Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

November 16, 2001 0 By Fans
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

Still of Rupert Grint, Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's StoneStill of Robbie Coltrane in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's StoneAlicia Silverstone at event of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's StoneStill of Daniel Radcliffe in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's StoneStill of Daniel Radcliffe in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's StoneHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone


Rescued from the outrageous neglect of his aunt and uncle, a young boy with a great destiny proves his worth while attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Release Year: 2001

Rating: 7.2/10 (195,329 voted)

Critic's Score: 64/100

Chris Columbus

Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Richard Harris

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is the first film in the Harry Potter series based on the novels by J.K. Rowling. It is the tale of Harry Potter, an ordinary 11-year-old boy serving as a sort of slave for his aunt and uncle who learns that he is actually a wizard and has been invited to attend the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry is snatched away from his mundane existence by Hagrid, the grounds keeper for Hogwarts, and quickly thrown into a world completely foreign to both him and the viewer. Famous for an incident that happened at his birth, Harry makes friends easily at his new school. He soon finds, however, that the wizarding world is far more dangerous for him than he would have imagined, and he quickly learns that not all wizards are ones to be trusted.

Writers: J.K. Rowling, Steve Kloves


Richard Harris

Professor Albus Dumbledore

Maggie Smith

Professor Minerva McGonagall

Robbie Coltrane

Rubeus Hagrid

Saunders Triplets

Baby Harry Potter

Daniel Radcliffe

Harry Potter

Fiona Shaw

Aunt Petunia Dursley

Harry Melling

Dudley Dursley

Richard Griffiths

Uncle Vernon Dursley

Derek Deadman

Tom – Bartender in Leaky Cauldron

Ian Hart

Professor Quirinus Quirrell

Ben Borowiecki

Diagon Alley Boy

Warwick Davis

Goblin Bank Teller
Professor Flitwick

Verne Troyer

Griphook the Goblin

(as Vern Troyer)

John Hurt

Mr. Ollivander

Richard Bremmer

He Who Must Not Be Named

The Magic Begins November 16th.


Official Website:
Warner Bros. [Spain] |
Warner Bros. [uk] |

Release Date: 16 November 2001

Filming Locations: Alnwick Castle, Alnwick, Northumberland, England, UK

Box Office Details

Budget: $125,000,000


Opening Weekend: $90,294,621
(18 November 2001)
(3672 Screens)

Gross: $974,755,371
(6 November 2011)

Technical Specs



(extended version)

Did You Know?


The filmmakers attempted to go the extra mile of matching the kid's appearances to how the novel describes them, by fitting Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) with green-colored contact lenses, and similarly make Emma Watson (Hermione Granger) wear fake buck teeth. But when Dan's eyes reacted strongly to the contacts, and Emma couldn't talk clearly with the fake teeth in her mouth, these ideas were dropped.


Incorrectly regarded as goofs:
Many viewers believe that the infant Harry in the flashback is wearing anachronistic
Blue's Clues pajamas. The design on the sleeve is actually a rabbit.


[first lines]

Professor McGonagall:
[as a cat]

I should have known that you would be here, Professor McGonagall.
[Professor McGonagall transfigures into her human self]

User Review

Wonderful adaptation, but missing the satire of the book

Rating: 7/10

I enjoyed this movie immensely. But, like "The Phantom Menace," I've had a
very hard time viewing it objectively. There was so much anticipation
leading up to its release, I simply enjoyed the experience of being there.
Having read all four books in the series a few times each, I am overly
familiar with the events in the story. As I watched the movie, my
thought was "How well will the next part of the story be translated to the
screen?" rather than "How entertaining is this film overall?" I have
answering the latter question because I was already entertained by
a wonderful story dramatized, so I'll never know how I'd have reacted had
seen this movie without having read the books.

Critics talk about how incredibly faithful the movie is to the book, and
perhaps I'd have had an easier time detaching the two in my mind had the
movie set off on its own course. Indeed, many classic children's movies,
like "The Wizard of Oz" and "Mary Poppins," are so successful partly
they're so different from the books that inspired them. But these are
exceptions; in my experience, most children's movies reveal their
in how they diverge from the books upon which they're based. And much of
what makes the Harry Potter phenomenon unique is that it is the first time
in ages that a children's book, without a movie accompanying it, has
generated this much popularity. According to an article I read a year ago,
the universe of Harry Potter has become as real in the minds of youngsters
and adults as that of a popular movie series like Star Wars. Therefore, it
will be very hard for any film based upon it to compete with it. In the
minds of die-hard fans, any changes made to the story will be seen as
desecrating the fantasy world that Rowling created. That's why it's easy
understand why the filmmakers were so reluctant to change

