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Rip Van Winkle (I) (1903)

 -  Short | Comedy  -  May 1903 (USA)
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Ratings: 4.8/10 from 227 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 1 critic

An abridged version of the tale of Rip Van Winkle, a lazy American man, who wanders off one day with his dog Wolf into the Kaatskill mountains where he runs into an odd group of men ... See full summary »


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Title: Rip Van Winkle (1903)

Rip Van Winkle (1903) on IMDb 4.8/10

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Uncredited cast:
Joseph Jefferson ...
Rip Van Winkle (uncredited)


An abridged version of the tale of Rip Van Winkle, a lazy American man, who wanders off one day with his dog Wolf into the Kaatskill mountains where he runs into an odd group of men drinking and playing bowls. He drinks some of their mysterious brew and passes out. When he wakes up under a tree he is astonished to find that 20 years have passed and things are a lot different. This is a charming story about how America changed due to the Revolutionary War, only in a different and more subtle way than ever told before. Written by Shane Rothery

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Short | Comedy


Not Rated



Release Date:

May 1903 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


(2004 National Film Preservation Foundation print)

Sound Mix:

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Did You Know?


This film is actually a compilation of 8 films: Awakening of Rip (1896), Exit of Rip and the Dwarf (1896), Rip Leaving Sleepy Hollow (1896), Rip Meeting the Dwarf (1896), Rip's Toast to Hudson (1896), Rip's Toast (1896), Rip Passing Over the Mountain (1896) and Rip's Twenty Years' Sleep (1896). They are in the 3-disk boxed DVD set called "More Treasures from American Film Archives, 1894-1931" (2004), compiled by the National Film Preservation Foundation from 5 American film archives. These films were restored by the Library of Congress from its paper print collection, have a collective running time of about 3 minutes, 30 seconds, and an added piano music score. See more »


Edited from Rip's Toast to Hudson (1896) See more »

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User Reviews

One Of The Oldest Films With A Plot?
7 December 2006 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Apparently, this film is comprised of eight shorter films from 1896, which were not copyrighted until 1902, hence the date discrepancy. As such, I can't understand why IMDb users have been so hard on this film. Afterall, this appears to be one of the first films with a plot, produced in an age when films consisted of no story - simply men sneezing, families walking around a garden or the electrocution of an elephant. Why such a low rating, then?!

Perhaps it is the lack of car chases, explosions and gun fights. 'Rip Van Winkle' might just appear dull and boring to today's audiences, its historical significance forgotten. I - for one - enjoyed it. This film had a story to tell, unlike many of its time, and, despite the primitive production values, it told the story reasonably well.

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