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The Headless Horseman (1922).jpg

The Headless Horseman is a 1922 American silent film adaption of Washington Irving's 1820 short story "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" directed by Edward D. Venturini. It stars Will Rogers, Lois Meredith (in her last major on-screen appearance), and Ben Hendricks Jr. It was the first panchromatic black-and-white feature film.

There were three silent film adaptations of the story, but this 1922 version is the longest of the three, as well as the only one that survives today. Film critic Christopher Workman states "the obvious day-for-night shooting foreshadows the work of Edward D. Wood, Jr... [the film] is a motion picture that wavers between irritating and flat-out dull." He says the Headless Horseman only appears in two all-too-brief sequences in the film, once at the beginning and again in the finale.


The village of Sleepy Hollow, New York is getting ready to greet the new schoolteacher, [[Ichabod Crane\\, who is coming from New York. Crane has already heard of the village's legendary ghost, a headless horseman who is said to be searching for the head that he lost in battle.

The schoolteacher has barely arrived when he begins to pursue the beautiful young heiress Katrina Van Tassel, angering Abraham Van Brunt (aka "Brom Bones"), who was courting her. Crane's harsh, small-minded approach to teaching also turns some of the villagers against him. Soon, there are many who would like to see him leave the village altogether.

Brom Bones trashes the schoolhouse and tries to make it look like witches allied with Ichabod Crane caused the destruction.