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 Rubeus 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
The filmmakers originally wanted to use Canterbury Cathedral as a filming location for some of the Hogwarts scenes, but the Dean of Canterbury refused to allow it, saying that it was unfitting for a Christian church to be used to promote pagan imagery. Gloucester Cathedral agreed to take its place; the Dean of Gloucester, the Very Reverend Nicholas Bury, admitted to being a fan of the books. Nonetheless, there was a huge media outcry in Gloucester when it was decided to use the local Cathedral as a filming location. Protesters wrote letters by the sack load to local newspapers, claiming it was blasphemy, and promising to block the film crew's access. In the end, only one protester turned up. See more »
(at around 52 mins) When Harry is writing down what Snape is saying, the writing is clearly different in the close up shot, than every other time we see the paper, it is much larger and messier whereas in the close up it is small and neat. 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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Ian Hart is credited twice: as Quirrell and then at the end of the cast credits as Voldemort. See more »
DVD version eliminates some dialogue from the theatre version:
An extended shot of Quirell, saying " I can't master.." after Voldemort said "Get the stone."
An extended dialogue between Dumbledore and Harry, where Dumbledore mentioned that Harry's father saved Snape.
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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