- Assement of the Harry Potter Deleted Scenes
Here are my further evaluations on the deleted scenes from the Harry Potter movies:
The extended cut is the movie’s definitive version. It fixes all of the problems that I had with the theatrical version, which pretty much pertains to pacing (particularly at the beginning) and character development. The only thing that the movie really needs is Snape’s potion riddle, as there is a plothole: “Snape’s one of the teacher’s protecting the Stone”, and the riddle does not actually appear in the movie. Peeves is a nice character, but we have the video games for him and without him recurring in the later movies (except for possibly Ootp), there is no point in having him.
We also could use the School song scene because it would set up its appearance in GoF and brings a nicer transition between the dinner and prefect guiding scenes.
None of these unreleased scenes are needed at all. Sure, the Deathday Party would be nice to see as a separate deleted scene, but the movie is fine as it is without it. In actually, only a few of the released deleted scenes are actually needed. Here is my evaluation of all of them:
1) The extended Dursley scene ruins the pacing. Nice dialogue from them and the Masons, but it ruins the energy and intensity of the scene. Plus, in the Extended Cut, it has a weird choice of music from later scenes.
2) Borgin Malfoy Scene. The most prominent deleted scene as it is from the novel, and is a very good scene in itself, but like Chris Columbus said in an interview pertaining to its cutting, it introduces Lucius Malfoy too early. Its nice how in the theatrical cut he is kind of initially introduced as a decent guy only to slowly evolve into a menace when we meet him in Flourish and Blotts. Had this scene been kept in, then it kinda ruins the fun in getting to know him (especially if you haven’t read the books)
3) Borgin Grabbing Harry actually should have been in the movie. It adds more darkness and intensity, which a lot of people complained that the movie did not have. Plus it gets him in the movie without ruining the pacing much.
4) The extended Flying Car moment, while fun, is much better as it is in the theatrical cut as the scene feels a lot more energized and engaging.
5) The Kwikspell scene, while not terribly important, should have been in the movie (along with Dumbledore’s cut line in the Extended Edition; we get more of book Dumbledore!). Since this is the film that features Filch the most prominently, it would have been nice to see his complete story to add onto the emotionalism that he goes through for the rest of the movie with Mrs. Norris being petrified.
6) The extended Colin scene really needed to be in the movie. Its very awkward in the theatrical cut how Colin is just introduced and then is abruptly taken away. Having this extended scene adds more emotion and sympathy for him.
7) The Lockhart quiz while not terribly needed is another worthy scene that could be in or out either way as it shows more of him plus we actually get to see the Hogwarts students take a test in the films (aside from the very brief exam in Ootp). I like how we get a little character from Hermione here, though I do not like how the Extended Edition leaves out her “Thanks!” as her reaction is important for her smittenness towards Lockhart.
8) The extended Quidditch bit is another scene that needed to be in the movie as it shows a visual metaphor (and twist of humor) for Harry’s struggle of whether or not he belongs in Slytherin
9) Another scene that should have never been cut is the meeting between Justin and Harry. Without this scene it seems very abrupt and random that Justin gets petrified, plus it adds more emotional intensity as Harry can’t even meet someone without getting support from him in his accusations
10) The “Who Am I Hedwig” scene is also surely needed. Very great character moment that sums up Harry’s struggle, and fixes the “lack of character” problem that Columbus’ films have been stated to have (though overall I mostly disagree with that critique. His films had more memorable character moments in my opinion than some of the later films).
11) The Ernie and Hannah scene adds an interesting idea on the connection between Harry and Voldemort and as such should have been in the movie.
12) Likewise, Harry encountering Hagrid adds more character drama and more details on the Chamber of Secrets
13) The Fred and George scene ruins the pacing that was so splendidly put together with the Christmas scene transition, which is likewise repeated in the Extended Cut.
14) The Crabbe and Goyle scene is not needed. It is already clearly implied with out the need to show where they store them (pun intended)
15) A nice bit of humor for when Harry and Ron encounter the real Crabbe and Goyle, but no, it just interrupts the flow
16) The Diary discussion just ruins the motivation and interest towards Harry checking out the book.
17) You can tell why Harry telling Ron it was Hagrid was cut. It was clearly established without the need to show more
18) Like the above, them putting on the invisibility cloak is pointless, even if you haven’t seen Stone or read the books. The following scenes communicates it clearly
19) Them encountering the car in the forest ruins the nice surprise of it coming to their rescue. Without this scene you completely forget about the car, only to have it come in as a pleasant surprise.
