Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

About Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Film

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is a 2002 fantasy film directed by Chris Columbus from a screenplay by Steve Kloves, based on the 1998 novel of the same name by J. K. Rowling. Produced by David Heyman, it is the sequel to Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001) and the second instalment in the Harry Potter film series. The film stars Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter, with Rupert Grint and Emma Watson as his best friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger respectively. The story follows Harry’s second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where the Heir of Salazar Slytherin opens the Chamber of Secrets, unleashing a monster that petrifies the school’s students.

The film was released in the United Kingdom and the United States on 15 November 2002, by Warner Bros. Pictures. Critics praised its darker plot, sets, performances (especially Branagh, Coltrane and Isaacs), and a story appropriate for a young audience, and it became a critical and commercial success, grossing $926 million worldwide and becoming the second-highest-grossing film of 2002. The film was nominated for many awards, including the BAFTA Award for Best Production Design, Best Sound, and Best Special Visual Effects. It was followed by Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004).

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Film


Spending the summer with the Dursleys, Harry Potter meets Dobby, a house-elf who warns him not to return to Hogwarts or danger will strike. When Harry refuses, Dobby sabotages an important dinner for the Dursleys, who lock up Harry to prevent his departure. Harry’s friend Ron Weasley and his brothers Fred and George rescue him in their father’s flying car.

In Diagon Alley, Harry, the Weasleys and Hermione Granger notice a book-signing by Gilderoy Lockhart, Hogwarts’ new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher. There, Harry sees Draco Malfoy’s father, Lucius, slip a book into Ginny Weasley’s cauldron. After being blocked from entering Platform Nine and Three-Quarters at King’s Cross railway station, Harry and Ron take the car to Hogwarts. There, they crash into the Whomping Willow, breaking Ron’s wand, and receive detention.

In detention, Harry hears a strange voice and later finds caretaker Argus Filch’s cat, Mrs Norris, petrified beside a message written in blood: “The Chamber of Secrets has been opened, enemies of the heir… beware.” One of Hogwarts’ founders, Salazar Slytherin, supposedly constructed a secret Chamber containing a monster that only his heir can control, capable of purging the school of Muggle-born students. To solve this mystery, Harry, Ron, and Hermione plan to question Malfoy, using polyjuice potion, which they brew in a bathroom haunted by Moaning Myrtle, a ghost.

During a Quidditch game, Harry’s arm is broken by a rogue Bludger. Dobby visits him in the infirmary and reveals that he closed the barrier to Platform Nine and Three-Quarters and made the Bludger chase Harry to force him to leave the school. He also reveals that the Chamber had been opened in the past. When Harry communicates with a snake, the school starts to believe he is the heir. Disguised as two of Malfoy’s friends, Harry and Ron learn he is not the heir, but come to know that a Muggle-born girl died when the Chamber was last opened. Harry finds an enchanted diary owned by former student Tom Riddle, who opened the Chamber and blamed Rubeus Hagrid, leading to his expulsion. When the diary is stolen and Hermione is petrified, Harry and Ron question Hagrid. Professor Dumbledore, Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge, and Lucius arrive to take Hagrid to Azkaban and remove Dumbledore from office, but he discreetly tells the boys to “follow the spiders”. In the Forbidden Forest, Harry and Ron meet Hagrid’s giant pet spider, Aragog, who reveals Hagrid’s innocence and provides a small clue of the Chamber’s monster.

A book page in Hermione’s hand identifies the monster as a basilisk, a giant serpent that kills people who make direct eye contact with it; the petrified victims only saw it indirectly. The school staff learns Ginny has been taken into the Chamber, and nominate Lockhart to save her. Harry and Ron find Lockhart preparing to flee, exposing him as a fraud. Deducing that Myrtle was the Muggle-born girl that the basilisk killed, they find the Chamber’s entrance in the bathroom she haunts. Once inside, Lockhart tries to stop Harry and Ron by using a memory charm. However, because he seized Ron’s broken wand, the spell backfires, erasing Lockhart’s memory and causing a cave-in that separates Harry from Ron and Lockhart.

