Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Quicklinks
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
Overview
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
Promotional
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips
The content of this page was created directly by users and has not been screened or verified by IMDb staff.
Visit our FAQ Help to learn more

FAQ Contents


A Note Regarding Spoilers

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone can be found here.

Eleven-year old orphan Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), currently living a mundane existence with his Uncle Vernon Dursley (Richard Griffiths), Aunt Petunia (Fiona Shaw), and favored Cousin Dudley (Harry Melling), is invited to study magic at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and finds his whole world changed. Along with his friends and fellow first-year students Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermoine Granger (Emma Watson), Harry learns to ride a broomstick, play quiddich, searches for the heavily-guarded Sorcerer's Stone, and comes face-to-face with Lord Voldemort, the evil magician who killed his parents.

The movie is based on Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (1997), the first book of the Harry Potter series written by British author J.K. Rowling. The title was changed to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by US publishers and released over a year later than in the UK. The movie was followed by Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010), and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011). Rowling's Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was adapted for the screen by American screenwriter Steve Kloves.

To appeal to the American audience. This was a marketing decision made by author Rowling and Scholastic, the publishing house that released the novel in the United States. The decision to change Philosopher to Sorcerer was made because, in the U.S., a philosopher connotes a scholar of philosophy, ethics, metaphysics, logic, and other related fields. Philosopher does not typically connote an alchemist or magician, and magic is essential to the Harry Potter books. Consequently, the publisher suggested using another word with a more magical connotation, and Rowling suggested Sorcerer. Rowling gives this explanation: "Arthur Levine, my American editor, and I decided that words should be altered only where we felt they would be incomprehensible, even in context, to an American reader. The title change was Arthur's idea initially, because he felt that the British title gave a misleading idea of the subject matter. In England, we discussed several alternative titles and Sorcerer's Stone was my idea." For the movie, the different titles were used in different markets, and each scene where the Stone's name is used had to be filmed twice, once with "Philosopher's Stone" in the dialogue and once with "Sorcerer's Stone."

The Sorcerer's Stone (originally the Philosopher's Stone') is a legendary substance that medieval alchemists believed capable, under favorable astronomical conditions, of changing lead into gold by a process they called transmutation. The Sorcerer's Stone was also believed to contain the secret of immortality. Through it, the "elixir of life" supposedly could be distilled.

Harry's mother Lily and his Aunt Petunia Dursley were sisters (ne Evans), making Harry and Dudley Dursley first cousins.

Petunia Dursley disliked her sister Lily (Harry's mom) because, as a witch, Lily earned the family's admiration and attention. It is revealed in one of the books that Petunia had requested to join Hogwarts, going as far as to write a letter personally to Albus Dumbledore, only to be refused. She grew jealous. Then Lily married James Potter, and their son Harry was born a wizard. When Lily and James were killed and Harry came to live with the Dursleys, Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon considered him to be a freak, and so they treated him accordingly.

4 Privet Drive. Little Whinging, Surrey.

Uncle Vernon is the director of Grunnings, a drill manufacturer. Aunt Petunia is a housewife.

When Harry was a baby, his parents were killed by the evil dark wizard Lord Voldemort (aka He Who Must Not Be Named). Voldemort is so powerful that no wizard can stand against him. Yet, when Voldemort attempted to kill little Harry, he failed. Something about Harry prevented Voldemort from harming him, but Voldemort's attempt left Harry marked with a lightning bolt on his forehead. News of Harry's survival spread throughout the magic community so that every witch and wizard is familiar with his name. More so, besides being associated with the defeat of the Dark Lord, Harry is the only person, muggle or wizard, to survive the Avada Kedavra (Killing Curse).

While shopping for Harry's wizardry supplies in Diagon Alley, Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane) stops at Gringott's to withdraw some money for Harry and also to pick up a mysterious package being safe-guarded in the bank's vault. Later in the film, we learn that it is the Sorcerer's stone.