Again, none of the unreleased scenes are really needed. The trio arguing is already pretty much established well in the movie as is, and the Boggart scene was wisely cut for pretty obvious reasons (ratings, inappropriateness, corniness etc.). The Sirius Black attack scene is also wisely omitted because it just causes confusion with Sirius’ character. Like Dumbledore says in the book, “he has not acted like an innocent man”, and just causes the non-book reader audience to ask too many questions and confuse their sympathy towards him. Besides, we already get a taste of that during the Shrieking Shack scene. As well, someone on You tube already put together a rather clever cut of the attack scene, which you can see here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLsLbEiudNQ
Like Stone, what we really need is a scene that is unknown if filmed, which is a better explanation of the Marauders. In the script Lupin does directly tell Harry that James is Prongs, but it is unknown if that part was filmed. It’s actually quite despicable that they did not include the explanation of who the Marauders are, as that makes the later films feel disjointed and like there is something missing from them.
Regarding the released deleted scenes:
1) The extended Knight Bus scene would have been nice as that scene felt like there should have been more and would have helped fix the overall fast pace
2) Extended bird moment not needed
3) The return from Hogsmeade scene should have been in the movie if only to see the splendid products from afar and to add on more relationship building and pacing.
4) The Sir Cadagon scene is a nice edition as it fills in a small plothole as to what happened to Gryfindor Tower after The Flight of the Fat Lady. Again, also helps with pace.
5) The aftermath of the attack scene actually works well without the actual attack scene if you put it into context. It adds more of a mystery element, yet it does feel a bit repetitive with Harry’s anger/dark motive to kill Sirius.
Overall, the movie needs some deleted scenes as its rushed pace is what it needs fixed (though to be honest, to me and literally everyone I know in real life, Ootp felt way more rushed than GoF did).
Regarding the released scenes, the school choir scene, the Durmstrang ask out scene, the Snape carriage scene (most especially) are all needed.
The first bit of the weird sisters “music video” (right before they start singing) is also needed if only to help more pace.
The latter three deleted scenes (along with the one of Harry asking Cho, because it would be too repetitive per its apparent placement in the timeline) are all unnecessary (except for maybe the fireplace discussion). These scenes if nothing else help slow down the pace and their content is already established well in the movie as is.
The Snape carriage scene is needed because it clears up confusion as to where Harry was when Hermione asks him.
Regarding the unreleased ones, well most of the ones around the beginning like the extended Moody class would have helped the pacing too. The ones at the end like the Priori Incantatem explanation were wisely cut as the movie explains it well as it is. All other scenes would have perhaps ruined the flow too much, though some of them could have been needed to fix the overall pace of the movie
This is mostly everyone I knows least favorite Harry Potter movie (even for those who actually liked the book). The release of the 3 hr cut would have definitely raised people’s opinions about it.
It is also mind blowing how badly we were treated with the released deleted scenes. Seriously, what on earth was going through their heads when they were putting them together? I mean, a full scene showing only a fixed camera angle of Trelawny eating her food?
Honestly, not one other movie or Tv series in all of history has ever released a “deleted scene” such as this. Do they not remember what they put on the other movies’ home media? My uncle, who happens to work in the industry, said that perhaps these unreleased scenes embarrassed them, which is possibly why they were never released. If you ask me, they would be a lot more embarrassed by scenes like this seeing the light of day than releasing what we know they filmed. As well, if David Yates is so saddened by the loss of these scenes, then why did he never release extended cuts? If Peter Jackson can release an extended edition of all six Middle Earth movies while simultaneously working on the other movies in the process, then why couldn’t Yates?
Anyways, sorry to rant on, but I know that most of you reading this agree with me. Regarding the actual deleted scenes:
Trelawny eating her food – Need I say any more about this here?
Neville about Daily prophet – nice line that goes with the movie’s theme of going against the majority. If they had added other scenes this would have fit very well.
The common room shot would have been really welcome, showing more of the life of the place and adding more depth to Harry’s isolation.
Slytherins throwing snowballs – Would have added more of Umbridge’s lack of care towards children, though perhaps not really needed.
Full Trelawny interview – The way that it is cut in the movie is fine
Filch blowing Umbridge’s hair – Funny, but pointless and ruins the pacing where it would have been placed.
Extended Umbridge forest – An actual scene from the trailer that they gave us. While the part at the end of Umbridge about to attack them, and having her outburst would have been nice, it really slows down the pace and is more effective as it is in the movie.
Harry enters Dumbledore’s office – should have been included, especially because of the symbolism associated with what he sees, a nice callback to CoS.
Extended Harry packing – nice circulation with the yelling at Ron at the beginning of the movie. Emphasizes the strength of the trio’s relationship and combined with what was in the movie brings a stronger resolve of what Harry went through during the movie.
