Please do not confuse this Hallmark made for TV film with the wonderful Tim Burton film of the same year. They have about as much in common with each other as either does with the classic Washington Irving story. The only good thing I can say about the film is that Brent Carver’s Ichabod Crane is a spectacular performance. Carver reminds me a great deal of the late and great Roddy McDowall. He shares his overall appearance as well as certain characteristic mannerisms and speech inflections with McDowall. The rest of the film is pretty bad. The headless horseman is such a minor character that he doesn’t enter into the story at all until the final six minutes of the film. Instead we are forced to watch a tale dominated by Ichabod’s courting of Kristina. Atmosphere is lacking for the most part. The supporting cast is dominated by fawning females and one- dimensional men.
A writer passes through the small village of Sleepy Hollow and is told a series of tales including one about schoolteacher Ichabod Crane (Carver) and his confrontation of the legendary headless horseman.
An uninspired Dolby 2.0 track is all you get here. Sounds are mostly flat. Dialogue at least comes through, usually quite clearly.
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow was a Hallmark made for TV film so is presented in a full frame format. Most of the film appears to have originated on video tape rather than film. Colors are usually solid if often dark. Shadows are dull and one dimensional. Some of the settings could have provided some awesome imagery with better cinematography.
You should be afraid to venture into these woods, not because of the headless demon of Sleepy Hollow lore, but because of sheer boredom. Carver’s portrayal is the only saving grace, but even that is not enough to hold this film together. Why buy the DVD when it shows up monthly on the Hallmark Channel? If you do buy or rent this one, don’t be surprised if you wind up asking yourself: “Was this a tale worth writing about?”