There are seven Weasley children. Percy (Chris Rankin) and the twins, George (Oliver Phelps) and Fred (James Phelps), are all scholars at Hogwarts. Ron is beginning his first year at Hogwarts. Still at home is Ginny (Bonnie Wright). The sixth Weasley child is Charlie, but he's studying dragons in Romania. There is a seventh Weasley named Bill, but he is not mentioned in this movie. Mum is Molly Weasley (Julie Walters) and Dad is Arthur Weasley (also not mentioned). The Weasleys are pure-blooded wizards.

It was actually soot, since the Weasleys travel by Floo Powder, which goes through chimneys. Most viewers see this scene on the Hogwarts Express as a way of introducing their personalities. Ron Weasley is going to be a sort of scruffy scamp (i.e., if ever there's a wizard with a broken, secondhand wand, it will be him) whereas Hermione Granger is going to be a perfectionist, a know-it-all, and a mother hen.

According to author J.K. Rowling, Hogwarts School of Wizardry and Witchcraft is located in Scotland. [See An interview with J.K. Rowling (2000) by L. Fraser, pp 20-21]. Scotland as the location for Hogwarts might also be surmised from the amount of time it takes to get there going directly north from platform 9 at Kings Cross station, London (over six hours), and also by the mention in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them of an Acromantula colony in Scotland. The school is not noticed by local Muggles because of the magical protections surrounding it. For the movie, however, various locations in England were used for scenes that took place at Hogwarts.

What is a Muggle?

Hagrid defines muggle as "non-magical folk." Muggle has actually made it into the Oxford English Dictionary where it is defined as "a person who possesses no magical powers. Hence, in allusive and extended uses: a person who lacks a particular skill or skills or who is regarded as inferior in some way." Although Harry's father is a full-blooded wizard, his mother was born of Muggles. J.K. Rowling has stated that the term is derived from the word "mug", meaning "foolish person".

The Houses are Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw, and Hufflepuff, each named after its founder. The Houses function as a "family" as well as a dormitory. New students are assigned to one of the four Houses by the Sorting Hat, which attempts to match each student's strengths with the house where they are best suited. Throughout the academic year, the various houses compete with each other in different ways, earning points for good behavior and losing points for rule-breaking. At the end of the year, the house with the most points wins the House Cup. The Sorting Hat initially tells Harry that Slytherin could help him on his way to greatness, but Harry keeps mumbling, "Not Slytherin," so the Cap ultimately assigns him to Gryffindor, as it also assigns Ron and Hermoine.

Professor Albus Dumbledore (Richard Harris), headmaster of Hogwarts, Professor Minerva McGonagall (Maggie Smith), deputy headmistress of Hogwarts, head of Gryffindor House, and teacher of Transfigurations, Professor Severus Snape (Alan Rickman), head of Slytherin House and Potions Master, Professor Quirinus Quirrell (Ian Hart), temporarily-assigned teacher of Defence Against the Dark Arts, Professor Flitwick head of Ravenclaw House and Charms teacher, and Madam Hooch, who teaches first-years to fly on broomsticks. Although not a professor, Rubeus Hagrid plays an important role as Hogwarts groundskeeper.

How is Quidditch played?

Each team consists of seven players: three Chasers, two Beaters, one Keeper and one Seeker, all riding magic broomsticks. The Chasers try to put the big red Quaffle ball through one of the opposing team's three hoops. If a Chaser is successful, his/her team scores 10 points. The Keeper defends his/her team's hoops. Beaters use bats to hit iron Bludger balls at the other team's players. Beaters protect their teammates by making sure that the Bludgers are always heading toward the other team. The Seeker tries to catch the Golden Snitch ball. When a Seeker catches the Snitch, his team gets 150 points and the game ends. Usually the team whose Seeker catches the Snitch will win, but it could also lose if the team is trailing by 160 points or more. What happens when a Seeker catches the Snitch while their team is trailing by exactly 150 points (thus requiring a tie-breaker scenario) is unknown.

