Sleepy Hollow (1999)

Sleepy Hollow (1999)

Sleepy Hollow is a 1998 American period horror film directed by Tim Burton. Based on the Washington Irving story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, the film stars Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Sir Michael Gambon, Miranda Richardson, Casper Van Dien, Jeffrey Jones, Ian McDiarmid, Michael Gough, Richard Griffiths and Christopher Walken.

The story centers on police constable Ichabod Crane sent from New York City to investigate a series of murders in the village Sleepy Hollow by a mysterious Headless Horseman.

The style and themes of the story take inspirations from the late Hammer Film Productions. Sleepy Hollow had been in development since 1994 and was originally intended to be directed by Kevin Yagher.

The film labored into development far enough for Burton, who had unsuccessfully worked on Superman Lives, to direct.

The majority of the filming took place in England where the crew built an entire soundstage. Sleepy Hollow was released with box office success and critical acclaim, grossing roughly $206 million worldwide.

In 1799, New York City police constable Ichabod Crane is dispatched by his superiors to the upstate hamlet of Sleepy Hollow, to investigate a series of brutal slayings in which the victims have been found decapitated.

A frequent user of such new, though so far unproven, investigative techniques, finger-printing and autopsies, Crane arrives in Sleepy Hollow armed with his bag of tools only to be informed by the town's elders that the murderer is not of flesh and blood, but rather a headless, supernatural warrior from beyond the grave, who rides at night on a massive black steed.

Crane does not believe them and begins his own investigation, until he comes face to face with the Headless Horseman. Boarding a room at the home of the town's richest family, the Van Tassels, Crane develops an attraction to their daughter, the mysterious Katrina, even as he's plagued by nightmares of his mother's horrific torture when he was a child.

Sleepy Hollow - Behind the Legend

Despite his experience with the supernatural, he keeps delving further into the mystery with the aid of the orphaned Young Masbeth, whose father was a victim of the Horseman.

In the Western Woods, Crane discovers the Horseman's grave and his entry point between this world and the beyond, the gnarled Tree of the Dead.

Crane finds the Horseman's skull is missing though the murders continue.

He uncovers a murky plot, based on revenge involving land rights, and realizes the Horseman is controlled by Katrina's stepmother, Lady Van Tassel, who sends the killer after Katrina.

Following a fight in the local windmill and a stagecoach chase through the woods, Crane thwarts Lady Van Tassel by returning the skull to the Horseman, who heads back to Hell with her. His job in Sleepy Hollow over, Crane returns to New York with Katrina and Young Masbeth, in time for the new century.