Richard Harris or Sir Michael Gambon- Who do you think is the "better" Dumbledore?

Discussion in 'Entertainment and Movie Talk' started by Steamboat Spidey, Nov 12, 2011.

  1. Steamboat Spidey

    Steamboat Spidey Active Member

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    Today On ABC Family, Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone is playing, then Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkaban, and last ,Goblet of Fire. I think it would be interesting to hear your guys' opinions on the two Dumbledore's. Richard was only around for two movies, while Michael was around for six movies. Personally, I think that it would be unfair to make a judgement when we haven't really seen him that much in the 'Potter' franchise. It would've been interesting to see Richard's interpretation of Dumbledore during the events in the book that Michael had acted in. So, who do you think is the "better" Dumbledore?
     
  2. iycis

    iycis Sr Member

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    Re: Richard Harris or Sir Michael Gambon- Who do you think is the "better" Dumbledore

    Gambon for sure. Harris was too frail and could never have pulled off the epic fight between Dumbledore and Voldemort at the end of Order of the Phoenix.
     
  3. Nexus6

    Nexus6 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: Richard Harris or Sir Michael Gambon- Who do you think is the "better" Dumbledore

    I preferred Harris. I find his interpretation to be more "authentic" in some way (though I'm not sure I could be any clearer than that).

    However, I DO agree that for the rest of the films, a slightly younger Dumbledore was necessary for the stories. I still liked it, just not as much. :)
     
  4. Contec

    Contec Master Member

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    Re: Richard Harris or Sir Michael Gambon- Who do you think is the "better" Dumbledore

    [​IMG]
     
  5. darthgordon

    darthgordon Sr Member

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    Re: Richard Harris or Sir Michael Gambon- Who do you think is the "better" Dumbledore

    I also have these movies playing... not sure why. I have them on bluray...

    I do prefer Gambon as Harris did appear too frail. Of course, I believe his health was already failing before he even took the job.

    But I did enjoy both of them.
     
  6. Steamboat Spidey

    Steamboat Spidey Active Member

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    Re: Richard Harris or Sir Michael Gambon- Who do you think is the "better" Dumbledore

    :lol....
     
  7. Polexia

    Polexia New Member

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    Re: Richard Harris or Sir Michael Gambon- Who do you think is the "better" Dumbledore

    I agree with Nexus6. I preferred Harris. He portrayed Dumbledore more of how I picture him while I was reading the books, with a more calm/reserved demeanor. Gambon's portrayal didn't sit well with me at first, some of that calm was gone. Example: When he frantically asks Harry if he put his name into the Goblet of Fire. I couldn't see Dumbledore reacting in this way. Plus I just don't like change! But many movies later I couldn't help but appreciate/love his Dumbledore.
     
  8. Rogue

    Rogue Active Member

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    Re: Richard Harris or Sir Michael Gambon- Who do you think is the "better" Dumbledore

    Gambon I think did a closer job in many ways. I seem to remember that in the book, when Harry and Dumbledore are swimming to the cave, Dumbledore is described as being quite physically fit for his age. Gambon captured that balance of old, but physically present.

    Yes, there's a few times when Gambon's Dumbledore seems to "lose it" a little more than the book. In return, however, he gave us a Dumbledore with a vitality that made his later actions more believable.

    Why they ever let him do that bizarre accent is beyond me, though.
     
  9. timelordjedi777

    timelordjedi777 Well-Known Member

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    Re: Richard Harris or Sir Michael Gambon- Who do you think is the "better" Dumbledore

    I have always thought Harris was the best.
     
  10. outlander

    outlander Sr Member

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    Re: Richard Harris or Sir Michael Gambon- Who do you think is the "better" Dumbledore

    I liked Harris, he managed to convey a sense of mischief that played off well against the young actors. But I agree, he had just become too frail for the role. Had he gotten the part when he was ten years younger I'm certain I would have preferred his Dumbledore because I think he was the superior actor.

    But the way things worked out; I am quite pleased with Gambon's portrayal of a younger more vigorous Dumbledore.
     
  11. Effingham

    Effingham Active Member

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    Re: Richard Harris or Sir Michael Gambon- Who do you think is the "better" Dumbledore

    It's the "Doctor Who" thing -- I think we tend to prefer the first one we saw.

    It's part of why Sean Connery will ALWAYS be James Bond, and Alec Baldwin will always be Jack Ryan.

    That said -- of COURSE I prefer Harris. He was the one who introduced the role to me. I know he was old and frail, but had he been *able* to do the stuff, and lived, I would have loved to have seen him as Dumbledore through the whole series. I've enjoyed Gambon's performance (I always enjoy Gambon's work), but Harris set the bar.
     
  12. Noeland

    Noeland Sr Member

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    Re: Richard Harris or Sir Michael Gambon- Who do you think is the "better" Dumbledore

    I enjoyed the whimsy, confidence, and trustworthiness Harris brought to the role. When I saw what Gambon did with the role though, I really liked it. More whimsy, flair, and eventually power (thanks to age I'm sure). I do wonder what Harris would have done with the movies had he been younger and in them all. It would have been interesting to see him tangle with Voldemort.
     