Maybe not all of the unreleased deleted scenes are really needed here, but still at least most of them would have helped with the rushed pace. We actually do not really need Snape’s Worst Memory, nice, as it would be to have, due to the way that they handled Snape’s memories in DH2. Having Lily stand up for Snape just adds more confusion as to their relationship when it was made clear that she and James became friends much earlier than that. As well it is more relatable and realistic to have her ditch an old friend for a new one as everyone has likely gone through that at some point in his or her lives. That also makes Snape’s everlasting passion for Lily all the more powerful. Though having that scene would have added a little more onto that now that I think about it.
The full Sirius and Bellatrix duel was just so awkwardly cut in the movie and the full duel is really needed. Same for the attack on Hagrid and McGonagal. Higher intensity and more emphasis on the Ministry controlling everything, showing to what extreme lengths people will go to when they have all of this power.
Compared to the other movies, this movie needs the opposite. It needs scenes taken out. While it does have better pacing then Ootp, it has one to two too many Malfoy scenes. I know his storyline is important, but they do not need to keep cutting to him in the Room of Requirement every twenty minutes. It has to be the biggest filler that I have ever seen for any movie. We really only needed to see him initially go in there, plus at the end when the Death Eaters arrive of course. One of those scenes was beautifully scored, but really, it is very pointless, and it actually becomes very predictable what was going to happen, even if you haven’t read the book (especially with the scene between Harry and Mr. Weasley, which likewise should have been cut too for that reason). If they needed those scenes for pacing they should have included the deleted scenes (both released and not) in their place. Especially since one of the released ones is referenced in dialogue by Hermione in DH2:
When she and Ron are walking down the corridor after the CoS scene, they talk about how she said the previous year that the Room can be unplottable if one wants it to be, which she said in the deleted scene of Harry walking down to meet Dumbledore on the Astronomy Tower.
I know of course that the film makers did not know at the time that they were going to reference that scene through script rewrites etc. but having that scene in the movie would have helped balance out the pacing if they had taken out some of these other pointless scenes. At the very least though, the release of this scene does prove that to an extent, deleted scenes are considered canon to this and other movies. At least if they are released, per Adam Horowitz of Once Upon A Time stating that for their show, if the deleted scenes are released on the home media, then they are considered canon.
Evaluating the released deleted scenes:
Greyback disarming Ginny (from Trailer) (Note: This and the other trailer moment do count towards released deleted scenes despite me putting them in with the unreleased scenes as they can easily be edited back into context with the film as if they were deleted moments from pre existing scenes): Why oh why did they ever delete this moment? Especially since you can see Harry picking Ginny’s wand up. While only very brief, it would have added so much onto the scene, which was a brilliant addition but weakly executed. This moment alone would have made the overall scene better.
Harry and Hermione walking down the corridor is not necessary. The audience already knows those descriptions about Malfoy simply from looking at him.
Harry and Hermione talking in common room would have been nice as Harry makes a callback to Sirius’ line in PoA about “the map never lies”. Also it is a good character moment between the two of them.
Trio walking down to Astronomy tower would have especially been needed for the reasons I stated above. Brings more consist antsy with the series and is a great scene of their relationship and provides better pacing instead of abruptly jumping to Snape talking to Dumbledore after the Horcrux discovery scene.
Dumbledore talking about Tom Riddle’s backstory would have been nice too as again evens out the pace by taking out the pointless scenes and the scene in the movie feels kinda rushed as is
Harry and Dumbledore exiting cave unfortunately needed to be cut. While Dumbledore’s line is great, and needs to be in the movie in some form, it is probably the most obviously cut scene out of all the released HBP deleted scenes. It would have been really awkward to cut to that scene right from the cave.
In Noctem – Not especially needed and feels a bit out of place, yet it sets the mood for the scene that follows very well and gives some form of reaction for the characters
Snape: “It’s Over” (from trailer) Would have fit so well instead of him just being silent there. Very powerful and menacing.
Harry coming down to common room and seeing his friends is also needed. Very powerful and emotional which helps sell the weight of what has happened and is again a much better use of pace, and storytelling then all of the Malfoy crap.
The extended Astronomy Tower scene would have been another good character moment, once again highlighting the trio’s relationship.
If there were any other deleted moments from the Burrow scene and most especially the “Battle” scene at the end, then they would be most especially needed. Those scenes were nice in theory but they (especially the latter) were weakly executed.
The Burrow scene needed some more magical combat and intensity; its actually kind of shocking to see the scene as is when the same director did such a brilliant job with the MoM battle and the DA sessions in Ootp. What happened to his engaging battle style? All they pretty much do is just blast sparks. Even showing Bellatrix and Greyback retaliating or Bellatrix laughing into the night before destroying the Burrow (as was in the script) would have added on so much.
