“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”: Washington Irving's Story vs. Tim Burton's Movie

“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”: Washington Irving's Story vs. Tim Burton's Movie

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“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” is a short story written by Washington Irving.

It tells the story of a school teacher who is enamored by the daughter of a wealthy

landowner. His daughter named Katrina has two suitors, the school teacher,

Ichabod Crane and the more attractive and popular townsperson named Brom. Not only is

there a written story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”, but in 1999 director Tim Burton

created a movie “Sleepy Hollow” loosely based off of the well-known story. The

names of the characters and the site of the town are consistent with the story but that is

where the similarities between the movie and the story end. Although there are

differences between the film and the story, Tim Burton’s version is successful in creating

a film of a ghost story that takes place in Sleepy Hollow.

The story the of Ichabod Crane paints a picture of the headmaster of a small town

school. A man who lives with his students’ parents in trade for doing the occasional odd

job. He owns very little material goods but has an insatiable appetite for luxury and

food. The story, told in the third person describes him with a small head “flat at top,

with huge ears, large green glassy eyes and a long snipe nose, ….”. He is said to have

long skinny arms and legs and is obsessed with all things occult. In comparison the

character that Johnny Depp portrays in the movie is a very logical man who does not

believe in things he cannot see.

Johnny Depp’s depiction of Ichabod Crane is of a scientific detective who has

been trained by Scotland yard and is sent to Sleepy Hollow to solve the murders of local

towns people. Through his acting we can see that in all cases Ichab...


... middle of paper ...


...been many films using the

character Ichabod Crane including a cartoon. Tim Burton also created a film based on

the tale of the headless horseman. While Burton named his characters after the characters

in the story his plot varied from the one in the written version. Burton was successful in

creating a suspenseful horror film in which the viewer follows Crane in his search

for the killer whether it is a human or a ghost. The variations from the story create the

classic stereotype of a viewer having an expectation, if they had read the story, and after

seeing the film either loving it or hating it because of the changes. Burton was successful

in creating his vision of the town of Sleepy Hollow and the headless horseman, Katrina,

Brom and Ichabod Crane although it did not create an exact film depiction of the original

story.


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