  13. James Kenobi 1138

    James Kenobi 1138 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: Richard Harris or Sir Michael Gambon- Who do you think is the "better" Dumbledore

    Gambon- he was more playful and I liked that much better then Harris who seemed a little stiff.
     
  14. Maelstrom

    Maelstrom Sr Member

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  15. Beechy McFly

    Beechy McFly Sr Member

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    Re: Richard Harris or Sir Michael Gambon- Who do you think is the "better" Dumbledore

    Definitely prefer Gambon.. He was perfect for the role..
     
  16. cboath

    cboath Master Member

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    Re: Richard Harris or Sir Michael Gambon- Who do you think is the "better" Dumbledore

    I definitely prefer Harris. Harris was what dumbledore was in the first 2 books. He had that air about him that he knew more than he was letting on, that there was actually something 'magical' about him. With todays tech, they could easily have had him do the action stuff 5 and 6.

    Gambon's - and i think it's more of the year 3 director - went a radically different route. More hippy than anything else. Didn't ever seem to convey how much he liked harry or anything. One of the stinging things to harry in book 5 is dumbledore ignoring and seemingly avoiding him and leaving him more alone than he's been since finding out he's a wizard. Well, gambon's dumbledore seemed to convey that from the time he took the role.

    I understand he was put into a no-win situation having to fill in for an acting legend who'd already started the part. The character just seemed to be missing something with him. Throughout the books he took a big interest in the trio and basically befriended them. That never translated with Gambon. Again, though, I don't know that that was him - i think it was the director.
     
  17. PotionMistress

    PotionMistress Sr Member

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    Re: Richard Harris or Sir Michael Gambon- Who do you think is the "better" Dumbledore

    I agree with many that had Richard Harris been a decade younger when cast in the part, he would have been the ideal book Dumbledore. Harris had a very powerful presence in his youth, and a fire that is legendary in UK! But he was not a saint, that is for sure, and neither was Dumbledore. That is crucial to understanding the Dumbledore character...that he was flawed.

    That being said, Gambon was indeed superb, given the shoes he had to fill. And I have always felt his harshness during the GoF scenes were exactly how someone who was intensely concerned and fearful of what he knew was about to happen would act. Gambon was terrific all the way through.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2011
  18. allosaur176

    allosaur176 Sr Member

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    Re: Richard Harris or Sir Michael Gambon- Who do you think is the "better" Dumbledore

    I prefer Gambon
     
  19. Rogue

    Rogue Active Member

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    Re: Richard Harris or Sir Michael Gambon- Who do you think is the "better" Dumbledore

    I still have a soft spot for Nigel Planer's Dumbledore, he did a great job.

    "Weeeeellllcoooooooome..... ....baaaaaack"

    "I........ beeeeeeeliiieeeeeeeeeve yoooooouuuuuu....... Haaaaaaaaaaaarrrrryyyyyyyyyyy"

    French & Saunders - Harry Potter Spoof part 1 - YouTube

    Bonus points for spotting how many actors also appeared in the original films!
     
  20. Java

    Java Sr Member

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    Re: Richard Harris or Sir Michael Gambon- Who do you think is the "better" Dumbledore

    Harris, for all the reasons previously stated. :)
     
  21. Amish Trooper

    Amish Trooper Sr Member

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    Re: Richard Harris or Sir Michael Gambon- Who do you think is the "better" Dumbledore

    Yep yep.
     
  22. Probe Droid

    Probe Droid Master Member

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    Re: Richard Harris or Sir Michael Gambon- Who do you think is the "better" Dumbledore

    Harris, Harris, Harris!

    I'm not a Harry man, haven't read a single book, but after admiring Harris for so many years despite uncountable crap films, to see him in him in his old age landing such a prestigious role that ultimately may define his career, or at least to introduce him to a new generation, was wonderful. Loved him in the first few films (I'm partial to the first).

    To me, it's like Chris Lee in his late 70s (at least) being Saruman and Count Duuku. My favorite, and I'll argue the best film Drac, suddenly having a new career and being introduced to a whole new audience, it's marvelous.
     
  23. Gryffindor1991

    Gryffindor1991 Well-Known Member

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    Re: Richard Harris or Sir Michael Gambon- Who do you think is the "better" Dumbledore

    I love both. I prefer each over the other for certain reasons. Harris because he seemed more Dumbledore-ish to me. When I saw him, its exactly how I imagined Dumbledore from the books. But he was older and frail unfortunately. Gambon has more sprightly and younger side to Dumbledore. This question is seriously impossible for me to answer clearly and I know this answer makes absolutely no sense! haha
     
  24. JBLAKE

    JBLAKE Well-Known Member

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    Re: Richard Harris or Sir Michael Gambon- Who do you think is the "better" Dumbledore

    I enjoyed them both and appreciate what each brought to their respective movies harris was perfect for what he did and gambon i could not see another as dumbledore to fill in harris shoes
     
  25. rodneyfaile

    rodneyfaile Sr Member

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    Re: Richard Harris or Sir Michael Gambon- Who do you think is the "better" Dumbledore

    Richard Harris seemed more regal. He seemed like someone who commanded greater respect. This also made him seem more formidable. He also appeared more fatherly in his relationship with Harry.

