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Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone
- favourite film

Philosopher’s Stone is the first instalment of the Harry Potter series which has seemingly given employment to the majority of British character actors since it hit our screens in 2001 – it is said that J.K. Rowling insisted in her contractual negotiations that the cast be British and Irish other than where characters were actually from other countries.
Many devotees of J.K. Rowling’s books expected the film to be a disappointment, unable to imagine how the charming story and above all the magic would transfer to the screen, but director Chris Columbus and scriptwriter Steve Kloves made a brilliant job of it. Equally unexpected was that the child stars – Daniel Radcliffe , Rupert Grint and Emma Watson - would be up to the task (American child actors always seemed superior before this) but they were, matching the dramatic fire of Alan Rickman , Richard Harris, Robbie Coltrane and even the ever wonderful Maggie Smith .
The movie reportedly cost more than $100 million and no wonder when the likes of Richard Griffiths , Fiona Shaw, John Hurt , Julie Walters and John Cleese feature in the lower sections of the cast list; but its earnings are thought to be approaching $1 billion now.
Of course the actors are not the only stars in the film: Alnwick Castle has benefitted from its use as a location; likewise Goathland Railway Station; and of course King’s Cross Station. The film is a joy to watch, and will be a recurring Bank Holiday and Christmas treat – along with the others in the series – for years to come.

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