The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1999)

TV Movie  |   |  Adventure, Horror, Mystery  |  23 October 1999 (USA)
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Ichabod Crane, a Yankee wanderer, arrives in Sleepy Hollow and becomes the new schoolmaster. He meets Katrina Van Tassel, and blissfully fantasizes about how can marry her, ultimately, ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Brent Carver ...
Mr. Van Tassle
Kathleen Fee ...
Mrs. Van Tassle
Paul Lemelin ...
Michel Perron ...
Mrs. Van Ripper
Lisa Bronwyn Moore ...
Mrs. Van Ecke
Mr. Van Ecke
Samuel Holden ...
Ernest Van Ecke
Michael Rudder ...
Pastor Van Der Veen
Danette Mackay ...
Mrs. Van Der Veen (as Danette MacKay)
Brendan McClarty ...
Brom Crony
Martin Kevan ...


Ichabod Crane, a Yankee wanderer, arrives in Sleepy Hollow and becomes the new schoolmaster. He meets Katrina Van Tassel, and blissfully fantasizes about how can marry her, ultimately, inherit her father's rich estate. Her suitor Brom Bones, the blacksmith, wants to scare him away and dresses up as the legendary Headless Horseman. During the prank, the real ghost appears and drives Ichabod off. Written by Betty Palik

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The headless horseman rides again.


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Release Date:

23 October 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La légende de Sleepy Hollow  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Brom Bones: [about Katrina] I love her more than life itself. I don't believe he loves her. Not like I do.
See more »


Version of Sleepy Hollow (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

Interesting adaptation of Washington Irving's tale, but one with some significant casting, acting, and script problems
8 February 2010 | by (Guelph, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

1999 was the year the loose adaptation of Washington Irving's "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow", entitled "Sleepy Hollow" and directed by Tim Burton, came to the silver screen, which resulted in a successful theatrical run. What many people who have seen that movie may not realize is that a made-for-TV version of the story was released the same year. I saw some of this film in October 1999 (I guess when it first aired), but I think I only saw the first little bit of it. After watching the Tim Burton version a couple months ago, I couldn't remember enough of the audio book I heard a number of times in my childhood, and decided to actually read Irving's famous short story in book form. After doing that, I watched this version, with mixed results.

In the late 18th century, after the American Revolutionary War, Ichabod Crane is a man from Connecticut who comes to a quiet little town called Sleepy Hollow and soon becomes this town's new schoolmaster. He fears there is evil around him when he is outside at night, a lot different from during the day. He falls in love with Katrina Van Tassel, the daughter and only offspring of a wealthy farmer. However, in order to win Katrina's heart, he will have to compete with an oafish young man named Brom Bones. The schoolmaster also hears stories from inhabitants of Sleepy Hollow while staying in this town, including one about the Headless Horseman, the ghost of a Hessian from the American Revolutionary War who was killed in battle when his head was removed, and is now believed to appear at night and endanger those travelling out in the dark!

The starring role of Ichabod Crane is assumed here by an actor named Brent Carver. I haven't seen him in too many roles, but understand that he has done a number of Broadway performances during his acting career. This is not surprising looking at his performance here, with his overacting. This may work on Broadway, but not in a film like this. It's sometimes ridiculous how high his voice gets, and he just seems too excited. If Carver's portrayal of the character is supposed to be funny, it's not. There are other unsatisfactory performances in this adaptation, including Rachelle Lefevre as Katrina Van Tassel and especially Paul Lemelin as Brom Bones. This version of Bones is certainly not how I imagined the character while reading Irving's story. I did NOT imagine a stereotypical arrogant teenager, which is what Lemelin's version seems like! Not only does this made-for-TV film have severe acting and casting flaws, it also has some script problems, with some ridiculous scenes showing Ichabod's imagination, and the script can't quite carry the film consistently throughout.

I haven't seen every film adaptation of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow", but since this and the Tim Burton version were released the same year, and I have now seen them both, it's obviously hard not to compare them. Without a doubt, this television adaptation is a much more faithful one than the successful theatrical 1999 version, and some viewers praise it for that. However, I know many hardcore fans of the original story by Washington Irving who have seen this version would disagree, but I think Burton's film is far superior, and comparing the two really shows that following the source material isn't everything. Despite this TV version's major flaws, it somehow kept me watching, without wanting to turn it off before the end. This was probably because I at least found mild suspense, plus this version has some nice cinematography and I guess I found the story fairly intriguing for the most part. Still, they could have done better with this made-for-TV movie in more than one way.

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