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Sleepy Hollow (1999)


Sleepy Hollow (1999) features Johnny Depp and Christina Ricci. It’s a retelling of the story of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow, written by Washington Irving. The music was done by Danny Elfman.


Johnny Depp plays Ichabod Crane who almost feels like a man lost in time. He is a constable who uses the tools of science in his investigations to find out what happened instead of using torture to get a confession out of those who are prosecuted. He is tasked to find the murderer in Sleepy Hollow, who murders his victims by chopping off their heads.

In the few scenes of the movie which the Horsemen is still alive and human he is played by Christopher Walken, who truly looks very creepy with his filed down pointy teeth.

Christopher Walken

The movie oozes the style of Tim Burton. From the costume designs, set design and the atmosphere of the movie. The movie look and feel as if it is taking place in the days of old. Yet with the set design and clothing it does give off a particular Tim Burton feel.

Tim Burton has stated that Sleepy Hollow’s style and direction was partly influenced by his love of the Hammer Horror movies from the 60’s and 70’s. He even went so far as to get a few known actors from Hammer Horror to star in the movie e.g. Christopher Lee, who is well known for his depiction as Dracula in the Hammer Horror Dracula movies and Michael Hough who was well known for his appearance in the Dracula, Phantom of the Opera etc. Hammer Movies.

Michael Gough
Michael Gough


Even though the movie is still over 10 years old, it still looks fresh and well done to this day. This is truly one of those Tim Burton movies you can watch over and over again and still have good time.


The curse of the headless horseman is the legacy of the small town of Sleepy Hollow. Spearheaded by the eager Constable Ichabod Crane and his new world ways into the swamp of secrets and murder, secrets once laid to rest, best forgotten and now re-awakened, and he too, holding a dark secret of a past once gone

Did you know?:

  1. Johnny Depp adopted the horse Goldeneye that played Gunpowder, Ichabod Crane’s horse in the film when he heard that it was going to be put down. Goldeneye
  2.  It was only after being cast the headless horseman that Christopher Walken admitted to Tim Burton that he actually did not know to ride a horse.
  3. The cast and crew said that walking through the sets, especially Lime Tree, was almost as if you were walking through the mind of Tim Burton.
  4. Washington Irving claimed that Ichabod Crane and Katrina Van Tassel were real people.

    Washington Irving
  5. Historically Ichabod Crane was a very unattractive man, Johnny Depp wanted to put on prosthetics to make himself more ugly, but Tim Burton wanted to base the character’s un-attractiveness more on his personality traits, his squeamishness and eccentricity.
  6. The small town of Sleepy Hollow was completely built with rooms, floor and stairs. The town was dismantled after filming had completed.
  7. In the novel Sleepy Hollow, the headless Horsemen lost his head from a cannon blast in a unknown battle in the American Revolutionary War.
  8. Sleepy Hollow and Bringing Out The Dead were the last movies to be released on the Laserdisc format, a precursor to DVD’s.
  9. Michael Gough came out of retirement to play Notary Hardenbrook.
  10. This is the first adaption of Sleepy Hollow that did not require the actor to conceal his head in the cloak, thanks to advancement in technology. The actor was covered in a blue mask that was deleted with CGI and the collar was recreated with CGI as well.
  11. Tim Burton says he envisioned Johnny Depp’s Ichabod Crane as the sort of character that Peter Cushing and Vincent Price used to regularly play in Hammer Horror films and the Edgar Allan Poe adaptations of Roger Corman.
  12. That the Western Wood was built on a sound stage, so everything including the weather and the light could be controlled.

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