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Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone: Chapter One: Book and Movie Differences

Chapter one: ‘The Boy Who Lived’ starts with details of Uncle Vernon going to Grunnings, the drill company he works for. On the way, he notices an odd behaving cat, and lots of people wearing cloaks. If he’d been looking out of the window at work then he would also have noticed the owls flying by in broad daylight. On his break he hears people dressed in cloaks talking about ‘the Potters’ and the mention of ‘Harry’ which gets him thinking, was this something to do with his Sister in Law – Lily Potter? After getting home and asking Petunia, who is blonde, if she’s heard from Lily recently, to which she replies rather biligerently that she has not, they carry on with their day and go to bed. None of the above happens in the movie.

The odd behaving cat from the book is actually Professor McGonagall and this is where the movie starts. Albus appears and pulls out his ‘Put-Outer’. Using the device he takes away all of the light so nobody on Privet Drive can see what is going on. In the book, it is explained that she’s been keeping an eye on the Dursley’s while she waits for Albus Dumbledore after Hagrid told her he’d be there, whereas in the movie it seems like McGonagall has been sent to watch the Dursley’s and wait for Dumbledore.

In the book, Professor McGonagall, who has black hair, and Albus Dumbledore have a conversation about Voldemort and if he is really gone as well as the wizards that have been out celebrating, not even worrying that the Muggles will notice something odd going on. While Albus is busy seperating Sherbert Lemons, they come to the conversation of Lily and James Potter; Albus confirms to Professor McGonagall that they are dead. The movie comes across that McGonagall is already aware of all of this but in both the book and the movie McGonagall asks about Harry and pleads with Albus that he not be left with the Dursley’s as they are horrid people. Albus advises that they are the only family left and thinks it would be best for Harry to grow up in the Muggle world where he won’t be famous.

In both the movie and the book Hagrid comes down from the night sky on a motorbike. He gives Harry to Albus who then takes Harry to the front door and puts him down with the letter. It is stated in the book that the motorbike is Sirius Blacks but this is not told in the movie.

The movie ends with Harry on the doorstep whereas the book ends with Petunia screaming her head off when she finds Harry on the doorstep outside and that he doesn’t know that at that time, wizards all over the world where holding up their glasses and toasting to ‘The Boy Who Lived’.


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