Gene Shalit had only good
Mar 17, 2001
Gene Shalit had only good things to say about the Harry Potter trailer on the Today Show this week:
Sixty-two years ago, back in 1939, the whole country, and especially America’s book readers, were in a frenzy of expectation. They were waiting for the movie version of “Gone With the Wind.” Now here we go again with the surge of anticipation about another book into film, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” It’s coming in November. Now as of this morning, there are 48,600,000 copies of Harry’s four-volume adventures in print–48.6 million. Try that on your abacus.
Now, for everybody who can’t wait, here’s an early glimpse of the new “Harry Potter” movie. I hate movie previews. They’re bombastic. They reveal too much. They distort. They even ruin bad movies. So I am surprised and pleased by this preview.
Casting Harry Potter’s adventures is crucial to his readers. The good news is that Daniel Radcliffe as Harry steps straight from the book. Alan Rickman is Professor Snape. Harry the giant is Robbie Coltrane. Richard Harris’ is Hogwart’s headmaster. Maggie Smith, well she is Professor McGonagle. This preview is effective in its silences, its lack of loud mouth hype, and its promise of fidelity to “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” You know, if previews for other pictures had these virtues, going to movies would be less noxious. So here’s a bow to Warner’s preview makers for their smarts and their stylish taste.
And that’s the CRITIC’S CORNER for this morning.