Soundtrack album by Danny Elfman
Released November 16, 1999
Label Hollywood Records
Sleepy Hollow is a 1999 American horror film directed by Tim Burton. It is a film adaptation loosely inspired by the 1820 short story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving and stars Johnny Depp and Christina Ricci, withMiranda Richardson, Michael Gambon, Casper Van Dien and Jeffrey Jones in supporting roles. The plot follows police constable Ichabod Crane (Depp) sent from New York City to investigate a series of murders in the village of Sleepy Hollow by a mysterious Headless Horseman.
Development began in 1993 at Paramount Pictures with Kevin Yagher originally set to direct Andrew Kevin Walker's script as a low-budget slasher film. Disagreements with Paramount resulted in Yagher being demoted to prosthetic makeup designer, and Burton was hired to direct in June 1998. Filming took place from November 1998 to May 1999, and Sleepy Hollow was released to generally favorable reviews from critics, and grossed approximately $206 million worldwide. The film won the Academy Award for Best Art Direction and is considered groundbreaking in terms of visual style and cinematography.
The film score was written and produced by Danny Elfman. It won the Golden Satellite Award and was also nominated by the Las Vegas Film Critics.
In 1799, New York City police constable Ichabod Crane (Johnny Depp) is facing imprisonment for going against traditional methods and favoring forensic investigation techniques, such as autopsies, considered unorthodox and unimportant at the time. Ichabod submits to deployment with his bag of tools to the Westchester County hamlet ofSleepy Hollow, New York, which has been plagued by a series of brutal slayings in which the victims have been founddecapitated: Peter Van Garrett (Martin Landau), a wealthy farmer and landowner; his son Dirk; and the widow Emily Winship. Arriving in Sleepy Hollow, Crane is informed by the town's elders that the killer is not of flesh and blood, but rather an undead headless Hessian mercenary from the American Revolutionary War who rides at night on a massive black steed in search of his missing head.
Crane begins his investigation, remaining highly skeptical about the supernatural elements in the case until he actually encounters the Headless Horseman himself, who kills the town magistrate, Samuel Phillipse (Richard Griffiths), on sight. Boarding in a room at the home of the town's richest family and the Van Garretts' next of kin, the Van Tassels, Crane is taken with their daughter Katrina (Christina Ricci), and confides in her that his mother was tortured and murdered by his Puritanfather, who believed her to be a witch. Katrina's suitor Brom van Brunt (Casper Van Dien), takes an instant dislike to Crane, and tries to scare him off by posing as the Headless Horseman. Crane and Young Masbath, the son of one of the Horseman's victims, go to the cave dwelling of a reclusive sorceress. She reveals the location of the gnarled Tree of the Dead, which marks the Horseman's grave, as well as his portal into the natural world from the supernatural.
Crane discovers that the ground is freshly disturbed and, digging through, discovers the Horseman's skeleton and that the skull is missing. He realizes that whoever dug up and stole the skull is the person controlling the Horseman. Just then, the Horseman's ghost bursts out of the tree and gallops towards Sleepy Hollow. Crane attempts to follow but winds up lost. The Killian family are taken by the Horseman and Brom is killed — cut in half — when trying to stop the Horseman.
Crane starts to believe that a conspiracy links all the deaths together, so he goes to the town notary James Hardenbrook (Michael Gough) to look into Van Garrett's Last Will. Hardenbrook confesses Van Garrett had made a new will just before he died, leaving all his possessions to his new bride, Emily Winship, who Crane had learned from the late Magistrate Phillipse was pregnant at the time of her death. Crane deduces that all who knew about the new will were the victims of Horseman and that Katrina's father Baltus Van Tassel (Michael Gambon), who would have inherited the fortune, is the person holding the skull. Katrina, finding out that Crane suspects her father, burns the evidence that Crane has accumulated and tells him that she doesn't love him anymore.
In fear of the Horseman, Hardenbrook hangs himself and a town council is held in the town church. The Horseman seemingly kills Katrina's stepmother, Lady Van Tassel, and heads off to the church to get Baltus, with the townspeople filing in just as he arrives. With the men firing muskets as he circles the church, Crane realizes the Horseman can't enter the church grounds due to it being consecrated and therefore holy. A massive fight breaks out in the church when Dr. Thomas Lancaster (Ian McDiarmid) suggests confessing for forgiveness, and is killed by Reverend Steenwyck (Jeffrey Jones), who is in turn shot by a frightened Baltus. The chaos ends only when the Horseman harpoons Baltus through a church window using a pointed church fence post attached to a rope, dragging him out and acquiring his head. The next day, Crane believes Katrina to be one who controls the Headless Horsemen and left while she was still unconscious.
As Crane is leaving Sleepy Hollow, he becomes suspicious when the hand of the corpse of Lady Van Tassel has a wound that shows signs of having been caused post-mortem. His suspicions are confirmed to be right when the real Lady Van Tassel (Miranda Richardson) emerges, alive, from the dark. Lady Van Tassel tells Katrina that her family was driven from their ancestral home by the Van Garretts, and that she became a witch and summoned the Horseman to kill them off and make herself sole heir to the family fortune. She then sends the supernatural killer after Katrina to solidify her hold on what she considers her rightful property. She explains that the body believed to be her corpse actually belonged to the family's servant, Sarah, whom she had murdered. She also reveals that she had just murdered the mysterious witch in the Western Woods, her own sister, for her role in helping Crane and Young Masbath.
Following a fight in the local windmill and a stagecoach chase through the woods, Crane eventually thwarts Lady Van Tassel by throwing the skull to the Horseman, which causes his head to become reattached to his body and the curse broken. The Horseman, no longer under Lady Van Tassel's control, simultaneously kisses and bites her, and he hoists her up on his horse, then rides to Hell taking her with him, fulfilling her end of the deal with the Devil. Crane returns home to New York with Katrina and Young Masbath, just in time for the new century.
Johnny Depp as Ichabod Crane
Christina Ricci as Katrina Van Tassel
Christopher Walken and Ray Park as The Count Hessian / Headless Horseman
Marc Pickering as Young Masbath
Casper Van Dien as Brom Van Brunt
Michael Gambon as Baltus Van Tassel
Miranda Richardson as Lady Van Tassel / Crone Sister
Jeffrey Jones as Reverend Steenwyck
Richard Griffiths as Magistrate Samuel Philipse
Ian McDiarmid as Dr. Thomas Lancaster
Michael Gough as Notary James Hardenbrook
Christopher Lee as the Burgomaster
Claire Skinner as Beth Killian, the Midwife
Steven Waddington as Killian, Beth's husband
Alun Armstrong as the High Constable
Martin Landau as Peter Van Garrett
Peter Guinness as Lord Crane, Ichabod's father
Lisa Marie Smith as Lady Crane, Ichabod's mother
Jessica Oyelowo as Sarah
Supervised by Heinrichs, the town of Sleepy Hollow was constructed around a small duck pond. At a cost estimated at $1.3 million, and over a period of four months, 12 structures were built, several with detailed interiors, as well as exteriors.
The original intention had been to shoot Sleepy Hollow predominantly on location with a $30 million budget.Towns were scouted throughout Upstate New York along the Hudson Valley, and the filmmakers decided on Tarrytown for an October 1998 start date. The Historic Hudson Valley organization assisted in scouting locations, which included the Philipsburg Manor House and forests in the Rockefeller State Park Preserve."They had a wonderful quality to them," production designer Rick Heinrichs reflected on the locations, "but it wasn't quite lending itself to the sort of expressionism that we were going for, which wanted to express the feeling of foreboding." Disappointed, the filmmakers scouted locations in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, and considered using Dutch colonial villages and period town recreations in the Northeastern United States. When no suitable existing location could be found, coupled with a lack of readily available studio space in the New York area needed to house the production's large number of sets, producer Scott Rudin suggested the UK.
Rudin believed England offered the level of craftsmanship in period detail, painting and costuming that was suitable for the film's design. Having directed Batman entirely in Britain, Burton agreed, and designers from Batman's art department were employed by Paramount for Sleepy Hollow. As a result, principal photography was pushed back to November 20, 1998 at Leavesden Film Studios, which had been recently vacated by Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace.The majority of filming took place at Leavesden, with studio other work at Shepperton Studios,where the massive Tree of the Dead set was built using Stage H. Production then moved to the Hambleden estate at Lime Tree Valley for a month-long shoot in March, where the town of Sleepy Hollow was constructed. "We came to England figuring we would find a perfect little town," producer Adam Schroeder recalled, "and then we had to build it anyway." Filming in Britain continued through April,and a few last minute scenes were shot using a sound stage in Yonkers, New York the following May.
