Harry Potter and the Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone Movie Trivia
- Robbie Coltrane was the very first person to be cast.
- Richard Harris only agreed to taking the part of Albus Dumbledore after
his eleven year old granddaughter threatened never to speak to him again.
- Author J.K. Rowling insisted that the principal cast be British and she
got her wish, with two exceptions - Richard Harris was, of course, Irish,
and Zoë Wanamaker, though she has made her name as a "British" actress,
is actually a US citizen. Other non-Brits in the cast include Verne Troyer,
born in Michigan, USA, who plays Griphook (the second Goblin in Gringots'
Bank) and Christopher Columbus' daughter, Eleanor, who played Susan Bones.
- Steven Spielberg was offered the position as director, but was later refused
when he couldn't agree with JK Rowling's insistence on an all-British cast.
He wanted to use Haley Joel Osment for the part of Harry.
- In addition to Steven Spielberg, other candidates for the director's job
were Jonathan Demme, Brad Silberling and Terry Gilliam. Gilliam was Rowling's
initial favourite but the studio finally picked Chris Columbus to direct because
he had experience directing child actors. Columbus was also asked many times
by his daughter to direct and he agreed after he read her book.
- The trouble-making poltergeist Peeves (played by Rik Mayall) does not, in
the end, appear in the movie.
- Although Daniel Radcliffe's voice broke during production, he did speak
all the lines in the movie. The scenes were filmed in order and his voice
changes slowly throughout the movie. It was erroneously reported by a London
tabloid that a young actor who spoke lines for the action figure dubbed his
lines in the movie.
- There was a huge media outcry in Gloucester, England when it was decided
to use the local Cathedral for some of the Hogwarts scenes. 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
- The movie is known as "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone"
everywhere except the USA and so every scene in which the Philosopher's Stone
was mentioned was filmed twice, once with the actors saying "Philosopher's"
and once with the actors saying "Sorcerer's".
- The hut used during the filming as Hagrid's hut has since been demolished
in case fans of the film swamped it.
- The tabby cat used ran away during filming and came back two days later.
- Platform 9 3/4 was filmed at Kings Cross, but on platforms 4 and 5. J.K.
Rowling has admitted that she mixed up the layout of London's King's Cross
railway station when she assigned the Hogwarts Express to platform 9 3/4,
reached by using magic between platforms 9 and 10. She meant the location
to be in the Inter-City part of the station, but 9 and 10 are actually among
the rather less grand suburban platforms. The movie conformed to Rowling's
original intent: the platforms seen as 9 and 10 are in real life inter-city
platforms 4 and 5.
- During filming, actor Daniel Radcliffe changed the screen on Robbie Coltrane's
cell phone to Turkish. Coltrane had to phone hair designer Eithne Fennel's
Turkish father in order to find out the Turkish for "Change Language".
- At one point, when Harry, Ron, and Hermione are approaching Hagrid, he can
be seen playing a wind instrument. He is playing the Hedwig's Theme.
- Among the portraits on the shifting staircase, you can clearly see a painting
of Anne Boleyn, King Henry VIII's second wife and the mother of Queen Elizabeth
I. Anne Boleyn was popularly believed to be a witch.
- This movie has the distinction of opening on more screens in the USA than
any other (3762).
- By February 2002 this was the second highest grossing film worldwide after
- Harry Potter's birthday is reported in the books as being "somewhere
in July". Author J.K. Rowling, and actors Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter)
and Richard Griffiths (Uncle Vernon) were all reported to have their birthdays
on 31 July. It was later revealed that Radcliffe's birthday is, in fact, 23rd
July and that the claim that his birthday was the same as Harry Potter's was
merely a publicity stunt.
- On the Quidditch trophy that has Harry's father's name on it, there are
additional inscriptions for M. McGonagall and R.J.H. King.
- The name of Filch's cat ("Mrs. Norris") is not mentioned anywhere
in the movie, nor is the name of Harry's owl ("Hedwig").
- The inscription around the Mirror of Erised says: Erised stra ehru oyt ube
cafru oyt on wohsi. Reading the inscription backwards it says, "I show
not your face but your heart's desire."
- The word 'bloody' appears in the film six times, along with one 'arse',
one 'bugger', and two 'blasted's. This, and some very scary scenes in the
haunted forest, led to its PG certificate.
- The film reveals that the 12th use for dragon's blood is an oven cleaner.
- Nicholas Flamel, mentioned as the creator of the Philosopher's/Sorcerer's
Stone, was actually a real alchemist who was believed by some people to have
produced the Philosopher's Stone and who has mysterious circumstances surrounding
his "death". It is rumoured that he might still be alive and, if
so, he would be about the age given in the book and movie.
- The Hogwarts motto, "Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus" means
"never tickle a sleeping dragon".
- Three owls play Hedwig, Ook, Gizmo and Sprout, but mainly Ook.
- In the final credits, Will Theakston is mistakenly credited as playing Marcus
Flint and Scott Fern is also erroneously credited with playing Terence Higgs.
Warner Brothers, apparently, mixed up their names and characters when they
released a memo to the press (they subsequently corrected their mistake with
the press), however, they failed to correct the credits thus the mistake remains
(for the record, Will Theakston played Terence Higgs and Scott Fern played
- Warwick Davis, who played Professor Flitwick and the first Gringotts Goblin,
also provided the voice for Griphook who was physically played by Verne Troyer.
- In the original draft, Drew Barrymore, a self-exclaimed Harry Potter fan,
had a cameo.
- John Williams composed a piece of music specifically for the movie's trailer,
and it is found on the soundtrack as "The Prologue". As of March
2002, he has done this only once before, for Steven Spielberg's Hook.
- Rosie O'Donnell and Robin Williams were two of the celebrities who had asked
for a role in the movie without pay. However they did not film any scenes
for the movie.
- Tim Roth was a leading contender for the role of Professor Severus Snape.
Roth dropped out of contention, however, to pursue his role as General Thade
in Tim Burton's adaptation of Planet of the Apes.
- In the script, the flashbacks to Voldemort killing Harry's parents were
written by J.K. Rowling herself. The producers knew she was the only one who
knew exactly what happened.
- The "Hogwart's Express" locomotive portrayed in this film, a 1937
4-6-0 "Hall" class steam engine number 5972, originally belonged
to the Great Western Railway and went under the name of "Olton Hall".
- Alan Rickman was hand-picked to play Snape by J.K. Rowling.
- In the troll scene in the girl's bathroom, Daniel Radcliffe isn't actually
on the troll's neck, because the motions would have snapped his neck; therefore,
his image was digitally added
- In the trophy cupboard, to the right of the Quidditch trophy, you can see
the "Service to the School" trophy with part of "Tom M Riddle"
engraved on it.
- The Wizard's chess-set Harry and Ron were playing, the red queen is from
the Lewis Chessmen, the most important of all chess pieces dating from the
12th Century. They were found in 1831 on a beach in Uig, Lewis. 78 pieces
were recovered in all, and are now in the care of the National Museum of Scotland
and in the British Museum in London.
- For the Gringotts interior scenes, the Australian Embassy in London was
used. The exteriors are the Silver Vaults located not far from the Australian
Information courtesy of IMDb.
Go to Chamber of Secrets Trivia
Go to Prisoner of Azkaban Trivia
Go to Goblet of Fire Trivia
Go to Order of the Phoenix Trivia