With Halloween this coming Friday, I'm bringing to you a Hump Day edition of Friday Film Adaptions.
The chief part of the stories, however, turned upon the favorite specter of Sleepy Hollow, the Headless Horseman, who had been heard several times of late, patrolling the country; and, it was said, tethered his horse nightly among the graves in the churchyard. The story was immediately matched by a thrice marvelous adventure of Brom Bones, who made light of the Galloping Hessian as an arrant jockey. He affirmed that on returning one night from the neighboring village of Sing Sing, he had been overtaken by this midnight trooper; that he had offered to race with him for a bowl of punch, and should have won it too, for Daredevil beat the goblin horse all hollow, but just as they came to the church bridge, the Hessian bolted, and vanished in a flash of fire. All these tales, told in that drowsy undertone with which men talk in the dark, the countenances of the listeners only now and then receiving a casual gleam from the glare of a pipe, sank deep in the mind of Ichabod...
Disney's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Released: October 5, 1949
Length: 68 minutes(The Adventures of Ichabod & Mr. Toad)
Featuring the voice of Bing Crosby
Released: November 19, 1999
Length: 105 minutes
Director: Tim Burton
Johnny Depp as Ichabod Crane
Christina Ricci as Katrina Van Tassel
Miranda Richardson as Lady Mary Van Tassel/Crone Sister
Michael Gambon as Baltus Van Tassel
Casper Van Dien as Brom Van Brunt
Jeffrey Jones as Reverend Steenwyck
Richard Griffiths as Magistrate Samuel Philipse
Ian McDiarmid as Dr. Thomas Lancaster
Michael Gough as Notary James Hardenbrook
Marc Pickering as Young Masbath, whose father was a victim of the Horseman
Christopher Walken and Ray Park as The Hessian/Headless Horseman
Claire Skinner as Beth Killian, the Midwife
Steven Waddington as Killian, Beth's husband
Christopher Lee as the Burgomaster
Alun Armstrong as the High Constable
Martin Landau as Peter Van Garrett
Lisa Marie Smith as Lady Crane, Ichabod's mother
Peter Guinness as Lord Crane, Ichabod's father
Washington Irving was an American author, essayist, biographer and historian of the early 19th century. He began his literary career at the age of nineteen by writing newspaper articles under the pseudonym, "Jonathan Oldstyle."
In 1809, he published, The History of New York, under his most well known public persona, Diedrich Knickerbocker.
Irving is best known for his short stories, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and "Rip Van Winkle" both of which appear in his book, The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. which he published in 1819.
Irving's historical works include a five volume biography of George Washington (for whom he was named after) as well as biographies of Oliver Goldsmith, Muhammad, and several histories of 15th-century Spain dealing with subjects such as Christopher Columbus, the Moors, and the Alhambra. Irving felt a strong connection to Spain and was appointed by President John Tyler to serve as the first Spanish speaking U.S. minister to Spain from 1842 to 1846.
It's been a long time since I read Washington Irving's short story about Ichabod Crane but I loved it! It wasn't exactly what I was expecting because I grew up loving the Disney version of Ichabod but I found it equally as good in a different way. If you haven't read this Halloween classic, I highly recommend doing so.
Even after I read the Irving short story and found it different from the Disney version I loved since childhood, I still have to watch Ichabod and the Headless Horseman every Halloween, it just wouldn't be the holiday without the Disney scarefest.
As for Tim Burton's version of Sleepy Hollow, it's an excellent film in different ways. Other than Ichabod and other character names, there is no real telltale connections. It makes a great mystery and an intriguing addition to most October Fear Fest film marathons. I could however, skip seeing the 1999 film every year where I just can't let Halloween go by without the 1949 Disney version.