Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is a 2009 fantasy film directed by David Yates and based on the novel of the same name by J. K. Rowling. It is the sixth instalment in the Harry Potter film series, written by Steve Kloves and produced by David Heyman and David Barron. The story follows Harry Potter’s sixth year at Hogwarts as he becomes obsessed with a mysterious textbook, falls in love, and attempts to retrieve a memory that holds the key to Lord Voldemort’s downfall. The film stars Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter, alongside Rupert Grint and Emma Watson as Harry’s best friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. It is the sequel to Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and is followed by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1.
Filming began on 24 September 2007, culminating with the film’s worldwide cinematic release on 15 July 2009, one day short of the fourth anniversary of the corresponding novel’s release. In everywhere but the United States, the sixth film was simultaneously released in regular cinemas and IMAX 3D in all countries. Due to North American theatres having a several-week commitment to Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, the IMAX 3D release of the film occurred on 29 July, two weeks after its original release.
Half-Blood Prince opened to positive reviews along with instant commercial success, breaking the record for the biggest single-day worldwide gross of all time. In five days the film made $394 million, breaking the record for highest five-day worldwide gross in history. With a total gross of $934 million, it became the 8th highest grossing movie of all time and the second highest-grossing film of 2009 (behind Avatar). It is currently the 18th highest-grossing film of all time worldwide unadjusted for inflation. The film attained a mix of awards and nominations, including gaining recognition at the 82nd Academy Awards for Best Cinematography and the 63rd British Academy Film Awards for Best Special Visual Effects and Best Production Design. Half-Blood Prince remains one of the most positively reviewed films within the series among film critics; at the time of its release, it became the fourth highest rated Potter film on review aggregators Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic. Critics praised the film’s “emotionally satisfying” story, direction, cinematography, visuals and music.
Harry is shown bleeding in front of the Ministry of Magic, as the result of an attack that took place after the second-to-last scene of the previous film, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Lord Voldemort is tightening his grip on both the Wizarding and Muggle worlds and has chosen Draco Malfoy to carry out a secret mission. Severus Snape accepts Bellatrix Lestrange’s challenge to make an Unbreakable Vow with Draco’s mother, Narcissa, to protect Draco and fulfill the assignment if he fails.
Harry accompanies Albus Dumbledore to visit former potions professor Horace Slughorn, who has gone into hiding. Slughorn agrees to return to teach at Hogwarts as Dumbledore tells Harry that Slughorn’s return to Hogwarts is crucial.
Leaving Fred and George’s new shop, Harry, Ron and Hermione notice Draco and Narcissa associating with Death Eaters in Borgin and Burkes. Harry believes Voldemort has made Draco a Death Eater, but Ron and Hermione are sceptical. On the Hogwarts Express, Harry spies on Draco, who hints to his friends that he does not plan to return to Hogwarts next year. Draco discovers Harry’s presence and immobilises him, but Harry is rescued by Luna with her Spectrespecs.
At Hogwarts, Harry and Ron are admitted to Slughorn’s potions class at the last minute and have to borrow the needed textbooks because they don’t have their own. Harry’s copy is inscribed on the fly page as the “Half-Blood Prince.” This owners, Harry finds, had annotated the book with additional instructions — tips and emendations that allow Harry to excel in the class.
As for Ron, he becomes the Keeper of the the Gryffindor Quidditch team, and, thinking he has been given a Good Luck potion by Harry, Ron becomes a sports hero and partially as a result, he forms a romantic relationship with Lavender Brown, leaving Hermione disconsolate. Harry discovers Hermione sobbing in the Astronomy Tower, where he reveals to her that he has feelings for Ron’s sister, Ginny Weasley.
Harry spends Christmas with the Weasleys and becomes closer to Ginny. They almost share a kiss on Christmas Eve but Bellatrix and Fenrir Greyback, intent on capturing Harry, attack and burn the Burrow, home of the Weasleys. Outnumbered, Bellatrix and Greyback abandon their attack as Order members Nymphadora Tonks and Remus Lupin, together with Harry and the Weasleys, watch the structure burn.
In his recovering state in the hospital,Ron murmurs Hermione’s name — not that of Lavender Brown).
Suspecting that Draco was responsible for two attempts on Dumbledore’s life, one of which has almost killed Ron, Harry confronts Draco and severely injures him with a Sectumsempra curse taken from the textbook of the Half-Blood Prince. Harry, shocked that the curse has slliced open Draco’s chest, retreats as Severus Snape enters and magically heals Draco’s wound. Fearing the book may be filled with more Dark Magic, Ginny and Harry hide it in the Room of Requirement and, while doing so, share their first kiss.
Dumbledore shows Harry memories of a young Tom Riddle and reveals that Slughorn retains a memory critical to Voldemort’s defeat. Harry retrieves the memory, learning that Voldemort wanted information for creating seven Horcruxes. The Horcrux safeguards a portion of the creator’s soul, granting him immortality unless the Horcrux is destroyed. Two of Voldemort’s Horcruxes have already been destroyed: Tom Riddle’s diary and Marvolo Gaunt’s ring. Touching the ring, Harry has a vision of Voldemort, which is noticed by Dumbledore. After discovering the possible location of another Horcrux, Dumbledore requests Harry’s help to retrieve it. They travel to a far-away cave where Harry is forced to make Dumbledore drink a mind-altering potion that hides the Horcrux, a locket. A weakened Dumbledore defends them from a horde of Inferi and apparates himself and Harry back to the Astronomy Tower at Hogwarts. In the meantime, Bellatrix, Greyback and several other Death Eaters enter the castle with Draco’s help.
Upon arriving at the tower, Dumbledore tells Harry to fetch Snape but as footsteps approach, he orders Harry to hide. Draco reveals that he has been chosen by Voldemort to kill Dumbledore, but he is unable to follow through. Snape arrives and casts the Avada Kedavra curse, killing Dumbledore. As Bellatrix casts the Dark Mark, Snape, Draco and the Death Eaters escape from the castle. Bellatrix destroys the Great Hall and sets fire to Hagrid’s hut as Harry attempts to stop them. Snape overpowers Harry and reveals that he is the Half-Blood Prince before escaping. Harry returns to the school to find the staff and students mourning Dumbledore. Led by Minerva McGonagall, the students and teachers destroy the Dark Mark to honour Dumbledore whereupon Harry is comforted by Ginny.
Harry later reveals to Ron and Hermione that the locket Horcrux was a fake. The locket contains a message from an “R.A.B.” to Voldemort stating that he has stolen the real Horcrux with the intent of destroying it. His dying wish is that when Voldemort meets his match he will be mortal once more. Rather than return for their final year at Hogwarts, Harry, Ron and Hermione vow to seek out who R.A.B. was and to find the remaining Horcruxes.
Learn more about the concepts, principles and symbolism behind the subliminals found in this film: