This is the tale of Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), an ordinary eleven-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 Rubeus Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane), the groundskeeper 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
In the closing credits for Griphook, Verne Troyer's first name is misspelled as "Vern." This was not corrected for the home video releases. 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 »
There is an extended cut of the film running about 159 minutes vs the theatrical version runs 152 minutes. It was first shown on TV networks (ABC in the US, several international broadcasts had the same extended showing) in 2004. The 2009 Ultimate Edition DVD/Blu-ray release includes this cut as well.
The deleted scenes added back into the movie are:
Dudley's Uniform: Aunt Petunia dyes Dudley's old uniform gray so Harry could use it as his school uniform (before Harry receives the letter from Hogwarts.)
Cracking Eggs: Aunt Petunia opens egg cartons and cracks them, discovering rolled up letters from Hogwarts addressed to Harry.
On the train: Hagrid and Harry take the train to London, and Hagrid reveals his love for dragons.
Snape's Class: An extended version of Snape's potions class.
Finding Flamel: Harry, Ron, and Hermione discover Nicholas Flamel's name in a wizard card while looking for a counter curse for Neville's leg locker curse.
Harry's Meditation: Harry and Ron discuss the Mirror of Erised.
Ah, the first film adaptation of the beloved Harry Potter series. Harry Potter is an 11-year-old boy who comes to find out that he is a wizard. He lives with his uncaring Muggle (non magic) aunt, uncle, and cousin since his parents died when he was a baby. They were murdered by a dark and powerful evil wizard named Lord Voldemort. Harry would be dead too, but was miraculously saved, making him something of a legend. Upon learning of his guarded magic roots, Harry gets enrolled in Hogwarts- a British school for witches and wizards. While there he learns to come into his own, meet people that are actually good to him, and learn more of his dark past. Looking back, I don't know if it was a good idea to have Chris Columbus direct this, as he does have a reputation for being something of a hack, albeit a decent one. I think his direction is okay here. Yeah, retrospectively it could have been better, but it could also have been much worse. At least with him at the helm we get a good amount of whimsy to go along with a bit of menace, and that's a good thing, as the book was likewise not too heavy on the darker stuff (though that sure changed as time went on). Many liberties are taken, which is weird since the book is quite short, and the film is two and a half hours. It does get the point across decently enough though, and also works as a piece for those unfamiliar with the source material. John Williams provides great music, there's wonderful art direction and set design, and there's some nifty set pieces too. Featuring an all-British cast, this film is impeccably cast, and the performances are good too. Finding decent child actors is hard, but they really scored here. My enjoyment of this movie has waned over time, but it's still not a terrible piece of work by any means, so check it out.
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