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The Legend of Rip Van Winkle (1905)

La légende de Rip Van Winkle (original title)
Not Rated | | Short, Drama, Fantasy | 25 November 1905 (USA)
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.


Georges Méliès




Credited cast:
André Méliès André Méliès ... Child Carrying Lantern
Georges Méliès ... Rip Van Winkle
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In this loose adaptation of American writer Washington Irving's "Rip Van Winkle" original story and French composer Robert Planquette's famous 1882 operetta, the indefatigable director, Georges Méliès, unfolds an enchanting woodland fantasy in seventeen vibrant scenes. Incorporating strong elements of ingenious stage tricks and theatrics, mechanical devices, cinematic special effects, and gradual dissolves between tableaux to move from stark reality to rich phantasmagoria, the unsuspecting Rip's ordeal begins shortly after his escape to the mountains to flee the local authorities' wrath. However, in the seemingly safe woods, a captivatingly eerie and haunting dream sequence will condemn our hero in a profound and almost mystical twenty-year slumber. Will the world be the same after two decades of deep sleep? Written by Nick Riganas

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Short | Drama | Fantasy


Not Rated | See all certifications »

User Reviews

Rip Van Melies
20 March 2010 | by Michael_ElliottSee 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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Release Date:

25 November 1905 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Legend of Rip Van Winkle See more »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (hand-tinted)| Black and White

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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