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Sleepy Hollow (1999)

2:24 | Trailer
Ichabod Crane is sent to Sleepy Hollow to investigate the decapitations of three people, with the culprit being the legendary apparition, The Headless Horseman.


Tim Burton


Washington Irving (story "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"), Kevin Yagher (screen story) | 2 more credits »
1,174 ( 236)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 27 wins & 43 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Johnny Depp ... Ichabod Crane
Christina Ricci ... Katrina Van Tassel
Miranda Richardson ... Lady Van Tassel / Crone
Michael Gambon ... Baltus Van Tassel
Casper Van Dien ... Brom Van Brunt
Jeffrey Jones ... Reverend Steenwyck
Richard Griffiths ... Magistrate Philipse
Ian McDiarmid ... Doctor Lancaster
Michael Gough ... Notary Hardenbrook
Christopher Walken ... Hessian Horseman
Marc Pickering ... Young Masbath
Lisa Marie ... Lady Crane
Steven Waddington ... Killian
Claire Skinner ... Beth Killian
Christopher Lee ... Burgomaster

Johnny Depp Through the Years

Take a look back at Johnny Depp's movie and TV career in photos.

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The curse of The Headless Horseman (Christopher Walken) is the legacy of the small town of Sleepy Hollow. Spearheaded by the eager Constable Ichabod Crane (Johnny Depp) and his new world ways into the quagmire of secrets and murder, secrets once laid to rest, best forgotten and now reawakened, and he too, holding a dark secret of a past once gone. Written by Cinema_Fan

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Heads Will Roll. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for graphic horror violence and gore, and for a scene of sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Responsible for the production design was Rick Heinrichs, whom director Tim Burton intended to use on Superman Lives. While the production crew was always going to build a substantial number of sets, the decision was taken early on that to fulfill Burton's vision best would necessitate shooting this movie in a completely controlled environment at Leavesden Film Studios. The production design was influenced by Burton's love for Hammer Film Productions and Black Sunday (1960), particularly the supernatural feel they evoked as a result of being filmed primarily on soundstages. Heinrichs was also influenced by American colonial architecture, German Expressionism, Dr. Seuss illustrations, and Hammer Film Productions' Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968). One soundstage at Leavesden was dedicated to the "Forest to Field" set, for the scene in which the Headless Horseman races out of the woods and into a field. This stage was then transformed into, variously, a graveyard, a cornfield, a field of harvested wheat, a churchyard, and a snowy battlefield. In addition, a small backlot area was devoted to a New York City street and waterfront tank. See more »


When Baltus van Tassel is explaining to Ichabod about the headless horseman, Baltus is in front of the fireplace, and then when shown again he's over to the right by Magistrate Philipse's chair, and then he is shown again by the fireplace, and then shown again he's back by the chair. See more »


[repeated line]
Ichabod Crane: I see.
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Crazy Credits

The opening credits - shown over Ichabod's travel to Sleepy Hollow - interact with the landscape: if Ichabod's coach is near a river, the words are reflected on the surface of the water; if he's in a forest the letters drift away like dead leaves, and so on. See more »

Alternate Versions

To get a "Not under 12" rating the German version was cut for violence. The uncut version was released on video/DVD and is rated "Not under 16". See more »


References Oh, Mr. Porter! (1937) See more »


The Swallow/The Colly Flower
Performed and arranged by Hesperus
Courtesy of Maggie's Music, Inc.
See more »

User Reviews

Looks fantastic but never quite engages as it should
29 October 2016 | by Prichards12345See all my reviews

I found this a little hard to pin down but if there is a problem with Sleepy Hollow then it probably lies with Johnny Depp and the depiction of supernatural fantasy here without ever making it convincing. Depp is all over the place in this one, adopting a comic tone in a movie that really shouldn't have one, and coming across like a poor man's Bob Hope than anything else. His frequent fainting is ridiculous.

To make the supernatural convincing in movies you need to build up to it and handle it carefully; but Tim Burton just throws it at the viewer, making it far less believable (and effective) than it could have been.

The main compensations in the film are how jaw-droppingly Gothic-gorgeous it looks (almost taken for granted when Tim Burton's the director), and the chance to see some great old actors do their stuff. Christopher Lee, Michael Gambon, Michael Gough (yayy the star of Konga is back!) etc give it an air of class, and Christopher Walken is genuinely creepy as the horseman.

Burton's main weakness is that he struggles to tell his story as well as he might - probably only in Edward Scissorhands and Ed Wood (maybe he should film MR. ED next!) does he keep the narrative on an even keel. And yet his love of horror films is so genuine it comes through in every frame. The windmill used at the film's climax is surely an homage to both Frankenstein and The Brides of Dracula. If only Depp had played it straight the movie might have worked much better.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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USA | Germany


English | Latin

Release Date:

19 November 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sleepy Hollow See more »


Box Office


$100,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$30,060,467, 21 November 1999

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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