As the first Harry Potter film of the celebrated series, this is a must for ardent fans and newcomers to the global fantasy phenomenon. An adaptation of J. K. Rowling's enchanting, funny debut novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
(known as the Sorcerer's Stone in the US), its our first big-screen encounter with the series well-loved characters and the goings-on at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
We meet orphan Harry Potter (played by a young Daniel Radcliffe) while hes as yet unaware of his magical powers and is living a miserable existence with his horrible Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia. A mysterious letter arrives, delivered by the friendly giant Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane in fine acting form), inviting Harry to study at the exclusive Hogwarts School and he soon discovers his true heritage as the son of a wizard and a witch. Hes also gained widespread notoriety, being the only survivor of an attack by the evil wizard Voldemort that killed both his parents. The film explores Harrys growing realisation that there are two worlds: the non-magical world of humans, called "Muggles", in which he used to reside and the magical fantasy world of wizardry that is his destiny.
The greatest strength of the film comes from its faithfulness to the novel, and this new cinematic world is filled with all the details of Rowling's imagination, thanks to exuberant sets, elaborate costumes, clever makeup and visual effects, and a crème de la crème cast, including Maggie Smith, Richard Harris, Alan Rickman and more. Especially fine is the interplay between Harry and his new schoolmates Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) as they club together to fight the forces of evil. --Sally Giles
Harry Potter, the bespectacled boy wizard, has his first feature film outing in this blockbuster box office hit. Newly enrolled at Hogwarts School, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and his chums Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint) have a surpise encounter with a three-headed dog guarding a secret trapdoor. They then begin to suspect that something important might be hidden beneath the school, and when they investigate it leads to an encounter with the evil wizard Voldemort (Ian Hart). Will Harry be able to keep up with his studies, lead his team to victory in the school sport Quidditch, and still triumph over the dreaded Voldemort?