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The Legend of Rip Van Winkle (1905)

La légende de Rip Van Winkle (original title)
Pioneer filmmaker Georges Melies tells his version of the famous Washington Irving story of a man who takes a nap and wakes up 20 years later.

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Based loosely on the Washington Irving story and older legends: Easygoing Rip Van Winkle enjoys nothing better than relaxing at the inn with his friends. But finding himself one day in difficulties with the authorities, he flees to the nearby mountains, pursued by soldiers and townspeople. Later, exhausted by the chase, he falls into a deep sleep and has a dream. In the dream, he is met by a mountain spirit, who transforms himself into a huge snake, and then into three more spirits. After that, Rip is confronted by a gathering of apparitions, who tell him that he must sleep for 20 years. Written by Snow Leopard

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Short | Drama | Fantasy

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25 November 1905 (USA)  »

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The Legend of Rip Van Winkle  »

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(hand-tinted)|

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Rip Van Melies
20 March 2010 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Legend of Rip Van Winkle, The (1905)

*** (out of 4)

aka La Légende de Rip Van Winckle

French filmmaker Georges Melies does his version of the famous Washington Irving story about a man who runs into the woods to get away only to take a nap that lasts for twenty-years. Certain key points of the story are left out here so purists might be upset but this is a pretty good take on the story. This 14-minute film is hand colored and we also get the added narration that Melies added for the majority of his longer movies. The color is extremely imaginative and really adds a lot to the film but I'm starting to feel that many of the added narration isn't really needed for the movie to be entertaining. I'm sure back in 1905 it was important to keep the viewers aware of what was going on since they were sitting through a longer movie but I don't think it's really needed. The highlight of the film is when Rip must fight off a giant serpent and cut it into three different pieces only to then have more bad things happen. The ending is handled pretty well and while this isn't the greatest version of the story Melies at least keeps it entertaining from start to finish.


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