*What appears to be a Transfiguration class is shown which is what Harry and Ron arrive late for on their first day.

*Snape's potion class is shown where we get the idea he doesn't like Harry (an extended version of this scene is on the DVD special features and some of the VHS).

*The Charms class is shown where they learn how to levitate objects.

*The first years' first flying lesson is shown in good detail.

*We briefly see a Defence Against the Dark Arts class when Professor McGonnagall asks if she can see Oliver Wood.

What was the name of...?

Harry's snowy owl: Hedwig

Ron's rat: Scabbers

Hagrid's baby dragon: Norbert

Hagrid's boarhound: Fang

The three-headed dog guarding the stone: Fluffy

Neville's toad: Trevor

Two reasons: (1) they thought the Stone would be safe at Hogwarts, as it was being guarded by Fluffy and a number of the professors, and (2) destroying the Stone would have eventually killed Nicolas Flamel. However, by the end of the movie, all involved seem to agree that prolonging Nicholas Flamel's life no longer outweighs the risk that the Stone could pose if it fell into the wrong hands, especially Voldemort's.

Yes. Nicolas Flamel (@1330 - 1418?) was a medieval French alchemist reputed to have been successful at creating a philosopher's stone and to have become immortal - some claimed to have seen him at the opera in 1761. His wife Perenelle (1320 - 1402) was widowed at a young age and remarried to Nicolas in 1350. In Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Nicolas is a friend of Professor Albus Dumbledore and uses the Elixir of Life created by the Philosopher's Stone to keep himself alive. At the end of the movie, however, he decides that it is time to destroy the Stone, and so it is done.

Dumbledore sent it to him; he had borrowed it from Harry's father before his murder.

"Erised" is the word "Desire" backwards; the mirror shows you what you desire most. The inscription above the mirror is Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi - this is a reversal of "I show not your face, but your heart's desire."

In the Harry Potter universe, wands have a magical item running down their center; known cores include phoenix feather, dragon heartstring, unicorn tail-hair, Thestral tail-hair and Veela hair. Since Olivander made Harry's wand he knew exactly what it was made of. In fact, Olivander had said he remembers every wand he made. The phoenix that gave the tail feather to Harry's wand only gave two feathers; one to Harry's wand and the other to Lord Voldemort's wand. So the wands are referred to by Olivander as "brothers".

Who got Harry his broom?

This isn't explained in the novel either; in flying classes, students use low-quality school brooms, but in Quidditch the house players buy their own top-of-the-range brooms. However, Harry's broom is just delivered with a note, without any clear indication of who paid for it. It's possible that Dumbledore has permission to use Harry's account while he is underage, and so used the money in it to buy the Nimbus Two Thousand. This would also explain how Hagrid had the key to Harry's bank account. However, it seems more probable that it was Prof. McGonagall who secretly gave it to Harry. She is the one who discovered his talent as a Seeker and, after Harry reads the note that came with the broom, she gives him a meaningful look. As head of house Gryffindor, she naturally wants the Gryffindor Quidditch team to prevail, so it would be in her personal interest for Harry to have the best equipment available. As this could be regarded as a teacher favouring a student, she chooses to remain anonymous.

How does the movie end?

Harry enters the last chamber through the trapdoor by himself because Ron was injured during the Wizards' Chess game, and Hermione stayed behind to help Ron. When he gets inside the chamber, expecting to see Professor Snape attempting to steal the stone, he sees Professor Quirrell instead. Quirrell reveals that Snape tried to save Harry during the Quidditch match as opposed to Quirrell trying to kill him. Harry gets the stone in his pocket through the Mirror of Erised because he wanted it but did not want to use it (a little spell by Prof Dumbledore). Voldemort is a parasite on the back of Quirrell's head, because he is not yet strong enough to exist independently. Quirrell tries to kill Harry for the stone, but Harry kills him by touching him, which blisters him and turns him to dust. The next thing Harry knows is waking up in the infirmary surrounded by presents from his admirers. Dumbledore tells Harry that the students know everything now, that Ron and Hermione are both okay, that the stone has been destroyed, and that there are other ways by which Voldemort could return. Gryffindor wins the House Cup by 10 points thanks to Dumbledore awarding Gryffindor 170 points. Just before Harry leaves on the Hogwarts Express to return to London, Hagrid gives him a photo book filled with moving pictures of him and his parents.