    Michael Gambon is a great actor, but his Dumbledore looked like a homeless guy.
     
  26. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

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    Re: Richard Harris or Sir Michael Gambon- Who do you think is the "better" Dumbledore

    Gambon. Casting Harris was a mistake. Ten years earlier it wouldn't have been, no argument, but by that point in his life his instincts weren't what they once were. When the whimsy and mischief is there it's as great as ever, but there are many scenes which play flatter than a pancake. Of course, that could just be Chris Columbus. :p

    I'd have loved to have seen a ten-years-younger Harris Dumbledore, but absent that, would have preferred all eight movies with Gambon.
     
  27. JoMamma_Smurf

    JoMamma_Smurf Master Member

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    Re: Richard Harris or Sir Michael Gambon- Who do you think is the "better" Dumbledore

    Gambon for sure. The way he projects his voice as well as his actions are far more assertive. I just cant see Harris doing the things Gambon eventually did.
     
  28. Westies14

    Westies14 Master Member

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    Re: Richard Harris or Sir Michael Gambon- Who do you think is the "better" Dumbledore

    Dumbledore never had to do anything very aerobic - his power was not in his muscles, you know? Determination and presence would have sold Dumbledore's abilities in the magic battles.

    My issue with Gambon isn't his acting ability or his look - both were fine - but the way that he was allowed to play the part after his initial outing in Prisoner of Azkaban simply was wrong for the character. He was angry, he was frantic. He wasn't mean to Harry, but he never showed him the kindness and love that Dumbledore should have. I feel that without the knowledge of the characters from the books, I would not have understood and felt their relationship for what it was supposed to be. The film versions should not need to rely so heavily on the book's equity.

    Dumbledore was secretive, Dumbledore was manipulative. In the books, his plain and genuine caring manner with Harry allows that - you can believe he was trying to protect Harry, and you understand why Harry trusts him despite learning of deception after deception, and in the face of all he learns in the final chapters about his former headmaster. In the films? Sadly, there's no real connection between the two, and Gambon's portrayal of him and a sharp, flustered, angry Dumbledore is central to that problem.
     
  29. ob1al

    ob1al Sr Member

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    Re: Richard Harris or Sir Michael Gambon- Who do you think is the "better" Dumbledore

    Harris for me. Loved him as English Bob too in 'Unforgiven', plus the multitude of other great roles he played. He was a class act.

    Gambon did a good job of stepping into the gig when Harris died, and I admire him for having a crack and bringing something new to the role, but I would have loved to see Harris see the part through to the end.
     
  30. Shendorion

    Shendorion Well-Known Member

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    Re: Richard Harris or Sir Michael Gambon- Who do you think is the "better" Dumbledore

    I'm for Gambon for exactly this reason. The more conservative members of the wizarding world considered him to be a crackpot ultra-liberal old hippie, and I could understand how they could think that of Gambon's Dumbledore. Harris was too stately, too fancy.

    Mind you, I think Harris fit for the first two movies. They're for a younger audience, and things are still very clearly black and white. Harris works as the less fallible, more fatherly character we're shown at that point in the stories. As they go on, though, the characters cease to be strictly divided into good guys and bad guys, and we are presented with a Dumbledore that isn't universally liked or trusted by people who aren't clearly in league with Voldemort. At that point, the story calls for someone a little less Santa Claus and a little more Leonardo da Vinci.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2011
  31. rodneyfaile

    rodneyfaile Sr Member

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    Re: Richard Harris or Sir Michael Gambon- Who do you think is the "better" Dumbledore

    Dumbledore was gay, so Harris wasnt too fancy, just showing his style, lol.
     
  32. Goodwolf

    Goodwolf Sr Member

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    Re: Richard Harris or Sir Michael Gambon- Who do you think is the "better" Dumbledore

    This. Harris brought the wisdom and gravitas and the sense that he always knew more about what was going on than you did that I always imagined in the books. I actively disliked Gambon at first, although he's grown on me.
     
  33. ReproMan

    ReproMan Well-Known Member

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    Re: Richard Harris or Sir Michael Gambon- Who do you think is the "better" Dumbledore

    i preferred harris, something about gambon just didnt work for me to start with, but he's acceptable now
     
  34. Sparticle

    Sparticle Well-Known Member

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    Re: Richard Harris or Sir Michael Gambon- Who do you think is the "better" Dumbledore

    Ahh! What a decision!
    Harris played D as I read him in the early books.
    BUT Gambon PLAYED Dumbledore as I read him in the later books!

    The scene I LOVED was Dumbledore Swirling the fire in the caverns.
    I Would have LOVED to see Richard Harris in THAT scene!
     

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