A belated comment on the death of Richard Harris. He was at his best a good actor, but I didn't like his performance in the first Harry Potter movie. In the role, he came across as a frail old man, and I didn't like this much. (I would blame this more on the direction, costuming and make-up as I would on the acting). Dumbledore has to be old, yes, but also, wise, powerful, and a little bit ruthless. (Maybe, ultimately, very ruthless. Without the last three books we don't know yet). While these characteristics aren't in the foreground in the first book, they have to be there. And they don't seem to be in the movie. Maybe they will be in the second movie. I shall know in a few weeks I guess. If Christopher Lee takes over the role it will be interesting to see how much darker he plays it.
The character of Dumbledore has to be like Giles in Buffy the Vampire Slayer . He exists as a mentor, a source of wisdom, and a source of power. But more than that he is there to protect the hero: to ensure that a true hero is capable of remaining one. This means he has to be ruthless when the hero cannot be. From The Gift
Can you move?
Need... a minute… She could have killed me.
No she couldn't. Never. And sooner or later, Glory will re-emerge and make Buffy pay for that mercy, and the world with her. Buffy even knows that, and still she wouldn't take a human life. Because she's a hero, you see. She's not like us.
Giles coldly clamps his hand over Ben's mouth and nose. Ben struggles feebly for a while. Then stops. Giles' expression never changes.
Anthony Stewart Head manages to catch the power and potential ruthlessness perfectly, right from the start. Sadly, he is too young to play Dumbledore.