.” Is he, though? Lately, I find this line to be a laugh. Most of the successful magic Harry does in the first film happens before Hagrid arrives in the hut to say, “Yer a wizard.” After that point, though, Harry doesn’t perform much magic. Other than flying on broomsticks, he trashes Ollivander’s and manages to kill Quirrell with the protection that lives in his skin. In fact, a bit of NEWT-level trivia is that Harry doesn’t utter a single incantation until well into the second movie. Thus, whether he’s earned Hermione’s compliment here is quite debatable.
3. The Hogwarts Cameraman
Have you ever noticed the cameraman at Hogwarts? No, I don’t mean Colin Creevey. You can spot a film crew member in the Dueling Club scene in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Watch the left side of the screen when Harry and Draco are facing off. Just as Snape leans down to pull Draco to his feet, there’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment where an imposter wearing jeans and operating a camera almost blends in with the spectating students. According to Hogwarts: A History, his Muggle technology shouldn’t work within the castle. To quote Damian from Mean Girls, “She doesn’t even go here!”
In the very same scene in Chamber of Secrets, there’s another glaring error. Harry learns the infamous spell he will use countless times, including against Voldemort himself. Expelliarmus is supposed to disarm your opponent; however, we rarely get to see the spell work properly in the films. When Snape demonstrates this spell during the Dueling Club meeting, Lockhart is simply thrown across the room, seeming not to lose his wand at all. The same thing happens to Snape in the following movie when Harry casts the spell in the Shrieking Shack. It seems that Harry’s favorite spell is rather temperamental.
5. Crouching Barty, Hidden Moody
The Polyjuice Potion gets its fair share of use in Harry Potter, first appearing in the second film when Harry and Ron interrogate Draco. It’s also used in both parts of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: the escape from Privet Drive, the infiltration at the Ministry, and the Gringotts heist. All of these scenes are designed the same in that you can hear the voice of the true character dubbed over the actor who is physically present in the scene. This differs from the books, in which the character’s voice changes along with their appearance. There’s one movie that adopts the book approach, however, because it’s more convenient for the plot: In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Moody should technically sound like David Tennant.
Do these errors ruin the viewing experience for you, or do you find it interesting to learn about them? What other movie mistakes have you noticed? Share your trivia knowledge in the comments.