so you want a real Unpopular Opinion? Michael Gambon’s…


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+488 – so you want a real Unpopular Opinion? Michael Gambon’s Dumbledore > Richard Harris’s Dumbledore.

2022-05-14 17:06:37

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  1. Michael Gambon was amazing at the human side of Dumbledore we get to see in the later books. Richard Harris, however, mastered the mysticism of early Dumbledore… the guy had a, I don’t know how to say it, a prowess, even a regality or nobility about him, that spoke to how ancient the magical world was. It just seemed so big and mysterious at that point… your breath was taken away by the beauty of even little things like the lamp lights on Privet Drive winking out one by one. Later, we got used to seeing magic, and they kept upping the stakes with gorgeous shit like the Dumbledore v. Voldemort duel at the end of Phoenix. Michael’s portrayal lost the mystery, and — there’s the word — awe you got from Richard’s performance. But it gained the heart. How could Richard Harris have defied being arrested by Cornelius Fudge in his office with the same flair Gambon did? And how could he have been the crying Dumbledore at the unending bowl of sadness in Half-Blood Prince?

    We’re lucky we got both, I think! Neither would have been perfect for Dumbledore’s whole arc.

  2. Problem is that Richard Harris only had two movies as Dumbledore – and it was towards the end of his life. Whereas Michael Gambon had most of the series as Dumbledore and in much better health.

  3. I agree. However, Harris was the perfect Dumbledore in the first movie. Like, absolutely book perfect. I have a head canon that when he died the character had some kind of mental break or something new happened or he found something out that caused him to become so much more militant and aggressive. So both Dumbledores have a place in the canon.

  4. My main issue with Gambondore was the hideous flimsy grey rag costumes. Totally petty, I know, but it legit hurt to look at. If they’d just given him slightly nicer outfits (not even like super opulent or colorful, just nicer) it would have been great imo.

  5. Yeah completely agree. I loved him and was never bothered by HARRYDIDYUPUTYERNAMEINTHEGOBLETOFFIYAH

  6. I think that Michael Gambon was my preferred Dumbledore, not in accuracy but rather excitement, Michael Gambon is the image I felt was most resonated with what I imagined Dumbledore to be. Also Harry! DID YAH PUT YAH NAME IN DA GOBLET OF FIYAH?!

  7. Movie 3 Dumbledore is the closest depiction of my head version of Book Dumbledore, particularly that last mischievous “Good night…”. I was delighted with Gambon.

    Any issues I had with him after (like the infamous shouting in GoF) I attribute more to the writing/direction than his acting.

  8. I liked Richard Harris’s Dumbledore in the first two films because in those two installments he was only ever really a sage figure.

    But I like Michael Gambon’s Dumbledore better. He’s more physical and powerful and imposing. He can get crap done.

  9. One of my favorite scenes is when Harry and Dumbledore talk after they go into the penseive in Goblet of Fire. Gambon perfectly captured how frustrating it would be for someone that usually knows everything being caught off guard

  10. Gambon suffers from a few poor choices and the fact that they made more major changes(many of them pointless) in the movies he was in. He did a fine job for most of it.

  11. I’m so happy someone else feels the same way!! Dumbledore is written as a character with a “knowing” omniscient feel. Someone so intelligent that whenever Harry has a conversation with him, Harry is uncomfortable and feels like Dumbledore is seeing right through him. Harris just didn’t achieve this in my opinion. He wasn’t anything other than old and wise.

  12. I have to agree! Richard Harris was like watching a walking skeleton. Everything so stiff, like those old Conan O’Brien skits where just the mouths move. Gambon had way more personality and was lively enough to be a believably fearsome opponent. People just latch on to the first thing they see, so they unconsciously think Harris is the only way Dumbledore should be.

  13. I also loved Michael Gambon as dumbledore! He had a certain amount of power that I didn’t get from Richard Harris, especially in the ministry of magic where he fought voldemort, I can’t imagine Richard Harris having the power to do that. The moment in the book gives me chills when Harry sees dumbledore in the doorway and running down the steps at the ministry and instantly harry knew they were safe 🥺

  14. I think Michael Gambon is perfect as Dumbledore. Of course Harris is great but he was way too old and infirm. I seriously believe that any problems with Gambon’s portrayal are due to the director and producers occasionally misunderstanding the character.

    I think Harris is who the reader wishes Dumbledore was, and Gambon is who he really was.

  15. I’m glad this is actually somewhat an unpopular opinion, or at least I see more pro Richard Harris content than Michael Gambon.

    Irks me when it’s a clearly not an unpopular opinion. The other day I saw one “unpopular opinion: Snape would probably be very good at making soups”.

  16. I agree with OP. My own version of AD before any movies came out was more like Gambon’s version. I thought Harris’ portrayal made AD a bit too feeble.

  17. The best Dumbledore is some mix of the two. Gammons energy and intensity, Harris’ sparkle and equanimity.

  18. I don’t think either of them was a really good Dumbledore. Harris nailed the warm, caring tone of the character, but seemed to grandfatherly overall (unlike in the books, where Harry has to remind himself at one time that Dumbledore is in fact an old man).

    Gambon on the other hand seems energetic and powerful enough, but he is way to cold and aggressive, which Dumbledore *never* should be (in the books he mostly keeps a calm and faux-friendly attitude even with his enemies). And there is just some layer of quirkiness missing from both actors (but I guess that’s just an issue with the movies in general).

  19. Gambon was great but Richard Harris may of been one of the best casts ever he was exactly what you’d expect from a wizard headmaster kinda look