As for the pathetic excuse for the Battle at the end, well I get why they needed to cut it, but they could have done a better job with replacing it. I mean it just felt so very weakly executed like they wanted to end the movie so fast, with little soul or energy put into the scene. It is also almost laughably bad how easy that Auror was blasted away. There were surely more Aurors than that hanging around Hogwarts (especially with Dumbledore leaving the castle and at least telling Snape about it). If Death Eaters ever entered Hogwarts like that, surely there would be more people that would react to them. They could have at least put some of the moments of Bellatrix saying “boo!” to the First years that was in the script to show more of these reactions. As well, even if it made the movies a bit repetitive, who really cares if they put at least a little bit of the battle in? This is (one of) the highest grossing film franchises of all time, and as stated by Dan himself, even if the movies were six hours long they would still be successful, let alone if they were repetitive.
Per my list of unreleased deleted scenes, I heard a rumor that there might have been some battle footage shot for HBP, though I dunno where the source is. The script may say otherwise, however Snape’s “It’s over” line is not in there, neither is one of the Malfoy room visits (the one at Christmas, which was definitely the most pointless one out of all of them anyway).
I must say, I am very impressed with DH1’s deleted scenes, especially compared to the mostly pointless ones we got for Ootp. Why couldn’t Yates have applied the same there?
All of the deleted scenes released should have been in the movie as they would have added on so much more with exposition and character (especially the Dursley scenes and the scene about Voldemort’s taboo). The only ones that maybe were not needed were the rabbit scene (which was not even in the script, but is still a very interesting and kool deleted scene by itself), and the skipping rocks scene, which is still a good character moment. The Yaxley at Grangers scene was interesting as well but it would have slowed down the pacing. Or would it have?
As for unreleased scenes, well the only one we really need is the Krum dance, for it would have added a more interesting relationship dynamic for Ron and Hermione, especially since it would have subtly paid off with Ron’s break up and return. If the pacing could be done right, the stone skipping scene could have also been added in, same with perhaps the rabbit scene for Harry & Ron’s friendship’s sake
The film that most especially needs its unreleased deleted scenes. It feels like we were cheated out of the finale that we deserved, as we can hardly see most of the battle, let alone any of the returning characters, even if they be every so minor. Don’t get me wrong we had some good parts from the battle and good character moments too, but overall it felt like we really needed more.
The released deleted scenes do fix some of the problems that I have with the movie, but again with most if not all the unreleased ones, we really could have had a spectacular and an actual “deeply satisfying” finale.
The two deleted Shell Cottage scenes really should have been in the movie. The scene felt awkwardly edited and kinda rushed at the end. With these scenes we feel more like we got a proper goodbye to Bill and Fleur, and the second one cleared up a plothole of what happened to Luna, and again it helped with the overall pacing
The Extended Aberforth scene – Hermione’s discussion at the end could have been added and edited into the way the scene was completed in the final cut But we did need more of Dumbledore’s backstory as it was introduced in DH1 only to have it be completely ignored in DH2.
Harry holding Ginny’s hand going down the steps was most obviously cut to keep the surprise of Harry being in the Great Hall
Lupin and Tonks on battlements – The fact that this scene was cut is just a sin. According to an interview with David Yates it was cut because they did not have time to include it with the 3-D conversion. I can’t even begin to describe how angry that makes me. An emotional scene between two characters, whose significance is not fully explained in the final cut, with this scene bringing a more proper explanation to them being cut to incorporate the most pointless use of 3-D in any movie? That is not acceptable at all.
Seamus on the bridge, while not terribly important would have been a nicely paced set up and again more character and planning for the battle
Filch and the slytherins really should have been in the movie. Very awkwardly edited in the final cut. Even more so then cutting to Voldemort after the kissing scene.
Nagini chasing Ron and Hermione down the stairs would have been really good for the energy, intensity and character.
A key unreleased deleted scene that they should have included here as well as in Ootp was the Percy Weasley subplot. It seems very random and abrupt that Percy is now working for the Ministry without any explanation. It is also one of the many examples of the films needing more continuity between them, as without them they feel disjointed and not at all like they are an overall series. Knowing his character from the previous films does provide some explanation but still, neither Harry nor any of the Weasleys react or comment on this at all. There is a BTS video of the Great Hall scene in DH2 containing Percy entering from behind the twins and they looking at themselves and grinning. That along with other scenes would have cleared up this and other sub plots, brining us the “complete” finale of the story that we were promised.
This is my assement on the deleted scenes. I apologize for ranting a little bit but I hope that that will make you see my points. Everything I say here, including the foundation of this overall project is because I love the Harry Potter movies and want them to be the best that they can be. And I know that they easily could have done a better job with this series. While the movies are good overall, they feel like an easily missed opportunity to give us something great. The movies just don’t work with themselves or with each other the way that they should. And in themselves, they don’t always bring out the best of what they could’ve done.