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Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone [2001] [DVD]

4.4 out of 5 stars 520 customer reviews

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  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone [2001] [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Richard Harris, Maggie Smith, Robbie Coltrane
  • Directors: Chris Columbus
  • Writers: J.K. Rowling, Steve Kloves
  • Producers: Chris Columbus, David Heyman, Duncan Henderson, Mark Radcliffe, Michael Barnathan
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: 24 Oct. 2005
  • Run Time: 146 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (520 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000639Z48
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,084 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

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?

From Amazon.co.uk

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), it’s 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 he’s 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. He’s also gained widespread notoriety, being the only survivor of an attack by the evil wizard Voldemort that killed both his parents. The film explores Harry’s 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

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray
This set looks fantastic. It has a cardboard sleeve and the main box inside is large, solid and and very well-presented with lovely detailing. If you have all the sets together, they are quite phenomenal to behold! Inside there is a 'Creating The World of Harry Potter' photo album and this contains photographs of many of the Harry Potter film sets. There is also a paper folder which contains two artcards -Snape and McGonagall - and a digital film code leaflet.
The discs themselves are housed in a separate fold-out dvd set:
Disc 1: Blu-Ray Movie (Theatrical Version)
Disc 2: DVD Movie (Theatrical Version)
Disc 3: DVD Movie (Extended Version)
Disc 4: DVD Special Features (Additional Scenes, A Conversation With The Film-Makers, Visit Diagon Alley, Enter The Library, Attend Classes, Learn More About Quidditch, Seek The Mirror of Erised, Gallery of Art & Architecture)
Disc 5: DVD Creating The World of Harry Potter Part 1: The Magic Begins (1. The Magic Begins 2. Characters 3. Magical Creatures 4. Sound & Music 5. The Evolution of Harry Potter 6. Special Effects 7. Growing Up Potter 8. The Harry Potter Phenomenon)
Although this set is marketed as a Blu-Ray set please note that only one disc is Blu-Ray which is why I don't think it's perfect. Unlike the US version of this boxset, the UK version does not contain a Blu-Ray extended version of the film which is very disappointing. The special features from Disc 4 are not unique to this set but the hour long documentary on Disc 5 offers a spectacular behind-the-scenes look at the movies and how it all began. The real highlight is definitely the extended version of the film.
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Format: DVD
I thought this DVD was excellent, it had superd graphics and really brought the magic of Harry Potter to life, my two children always ask to see it again and again. I can't help myself from sitting and watching it too
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By A Customer on 5 Mar. 2002
Format: DVD
I took my 3 young children to see this film with a little trepidation, knowing it to be 2.5 hours long. Also, having read the books to all of them as bedtime stories, they each had pre-conceived ideas about the characters, portrayed so vividly in the text.
My fears were groundless. From the moment Dumbledore walked onto the screen in the first act they were mesmerised, their sweets and drink were left untouched as they were transported to the magical world of Hogwarts. The time passed far too quickly as they were taken on a roller coaster ride of fun and excitement.
The atmosphere created by Columbus is engrossing, totally convincing. I watched my children's faces as the story developed, from looks of pure delight as the Dursleys house was bombarded with owl post, to hatred as Alan Rickman's Snape bullied the kids and finally to tears as Ron was knocked from his Knight.
The film is not perfect, some of the children's acting is a bit wooden (not helped by the script, which tries to stay too close to the book), some scenes should not have been cut (lets hope we see some of these on the DVD !!) and some subtle clue's provided in the book for eagle eyed kids are missing, but none of this detracts from the overall experience.
As we left the cinema, the first thing my children said to me was "when can we see it again ?". "Soon", I replied. I began to realise that I had probably enjoyed the film as much as they had.
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Format: VHS Tape
I came to the film without reading the book (which I've subsequently done) so I came with no preconceived ideas at all. The 3 main child leads are brilliant. Hermione trying to boss the boys, the lovable brave Ron and Harry who has the right mix of normal and the 'there's something about him' sort of quality you would expect from the novels' hero. But the real star of the film is Hogwarts, moving staircases, ghosts, talking paintings. It's a lovely textured world that rivals the BBC's Narnia chronicles, sharing their Sunday afternoon serial feel.
But there is menace but it waits until the end of the film where you realize these kids really are going to go up against something evil and the tension builds and builds before resolution and you get that nice tea and cake feel at the end.
Some of the concepts doesn't make it good for young kids or overly imaginative kids prone to nightmares but for the rest of us it's a good family round the televison after Christmas/Sunday Dinner kind of a film.
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Format: Blu-ray
The film is wonderful, for me clearly the better of the two Christopher Columbus 'family films', and in many ways my favourite before the obsession started with making Harry Potter increasingly 'darker'. Extras are not bad including around nine minutes of deleted scenes and numerous behind the scenes features. But the main issue here is the Blu-Ray quality and that is why this great film gets only three stars.

The video quality is not very good. Contrasts are surprisingly poor, with many scenes too bright (Harry and his owl during the Xmas holidays) and the children's faces often looking vampirically pale due to excessive contrast. There is also far too much soft focus and too little sharpness for the film to ever really shine let alone 'pop' as the jargon has it. Scenes which are just made for HD, lingering close-ups, for example, often appear surprisingly soft and lacking definition. There are moments of HD magic - like the moving bricks in the wall before Diagon Alley - but they are far too rare and are never of reference character. Faces, particularly the children, often lack detail almost as though some form of digital noise reduction (DNR) had been applied! I say "almost" because the film is not short of grain/noise.

Audio quality is pretty good but well short of what it could have been. The PCM track is only 48khz and sometimes lacks the extra detail and spaciousness associated with HD audio. Surround sound is very well used though, particularly in the Quidditch match.

All in all a disappointing BD. The new audio-mix on the "Ultimate Editions" available in the US and continental Europe seems to be an open admission that the soundtrack wasn't good enough. But I wouldn't hold your breath for a new transfer.
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