The Tree of the Dead, designed by Keith Short
Responsible for the film's production design was Rick Heinrichs, who 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 Sleepy Hollow in a totally controlled environment at Leavesden Film Studios. The production design was influenced by Burton's love for Hammer Film Productions and Black Sunday—particularly the supernatural feel they evoked as a result of being filmed primarily on sound stages. Heinrichs was also influenced by American colonial architecture, German Expressionism, Dr. Seuss illustrations, and Hammer'sDracula Has Risen from the Grave. One sound stage 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 corn field, 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.
Burton was impressed by the cinematography in Great Expectations, and hired Emmanuel Lubezki as Sleepy Hollow's director of photography. Initially, Lubezki and Burton contemplated shooting the film in black and white and in old square Academy ratio. When that proved unfeasible, they opted for an almost monochromaticeffect which would enhance the fantasy aspect. Burton and Lubezki intentionally planned the over-dependency of smoke and soft lighting to accompany the film's sole wide-angle lens strategy. Lubezki also used Hammer horror and Mexican lucha films from the 1960s, such as Santo Contra los Zombis and Santo vs. las Mujeres Vampiro. Lighting effects increased the dynamic energy of the Headless Horseman, while the contrast of the film stock was increased in post-production to add to the monochromatic feel.
Leavesden Studios, a converted airplane factory, presented problems because of its relatively low ceilings. This was less of an issue for The Phantom Menace, in which set height was generally achieved by digital means. "Our visual choices get channeled and violent," Heinrichs elaborated, "so you end up with liabilities that you tend to exploit as virtues. When you've got a certain ceiling height, and you're dealing with painted backings, you need to push atmosphere and diffusion."This was particularly the case in several exteriors that were built on sound stages. "We would mitigate the disadvantages by hiding lights with teasers and smoke."
The majority of Sleepy Hollow's 150 visual effects shots were handled by Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), while Kevin Yagher supervised the human and creature effects. Framestore also assisted on digital effects, and The Mill handled motion control photography.In part a reaction to the computer-generated effects inMars Attacks!, Burton opted to use as limited an amount of digital effects as possible. Ray Park, who served as the Headless Horseman stunt double, wore a blue ski mask for the chroma key effect, digitally removed by ILM. Burton and Heinrichs applied to Sleepy Hollow many of the techniques they had used in stop motionanimation on Vincent—such as forced perspective sets.
The windmill was a 60-foot-tall forced-perspective exterior (visible to highway travellers miles away), a base and rooftop set and a quarter-scale miniature. The interior of the mill, which was about 30-feet high and 25-feet wide, featured wooden gears equipped with mechanisms for grinding flour. A wider view of the windmill was rendered on a Leavesden soundstage set with a quarter-scale windmill, complete with rotating vanes, painted sky backdrop and special-effects fire. "It was scary for the actors who were having burning wood explode at them," Heinrichs recalled. "There were controls in place and people standing by with hoses, of course, but there's always a chance of something going wrong."For the final shot of the burning mill exploding, the quarter-scale windmill and painted backdrop were erected against the outside wall of the "flight shed", a spacious hangar on the far side of Leavesden Studios. The hangar's interior walls were knocked down to create a 450-foot run, with a 40-foot width still allowing for coach and cameras. Heinrichs tailored the sets so cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki could shoot from above without seeing the end of the stage.
Actor Ian McDiarmid, who portrayed Dr. Lancaster, had just finished another Leavesden production with Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. He compared the aesthetics of the two films, stating that physical sets helped the actors get into a natural frame of mind. "Having come from the blue-screen world ofStar Wars it was wonderful to see gigantic, beautifully made perspective sets and wonderful clothes, and also people recreating a world. It's like the way movies used to be done."
Sleepy Hollow: Music from the Motion Picture
As an original musical, Sleepy Hollow does a very good job for itself. There is a wide variety of different songs, from traditional church hymns to cheerful anthems of women's independence, though the eerie songs are of course the most engaging.
Comments, Suggestion or recommendation
When we watched the movie, in the scene where the Horseman gets back of his head,and he picks up the stepmother, you can due to the light, see the tooth black they've used to get the effect that his teeth are sharpened. other than this, confusing yet good movie with a terrific lead role.
We also recommend to others that when they have a time, they will also able to watch this movie because the story of this movie is really nice.That's ends our recommendation .
Czarina Ciara Andres
John Christopher Reyes
Irhell Faith Domingo
Judy Ann Villaflor
Lady Lynabeth Zipagan