There are eight movies in the franchise. In order, they are (1) Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001), (2) Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), (3) Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), (4) Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), (5) Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007), (6) Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009), (7) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010), and (8) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011).

The movie covers most of the book. Some scenes from the book are compressed or placed somewhere else in the story, but there are some notable omissions, listed below as they appear in the book:

The book has a different opening, which introduces Vernon and Petunia Dursley before Harry is put on their doorstep. Vernon has some strange encounters on the streets with weirdly dressed people who are in the midst of celebrating the downfall of "You-know-who". He also finds out that he has a nephew called Harry, the son of his wife's estranged sister.

Harry's early years are mentioned in more detail, especially the endless taunts from Dudley, and the dull times he had when the Dursleys dumped him with Mrs. Figg, the next-door neighbour. Harry sometimes even seems to remember vaguely how he got his scar. After Harry receives letters from Hogwarts directed at his cupboard, his uncle and aunt move him to 'Dudley's second bedroom' in a futile effort to stop the letters. The entire family even moves to a hotel to avoid the letters, but they find their way even there.

Hagrid mentions he isn't allowed to do magic since he got expelled from Hogwarts in his third year, but he refuses to elaborate. In Diagon Alley, Harry has an early meeting with Draco Malfoy while he is buying robes, but Draco does not properly introduce himself until the train voyage to Hogwarts. Harry needs to wait out the beginning of the school year at the Dursleys; Uncle Vernon takes him to the train station in London, but only because Dudley needs surgery there in order to have his pig's tail removed. Ginny Weasley is already introduced at the station in the movie, but not in the book. During the train ride, Harry immediately notices Malfoy's disdain for Ron and his family (Malfoy even tries to steal candy from Ron, but Ron's rat Scabbers intervenes), and declines his friendship. In the film Harry instead first met Malfoy at Hogwarts before the Sorting.

Apart from the other house spirits, there is another particularly nasty poltergeist called Peeves, who gets his pleasure from pulling all sorts of pranks with the students and Mr Filch. Peeves' only fear is for the Bloody Baron, though he makes a point to be on somewhat good behavior around Professor Dumbledore (Harry later uses this information to his advantage when he is under the Invisibility Cloak and pretends to be the Bloody Baron who turned himself invisible). The book also contains an additional teacher, Professor Binns, who is a ghost (he once fell asleep next to a burning fire) and gives excessively dull lessons in History of Magic. Snape's disdain for Harry is illustrated in more detail, as he manages to blame Harry for everything, punish him for every petty little thing, and deducts points from Gryffindor at almost any opportunity.

Neville is also a more prominent figure in the books as he usually accompanies Ron and Harry; in the movie, Hermione is actually used in place of Neville in some cases. After their first flying lesson, Draco Malfoy challenges Harry to a wizarding duel at midnight, which Harry and Ron accept. They sneak out that night but find that Malfoy tricked them in an attempt to get them in trouble. On their way back, they run into Neville. The three get redirected to Gryffindor Tower and end up going into the third floor corridor which is guarded by Fluffy (in the movie, it is a suddenly changing staircase that leads them there). Dismayed that his plan to rat out Harry has failed, Draco tries again by alerting the teachers that Harry has received a flying broom, something first-years aren't allowed to have; to his chagrin, he finds out all teachers have suspended the rule since Harry is now a Seeker.

