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In the film The Goblet of Fire, a witness accuses Barty Crouch Jr. of a crime to a court.

The witness was trying to avoid being sent back to Azkaban, so he could have merely been making it up.

Why didn't the accused at least try to act innocent in the movie?

Why does he try to deny it in the book, but not in the movie?

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  • 5
    In the movies he didn't. In the Books, he did. And he did so repeatedly. He denied all charges but his father refused to listen. At least thats what I remember
    – Aegon
    Sep 25, 2017 at 15:00
  • 8
    Because the movies are nonsense?
    – ibid
    Sep 25, 2017 at 15:32
  • 2
    Legilimency, inspecting the wand, the dark mark. It is too easy to find evidence of faul action. Denying it doesn’t worth the effort. Sep 25, 2017 at 16:53

2 Answers 2

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Books

He does deny it.

"Father, I didn't!" shrieked the boy in chains below. "I didn't, I swear it, Father, don't send me back to the Dementors -"
[...]
"Mother!" screamed the boy below, and the wispy little witch beside Crouch began to sob, rocking backwards and forwards. "Mother, stop him, Mother, I didn't do it, it wasn't me!"
(Goblet of Fire, Chapter 30, The Pensieve).

In the books, he doesn't get arrested on the testimony of Karakaroff but rather was caught in the act (or at least in the company of known criminals):

"The boy was definitely caught in the company of people I'd bet my life were Death Eaters - but he might have been in the wrong place at the wrong time, just like the house-elf."
(Goblet of Fire, Chapter 27, Padfoot Returns).

So Crouch Junior had the chance to deny the charges and did so vehemently. But because he was found with a crowd of Death Eaters and his dad wanted to keep up his own personal reputation he was always going to be found guilty, no matter what he said.

Movies

In the films, he doesn't confess as such. But he certainly doesn't behave innocently either.

The film is combining two scenes into one here. In the books, the interrogation of Karkaroff is conducted separately to the trial of Crouch Junior. And we never see Crouch Junior's arrest. In the films, he is outed by Karkaroff in front of the Wizengamot. He doesn't confess but he does make a run for it. And, when arrested, he lears at his father in a way that implies that he's guilty.

Why doesn't he behave innocently?

From an out-of-universe perspective, the filmmakers probably decided that it was simpler if there was no ambiguity about Crouch Junior. If the audience finds out that he was a Death Eater and has no doubt over his true loyalties then it makes the rest of the story less complex. These sort of details are easier to put into a novel than a film; having Crouch Junior 'act the baddie' makes the ending less confusing.

From an in-universe perspective, Crouch Junior probably realised that Karkaroff's testimony was pretty damning. All the other names which Karkaroff had given to the Wizengamot were genuine so Crouch's innocence probably wouldn't be taken seriously. Besides, the Longbottom case was so chilling that the wizarding world wanted to see a prosecution of some sort. Many people would've wanted someone convicted for it, so it would've been that bit harder to fight off the mob rule that passes for wizarding justice.

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    They also went for the demented psycho freak angle for the doctor, as if he had no survival instinct worth mentioning
    – user68762
    Sep 25, 2017 at 15:42
  • @Morri What doctor? Sep 25, 2017 at 15:46
  • the tenth. sorry, i jest, meant Barty Crouch Jr.
    – user68762
    Sep 25, 2017 at 15:59
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    @Morri Still don't understand you. Doctor who? Sep 25, 2017 at 16:02
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Without confirmation from the screenwriters, we can only speculate why they changed this in the movie. But I imagine because Crouch Sr. wasn't portrayed as the same power-grasping man.

In fact, we don't really see much of him in the movie, so it could be because it would require too much time and exposition to fit in this scene accurately. So they instead added a 30 second bit of shock and scandal to get us to the same end. Namely that of Crouch Jr. going to Azkaban.

Additionally, in the book, we are unsure if Crouch Jr. was truly guilty until the end, another thing that would have required too much time being devoted to something not truly integral to the plot in the film. So it was made unambiguous to the viewer to save time.

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  • Saying "because the films are lazy" is unnecessarily harsh. A more neutral replacement could be "because the film excluded important events from the books"
    – Stevoisiak
    Sep 25, 2017 at 16:25
  • 1
    Fair point. I'll switch up the order of my analysis to make it less harsh.
    – amflare
    Sep 25, 2017 at 16:34
  • 4
    Films also have a limited amount of time to tell a story. Rowling could add an extra chapter worth of detailed material to a book and no one will really care too much. Add an extra 30 minutes of detail to a movie that's already two and a half hours, and you'll just end up with disengaged viewers by the end.
    – Ellesedil
    Sep 25, 2017 at 16:34

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