It's Harry's third year at Hogwarts; not only does he have a new "Defense Against the Dark Arts" teacher, but there is also trouble brewing. Convicted murderer Sirius Black has escaped the Wizards' Prison and is coming after Harry.
This 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. Written by
Chris Columbus pitched his vision of the film for two hours, stating that he wanted the Muggle scenes "to be bleak and dreary" but those set in the wizarding world "to be steeped in color, mood, and detail." He took inspiration from Great Expectations (1946) and Oliver Twist (1948), wishing to use "that sort of darkness, that sort of edge, that quality to the cinematography," taking the color designs from Oliver! (1968) and The Godfather (1972). See more »
(at around 28 mins) After Harry has received his wand in Ollivander's, his hair is parted to show his scar. However, when Hagrid knocks on the window and Harry sees Hedwig, his scar has mysteriously disappeared. See more »
[as a cat]
I should have known that you would be here, Professor McGonagall.
[Professor McGonagall transfigures into her human self]
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thanks to Duke of Northumberland, Alnwick Castle See more »
To be faced with the challenge of adapting Harry Potter for the Silver screen must have been any director's nightmare- the chance of directing possibly the biggest film of this decade, but also the hardest audience-the millions of fans of the book who know every line and will pick up on every mistake. Being one of the above, I can only say that Christopher Columbus and all of the team working on HP did marvelously. The cast was brilliant (particularly notable are Alan Rickman as Snape, Maggie Smith as McGonagall, and the eerily creepy David Bradley as Argus Filch), the directing wonderful, and the scenery perfect. The only qualm is that it does not track perfectly with the book, but squeezed into 2.5 hours, this can only be expected. Well done all involved!
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