When Harry asks Professor Dumbledore what he sees when he looks into the Mirror, Dumbledore answers that he sees himself holding some socks, objects he very much likes to receive, but people always give him books instead (Harry doubts whether Dumbledore is really truthful here).

A scene from the book was filmed but deleted from the movie: Harry finds a collector's card explaining that Dumbledore is famous for having defeated the notorious wizard Grindelwald, and his work on alchemy together with Nicholas Flamel, which prompts Hermione to find a book on Alchemy, and deduce that the secret object guarded by Fluffy is the Philosopher's Stone. The book features another Quidditch match, Gryffindor against Hufflepuff; as Snape is the referee, he predictably favours the latter team, but Harry wins the game by catching the Snitch five minutes into the game.

The subplot of Norbert the Dragon is more detailed. As breeding dragons is illegal and Draco has been spying around, Harry and Hermione convince Hagrid to let Norbert go off to Romania to live with others of his species. They use the Invisibility Cloak to carry Norbert to the Astronomy tower where some friends of Ron's brother Charlie (who works in Romania as a Dragon Keeper) picks him up during a transport. Malfoy tries to rat them out again, but as they are invisible and he is outside his dorm during curfew hours, he receives detention. In the exitement, Harry and Hermione forget the Cloak and are discovered; Neville is also caught when he wants to warn them. This leads to a major point deduction for Griffindor house and all three having to go with Hagrid to the Forbidden Forrest as punishment, along with Draco. In the movie, Ron gets punished in Neville's place, because in the book, Ron was in the Hospital Wing due to a dragon bite and since the Norbert subplot was greatly shortened in the film to where the three were caught by McGonagall after hours after they left Hagrid's Hut since Draco ratted them out (though Draco was also punished since he was also out of his dormitory after hours to his surprise).

While in the forest, Harry starts out with Hagrid and Hermione, while Hagrid has his dog Fang look after Draco and Neville, and they meet several more centaurs, who seem to have an uneasy relationship with humans. When Draco starts pestering Neville again, Hagrid teams Draco up with Harry. In the film however, Harry is paired with Draco and Fang in the beginning, while Ron and Hermione are paired with Hagrid.

When Harry, Ron and Hermione are going after the stone, there are two more rooms after the Chess Room; one contains a Troll that has luckily been knocked out already; the other contains a Potion Riddle designed by Snape, comprised of 7 potions, and the door to the next room is blocked by magical fire. Hermione easily deduces which two potions must be drunk to pass through the fire, but opts to let Harry go and stay behind herself to care for the injured Ron. Due to this omission Hermione remains with the injured Ron in the Chess Room.

While in the hospital, Dumbledore agrees to answer Harry's questions, but he refuses to tell Harry just yet why Voldemort wants him dead; only that the sacrifice made by Harry's mother gives him strong protection against Dark Magic. He also admits that he gave Harry the Invisibility Cloak, which was given to him by Harry's father for safekeeping. Dumbledore also mentions that Harry's father once saved Snape's life, which Snape still resents and may be the reason why he hates Harry.

Everyone passes their exams for next year, with Hermione, naturally, on top of her class. Harry gets a notice stating he is not allowed to use magic outside school, but he chooses not to tell the Dursleys, so he can keep Dudley off of his back for a change.

Just recently an Ultimate Edition of the first Harry Potter movie was released on DVD/Blu-ray. This new edition features an extended cut of the movie, that aired on ABC during the channel's Harry Potter special. For this new cut the deleted scenes, that can be found on the older DVD versions, were reinserted into the movie. In total one can find about 6 1/2 minutes of "new" footage. A detailed comparison between both versions with pictures can be found here.

Page last updated by eamonn_keane, 1 month ago
Top 5 Contributors: annevejb, bj_kuehl, futuremoviewriter, Field78, ricky_says_hi

r73731


Related Links

Plot summary Plot synopsis Parents Guide
Trivia Quotes Goofs
Crazy credits Alternate versions Movie connections
User reviews Main details