Thursday Night Movie Club
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
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Release Date: 28 March 1963

Director: Chris Columbus
Daniel Radcliffe
Rupert Grint
Emma Watson
Richard Harris
Maggie Smith
Robbie Coltrane
Fiona Shaw
Harry Melling
Richard Griffiths
Ian Hart
John Hurt
Richard Bremmer
John Cleese
David Bradley
Alan Rickman
Harry Potter
Ron Weasley
Hermione Granger
Albus Dumbledore
Professor Minerva McGonagall
Rubeus Hagrid
Aunt Petunia
Dudley Dursley
Uncle Vernon
Professor Quirrell
Mr. Ollivander
He Who Must Not Be Named (voice)
Nearly Headless Nick
Argus Filch
Professor Severus Snape
Harry Potter and The Sorcerers Stone movie poster Harry Potter and The Sorcerers Stone movie poster
Maggie Smith and Daniel Radcliffe in Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone.Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is a wonderfully magical movie. From almost the opening credits I was drawn into this movie. Based on the novel by J.K. Rowling, the movie does an amazing job of being faithful to the book yet at the same time expanding beyond the limited descriptions of people and places.

The movie opens with an owl sitting on a street sign for Privet Lane. Professor Albus Dumbledoor slowly appears out of a London fog on the back end of the lane. He quickly dispatches with the gas lamps to darken the street. He is joined by an oddly striped cat which morphs into Professor McGonagall. For the uninitiated, the two are wizards, obviously. i haven't read any of the Harry Potter novels before the movie's release, but this scene is excellent story-telling! It sets up the rest of the tale.

But all is not well in young Harry's life. The huge, bear-like Hagrid delivers Harry into the custody of the two professors. Something tragic has happened. Harry has survived but at a great cost. Baby Harry is left in the care of the Dursleys, the only surviving relatives he has. Young Harry is already famous in the wizard world, but he is too young to understand. Until he is ready!

Hedwig the Owl and Harry PotterThe remainder of the movie is the story of a now 11-year old Harry coming to terms with being different from the other normal, Muggles, non-magic folk. This is a story of growing pains, but it takes place in one of the most amazing locales in fiction, Hogwarts, the School of Wizardry. Parallel to the underlying theme, is an almost "Sherlock Holmesian" mystery. Someone has tried to steal an object of great value. Harry discovers the conspiracy and dives head-first into solving the problem.

But who is going to listen to the musings of an 11-year old gangly boy? Harry is all alone. Not quite. Despite Harry's henpecking by his relatives, Harry is quickly able to meet new friends, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley. Without the help of these two first-year students, Harry would not be able to solve the mystery.

Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson.This is an absolutely wonderful movie. It will make you believe in magic. Director Chris Columbus has done a wonderful job of bringing Harry's world to life. Whereas the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien are extremely detailed, J.K. Rowling's story is much more open to personal visualization.

The story is completely carried by the three young stars, Radcliffe, Watson and Grint, not that this is a bad thing. They are excellent in their portrayals. Friendship is not deserved, it is earned. It is a rare gift where children can be the main focus of a story, but the story is so well written that the children can carry the plot.

The Dark Forest But this sounds to simple, too child-like. Trust me, it isn't. The world of wizards is populated by very good people, and those that will stop at nothing to achieve their goals. Baby Harry escaped death by a hair, and things don't get any easier when he reaches 11. The Evil Wizards will kill men, women and children, if that's what it takes. Like all great fictional/comic heroes, Harry has an Arch-Enemy that he doesn't even know. But his Arch-Enemy wishes nothing more than to destroy Harry. This is a story worthy of song! (Tolkien reference)

Having no prior knowledge of Harry Potter, I was completely taken in by this film. Columbus has done an outstanding job bringing Harry Potter to the big screen. The scenery and locations are wonderful. This is also one of John Williams best soundtracks. I want to learn more about Harry, fortunately, I will!