Sleepy Hollow (1999)


R | 1h 45min

Director: Tim Burton

Stars: Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Miranda Richardson

by Jason Koenigsberg

One of Tim Burton’s best films is his retelling of Washington Irving’s American classic tale of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. After the back-to-back box office disappointment’s Ed Wood (1994) and Mars Attacks (1996) Burton was more determined than ever to have a hit and to make it his way without selling out and abandoning his signature style which he would unfortunately do in his following movies. The result was Sleepy Hollow which contain some of the best visuals to emerge from any of Tim Burton’s pictures. 

With inspired casting of Johnny Depp as Ichabod Crane, making him an eccentric police investigator instead of a school teacher, Depp delivered a brave performance making his Ichabod Crane an awkward, cowardly and unconventional hero. Christina Ricci is great as the female lead. Only Tim Burton could find a way to romantically link Edward Scissorhands and Wednesday Addams. Plus the supporting cast contains various members of the Hammer Horror Productions Burton grew up watching like Michael Gough, Michael Gambon and Christopher Lee.  Sleepy Hollow is a sumptuous a film with outstanding cinematography, sets, and costumes making nearly every frame a beautiful portrait worthy of being hung on a gallery wall. Enhanced by a gothic score from composer Danny Elfman, in many ways Sleepy Hollow is the ultimate Tim Burton movie. 

Sleepy Hollow is currently available to stream on Netflix.

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