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Rip Van Winkle (I) (1903)

 -  Short | Comedy  -  May 1903 (USA)
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Ratings: 4.8/10 from 226 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)

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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 »


Version of Shirley Temple's Storybook: Rip Van Winkle (1958) See more »

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User Reviews

4 January 2009 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Rip Van Winkle (1903)

*** (out of 4)

This film is a rather interesting one as it takes eight movies made in 1896 and edits them together to try and tell a complete story. I'm going to take a guess and say this was released after The Great Train Robbery so as an early example of a "plot" driven film this works as a great piece of history. It's interesting to view the film today because it plays perfectly as something you'd expect to see in the day but there's no getting around the fact that all of this stuff was filmed and released in 1896. That makes the original movies all the more impressive since they were telling a story years before it became the normal thing. The Great Train Robbery gets credit for being the first film to tell a story but perhaps historians should rethink that and take a closer look at those eight shorts.

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