Sleepy Hollow (film)

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Sleepy Hollow is a 1999 film based upon the legend of The Headless Horseman and based loosely upon the Washington Irving story "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow." It was directed by Tim Burton and received the 1999 Academy Award for Best Art Direction.

Heads will roll…

Ichabod Crane[edit]

  • Villainy wears many masks, none so dangerous as the mask of virtue.
  • No. You must believe me. it was a horseman, a dead one. Headless.

Katrina Anne Van Tassel[edit]

  • I think you have no heart. And I had a mind once to give you mine.
  • Goodbye, Ichabod Crane. I curse the day you came to Sleepy Hollow

Lady Van Tassel[edit]

  • Watch your heads! (An Irish take on the expression "Mind your heads")


Burgomaster: There is a town upstate, two days' journey to the north, in the Hudson Highlands. It is a place called Sleepy Hollow. Have you heard of it?
Crane: I have not.
Burgomaster: An isolated farming community, mainly Dutch. Three persons have been murdered there, all within a fortnight, each one found with the head lopped off.
Crane: Lopped off?
Burgomaster: "Clean as dandelion heads," apparently. You will take these experimentations of yours to Sleepy Hollow, and there you will detect the murderer. Bring him here to face our good justice. Will you do this?
Crane: I shall.
Burgomaster: Remember, it is you, Ichabod Crane, who is now put to the test.

Katrina: I have shed my tears for Brom, and yet my heart is not broken. Do you think me wicked?
Crane: No... but perhaps there is a little bit of witch in you, Katrina.
Katrina: Why do you say that?
Crane: Because you have bewitched me.

Crane: So... three persons murdered. First, Peter Van Garrett and his son, Dirk Van Garrett. Both of them strong, capable men, found together... decapitated. One week later, the widow Winship. Also decapitated. Now, I will need to ask you many questions. But first, let me ask: Is anyone suspected?
Van Tassell: How much have your superiors explained to you, constable?
Crane: Only that the three were slain in open ground. Their heads found severed from their bodies.
Reverend Steenwyck: Their heads were not found severed. Their heads were not found at all.
Crane: The heads are... Gone?
Notary Hardenbrook: Taken. Taken by the Headless Horseman. Taken back to hell.
Crane: [confused] Pardon, I...I don't...
Van Tassell: Perhaps you had best sit down? [Crane does so] The Horseman was a Hessian mercenary, sent to these shores by German princes to keep Americans under the yoke of England. But unlike his compatriots, who came for money, the Horseman came for love of carnage. When battle was joined, there you'd find him; he rode a giant black steed named Daredevil, and was infamous for riding his horse hard into battle, chopping off heads at full gallop. He'd filed his teeth down to sharp points, to add to the ferocity of his appearance. This butcher didn't finally meet his end until the winter of '79, not far from here in our western woods. They chopped off his head with his own sword; even today the western woods is a haunted place, where brave men will not venture...for what was planted in the ground that day was a seed of evil. And so it's been for 20 years...but now the Hessian wakes. He's on the rampage, cutting off heads where he finds them.
Crane: Are you saying...? Is that what you believe?
Notary Hardenbrook: Seeing is believing.

Crane: Gentlemen: murder needs no ghosts come from the grave. We have murders in New York without benefit of ghouls and goblins.
Van Tassel: You are a long way from New York, constable.

Crane: We take the Indian Trail to the Tree of the Dead.
Young Masbath: How will we recognize it?
Crane: Without difficulty, I rather fear.

[After the windmill explodes with the Horseman inside]
Young Masbath: Is he... dead?
Crane: That's the problem; he was dead to begin with.



  • Heads will roll.
  • Don't lose your head.
  • Watch your head!
  • Your heads are history!
  • Who will it come for next?
  • Close your eyes. Say your prayers. Sleep if you can.
  • You can lock the doors. You can bolt the windows. But can you survive the night?
  • Myth is the past we cannot escape. Mystery is the omen we cannot face. Madness is the terror we cannot stop.
  • A man of science. A woman of mystery. A legend that will never die.
  • On November 19, he rides again.

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