Differences From The Book
Columbus repeatedly checked with Rowling to make sure he was getting minor details in the film correct. Kloves described the film as being "really faithful" to the book. He added some dialogue, of which Rowling approved. One of the lines originally included had to be removed after Rowling told him that it would directly contradict an event in the then-unreleased Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
Several minor characters have been removed from the film version, most prominent among them the spectral History of Magic teacher, Professor Binns, and Peeves the poltergeist. The first chapter of the book is from the point of view of Vernon and Petunia Dursley the day before they are given Harry to look after, highlighting how non-magical people react to magic. The film removes this, beginning with Professor Dumbledore, Professor McGonagall and Hagrid leaving Harry with the Dursleys (although McGonagall tells Dumbledore how she had been watching the Dursleys all day). Next, a month of Harry's summer, including several of Vernon's attempts to escape the constantly arriving Hogwarts letters. Harry's less than pleasant times at Mrs. Figg's are cut from the film while the boa constrictor from Brazil in the zoo becomes a Burmese Python in the film. Some conflicts, such as Harry and Draco's encounter with each other in Madam Malkin's robe shop and midnight duel, are only in the book, and not in the film. Some of Nicolas Flamel's role is changed or cut altogether. Norbert is mentioned to have been taken away by Dumbledore in the film; whilst the book sees Harry and Hermione have to take him by hand to friends of Charlie Weasley. Rowling described the scene as "the one part of the book that she felt be changed". As such, the reason for the detention in the Forbidden Forest is also changed: In the novel, Harry and Hermione are put in detention for being caught by Filch when leaving the Astronomy Tower after hours, Neville and Malfoy are also given detention when they are caught in the corridor by Professor McGonagall, while in the film, Harry, Hermione and Ron receive detention after Malfoy catches them in Hagrid's hut after hours (Malfoy however, was also given detention for being out of bed after hours). Firenze the centaur, who is described in the book as being palomino with light blonde hair, is shown to be dark in the film. Additionally the Quidditch pitch is altered from a traditional stadium to an open field circled by spectator towers. The Sorting Hat's song is axed, as is Quirrell's troll room on the way to the stone. Snapes's potion riddle is one of two deleted scenes, along with the leg-locking curse which Malfoy put on Neville.
Read more about this topic: Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone (film)
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