Harry enters the Chamber alone and finds Ginny unconscious, guarded by Riddle, who turns out to be Slytherin’s heir and Voldemort’s younger self, and he used the diary to manipulate Ginny into reopening the Chamber. After Harry expresses his loyalty to Dumbledore, the latter’s pet phoenix Fawkes arrives with the Sorting Hat, causing Riddle to summon the basilisk. Fawkes blinds the basilisk, and the Sorting Hat produces the Sword of Gryffindor, with which Harry battles the basilisk. After a struggle, he kills it but is poisoned by one of its fangs.

Despite his injury, Harry stabs the diary with the basilisk fang, destroying Riddle and reviving Ginny. Fawkes’ tears heal Harry, who returns to Hogwarts with his friends and a baffled Lockhart, earning Dumbledore’s praise and Hagrid’s release. Harry accuses Lucius, Dobby’s master, of planting the diary in Ginny’s cauldron, and tricks him into freeing Dobby. The basilisk’s victims are healed, Hermione reunites with Harry and Ron, and Hagrid is released from Azkaban.


  • Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter: A 12-year-old British wizard famous for surviving his parents’ murder at the hands of the evil wizard Lord Voldemort as an infant, who now enters his second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
  • Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley: Harry’s best friend at Hogwarts and one of the youngest members of the Weasley family.
  • Emma Watson as Hermione Granger: Harry’s other best friend and the trio’s brains.
  • Kenneth Branagh as Gilderoy Lockhart: A celebrity author and the new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher at Hogwarts.
  • John Cleese as Nearly Headless Nick: The ghost of Gryffindor House.
  • Robbie Coltrane as Rubeus Hagrid: The half-giant gamekeeper at Hogwarts who is framed for opening the Chamber of Secrets and is sent to Azkaban on Lucius Malfoy’s orders. Martin Bayfield portrays a young Hagrid.
  • Warwick Davis as Filius Flitwick: The Charms teacher at Hogwarts and head of Ravenclaw House.
  • Richard Griffiths as Vernon Dursley: Harry’s abusive Muggle uncle, who despises wizards and works as a drill company director.
  • Richard Harris as Albus Dumbledore: The headmaster of Hogwarts and one of the greatest wizards of the age. This was Harris’ final live-action film; he died shortly before it was released. The role of Dumbledore was played by Michael Gambon from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban onwards.
  • Jason Isaacs as Lucius Malfoy: Draco’s father and a former Hogwarts pupil of Slytherin House who now works as a school governor at Hogwarts. Isaacs gave Lucius a whiny tone of voice based on that of the Child Catcher of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, whose voice had resonated with Isaacs throughout his childhood for the character scaring him.
  • Maggie Smith as Minerva McGonagall: The Transfiguration teacher at Hogwarts and head of Gryffindor House.
  • Gemma Jones as Madame Pomfrey: The Hogwarts nurse.
  • Alan Rickman as Severus Snape: The Potions teacher at Hogwarts and head of Slytherin House.
  • Fiona Shaw as Petunia Dursley: Harry’s Muggle aunt.
  • Julie Walters as Molly Weasley: Ron’s mother.


Production designer Stuart Craig returned for the sequel to design new elements previously not seen in the first film. He designed the Burrow based on Arthur Weasley’s interest in Muggles, built vertically out of architectural salvage. Mr. Weasley’s flying car was created from a 1962 Ford Anglia 105E. The Chamber of Secrets, measuring over 76 metres (249 ft) long and 36.5 metres (119.8 ft) wide, was the biggest set created for the saga. Dumbledore’s office, which houses the Sorting Hat and the Sword of Gryffindor, was also built for the film.

Lindy Hemming was the costume designer for Chamber of Secrets. She retained many of the characters’ already established appearances, and chose to focus on the new characters introduced in the sequel. Gilderoy Lockhart’s wardrobe incorporated bright colours, in contrast with the “dark, muted or sombre colours” of the other characters. Branagh said, “We wanted to create a hybrid between a period dandy and someone who looked as if they could fit into Hogwarts.” Hemming also perfected Lucius Malfoy’s costume. One of the original concepts was for him to wear a pinstripe suit, but was changed to furs and a snake head cane in order to remark his aristocrat quality and to reflect a “sense of the old.”Hugh Grant was the first choice to play the role of Gilderoy Lockhart, but due to reported scheduling conflicts he was unable to play the character. Before Coulson was cast as Tom Riddle, Eddie Redmayne – who later played Newt Scamander in the Fantastic Beasts films – auditioned for the role.


November 3, 2002

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