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Rip Van Winkle (I) (1903)

 -  Short | Comedy  -  May 1903 (USA)
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Ratings: 4.8/10 from 229 users  
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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)

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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


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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 Awakening of Rip (1896) See more »

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1896 curio copyrighted in 1903

This was recently shown on TCM (November, 2004) as part of an introduction to a five DVD collection preserving artifacts from our film heritage. The four minute film was actually made in 1896, according to the presenter and Robert Osborne, but copyrighted in 1902, hence the date discrepancy.

It's nothing more than a few twenty second segments shot first on one side of a hillock, then on the opposite side. These show Joseph Jefferson emoting in the histrionic stage style of nineteenth century acting - first drinking, then encountering a dwarf (actually a man stooped over), then carrying his cask over the hillock, then being invited to drink by a group of dwarfs, then falling asleep, then waking up with a long white beard to attempt to climb the hillock to the other side.

I suppose this was interesting to nickelodeon audiences of the day, but is a mere curio today.

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