1895: Rip Van Winkle

Rip Van Winkle
R: William K.L. Dickson. D: Joseph Jefferson. P: American Mutoscope & Biograph. USA 1895/96
Print: Library of Congress (Paper print collection)

Compilation of 8 films: Awakening of Rip (1896), Exit of Rip and the Dwarf (1896), Rip Leaving Sleepy Hollow (1896), Rip Meeting the Dwarf (1896), Rip’s Toast to Hudson (1896), Rip’s Toast (1896), Rip Passing Over the Mountain (1896) and Rip’s Twenty Years’ Sleep (1896).

“American Mutoscope Company production; distributed by American Mutoscope Company. / Cinematography by [?] G.W. Bitzer? / Premiered 12 October 1896 at Hammerstein’s Olympia Music Hall Theatre in New York, New York. / Mutoscope 68mm spherical 1.36:1 format. / The production was shot at approximately 36 frames per second. The film was made for Biograph projection and was shown for the first Biograph system program. The Joseph Jefferson Mutoscope films were assembled into a continuous narrative and rereleased in the USA as Rip Van Winkle (1903) by American Mutoscope & Biograph Company in 1903.”
Silent Era

“‘Rip Van Winkle’ is a short story by Washington Irving. It was first published in 1820 in the collection ‘The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent.’, which also contained ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’. ‘Rip Van Winkle’ is based on the German folk tale of Peter Krauss, a goatherd who comes across some little men playing a game, drinks some of their wine and falls asleep for twenty years. There are many similar folk tales found all over the world. (…)
The story begins before the American Revolutionary War and takes place in a village, where most of the inhabitants are of Dutch descent, near the Catskill Mountains. Rip Van Winkle, a loyal subject of Britain’s King George III, is a popular young man. He is especially well liked by the children, who he tells stories to and makes toys for. However, Rip is lazy and does not like doing anything that might be considered real work. His house and farm are falling into a state of disrepair and for that reason his wife is often angry with him.”
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