Rip Van Winkle (1903 film)

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Rip Van Winkle
Joseph Jefferson as Ripvanwinkle by Napoleon SArony (1821-1896).jpg
Joseph Jefferson as Rip Van Winkle by Napoleon Sarony
Directed by William K.L. Dickson
Written by William K.L. Dickson
Joseph Jefferson
Dion Boucicault
Washington Irving
Starring Joseph Jefferson
Cinematography G.W. Bitzer
Release date
  • May 1903 (1903-05)
Country United States
Language Silent
Rip Van Winkle

Rip Van Winkle is a 1903 American short black-and-white silent compilation film written and directed by William K.L. Dickson. It is adapted from the play by his friend and investor Joseph Jefferson with Dion Boucicault based on the story of the same name by Washington Irving. The film features Joseph Jefferson as a ne'er-do-well, who wanders off one day into the Kaatskill mountains where he drinks some of a group odd men's mysterious brew and passes out only to find when waking up that 20 years have passed. The film is compiled from a series of films produced in 1896, which consisted of;

  • Rip's Toast (AM&B Cat. #45)
  • Rip Meets the Dwarf (AM&B Cat. #46)
  • Rip and the Dwarf
  • Rip Leaving Sleepy Hollow (AM&B Cat. #52)
  • Rip's Toast to Hudson and Crew
  • Rip's Twenty Years' Sleep (AM&B Cat. #50)
  • Awakening of Rip
  • Rip Passing Over Hill

These films were added to the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress in 1995 and featured on the DVD release More Treasures from American Film Archives, 1894-1931.


The serial—filmed at Joseph Jefferson's summer home in Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts in August 1896—was filmed in wide shot with a one or two camera setup in 68 mm format with an aspect ratio of 1.36:1. American Mutoscope and Biograph Co. registered the copyright on February 4, 1897. The actor selected scenes that were largely pantomimed, eliminating the need for explanatory titles.[1]


  1. ^ Eagan, Daniel. America's Film Legacy: A Guide to the Library of Congress National Film Registry. National Film Preservation Board. pp. 6–7. 

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