Rip Van Winkle (1896 film)

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Rip Van Winkle was one of the first films ever made.

Renowned stage actor Joseph Jefferson made a career of portraying Washington Irving's mercurial title character beginning in the mid 1800s and by the 1890s was the most famous actor in America. Capitalizing on Jefferson's success, Edison protege William K.L. Dickson filmed the actor in eight scenes from the fantasy tale set in New York's Catskill Mountains. The scenes were available to exhibitors as individual films that could be shown together or separately in any order they chose. They proved so popular that the scenes were edited together as a single film released in 1903. The film's success helped Dickson's Biograph company, successor to his original American Mutoscope Company, the most popular studio in the country.

Rip Van Winkle was added to the National Film Registry in 1995.

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