As a faithful rendering of the book squeezed into a two-and-a-half hour
period, the movie is beautifully done. I don't have a single complaint
any of the actors, who successfully bring to life, with the aid of costume
design and special effects, the many colorful characters from the book. My
favorite character, the giant Hagrid, is played by Robbie Coltrane, and I
say with no exaggeration that he is exactly how I imagined him while
the book. It's as if they took the image in my mind and transferred it to
the screen. While I had my own personal image of Snape (for some reason, I
always imagined him as the head villain from another Chris Columbus film,
"Adventures in Babysitting"), Alan Rickman is perfect in the role. I
expect to have words of criticism for some performances, but I just don't.
The remaining adult actors, including Maggie Smith as Professor McGonagall
and Richard Harris as Albus Dumbledore, are as good as they possibly could
be, and the kids do an excellent job of holding their own against these
veterans. Some have criticized Daniel Radcliffe for appearing too subdued
the title role, but that's exactly how the character is portrayed in the
book: modest, unassuming, and laid-back. The kids who play Harry's two
friends are flawless.

I had a lot of worries about the fact that it was being directed by Chris
Columbus, whose entire directorial career so far has consisted of
over-the-top slapstick films. I was pleasantly surprised that he did not
direct the Harry Potter film in this way. Except for brief moments like
children's delayed reaction to a giant three-headed dog they encounter and
Harry's swallowing the quaffle ball, there is nothing here to remind us
this film is directed by the same person who gave us films like "Home
and "Mrs. Doubtfire." Indeed, I think Columbus may have gone just a tad
too far in trying not to make the film seem cartoony. I would have liked
see a little more emotion on the actors' faces at certain times. Overall,
however, his restraint works nicely in giving the film the kind of
believability the book possesses.

But much is left out. Harry's caretaker Uncle Vernon, a prominent
in the book, is given less attention in the movie than some of the bit
characters. The gently satirical aspects of Hogwarts School aren't in the
movie at all. We never see the ghostly history teacher who died several
years back but kept on teaching. Lines like the following–"Professor
McGonagall watched [her students] turn a mouse into a snuffbox–points
given for how pretty the snuffbox was, but taken away if it had
whiskers"–find no equivalent in the movie. The movie does include
nine-and-three-quarters, though the way the kids disappear into the wall
isn't as mysterious as I had visualized, and the sorting hat is there,
the great poem explaining the differences between the four

Not that I'm blaming the movie for omitting some details. Some things from
the book would not have translated easily to the screen, and it would have
been very difficult to stick everything in. Had Columbus done so and
the film to be as long as necessary (eight hours, maybe?), like a BBC
miniseries, the film might have been a masterpiece, but few kids would
have had the patience or attention span to sit through

The problem is that the amusing details are much of what make Harry Potter
such a special story. A whole universe is created in Rowling's series, in
which a magical society exists within our own ordinary "muggle" world and
kept secret by a bureaucracy with its own rules, history and politics. The
way magic is treated in her books, not as something medieval but as very
similar to the way our own contemporary world works, is a large part of
their charm. Take away these details, and you're left with a fairly
conventional tale of a young wizard fighting an evil sorcerer.

Although the audience I was with broke into applause as soon as the movie
ended (something I've never seen happen before, though I don't go to the
theater that often), some people have complained about the movie dragging
certain points. I didn't have that problem, but, as I said, I wasn't
trying to get involved in the movie's story. After thinking about it, it
does seem like parts of the movie fail to convey a sense of urgency. Why
should this be? I never felt that way when reading the books, and this is
without a doubt the very same story.

The answer, I think, is that the books portray much of Harry's anxiety in
trying to succeed in school (for if he's kicked out, he'll go straight
to his horrible uncle) and fit in with the kids there. The movie doesn't
into these anxieties enough, so why should we care whether he wins the
Quidditch match (other than that he survives in one piece) and gets
the school year? The only real suspense in the movie after he arrives at
Hogwarts comes from the story of Lord Voldemort returning, which in the
is almost secondary. Harry's adventures getting along in the school are
and interesting, but as they are presented to us in the film, there isn't
enough tying them all together.

What we have here is a serviceable dramatization of a wonderful children's
series, but it doesn't entirely succeed in standing on its own. Perhaps it
should have diverged from the book just a little, to compensate for the
difficulties in translating some of the book's delights to the screen. In
its current form, it's almost like a preview of the book. Its lack of
fullness, and its dependence on the book, might actually increase the
popularity and endurance of Rowling's series by making those who see the
film yearn for more, which they can get from the real thing.