SH Question #4 ~ A Tale of Two Ichabods

by Washington Irving

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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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SH Question #4 ~ A Tale of Two Ichabods

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Thu Oct 20, 2005 8:34 am

Were you surprised at the differences between the character of Ichabod in the story and in the movie? (Just Ichabod, we will get into the movie as a whole tomorrow…thank you!)
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Unread postby Betty Sue » Thu Oct 20, 2005 10:48 am

Yes, pleasantly surprised, of course. But then one couldn't really expect to find Johnny Depp, fantastic an actor as he is, being believable as a total icky creep! Actually, I was so used to the old story that it took me awhile of watching the movie to realize Johnny was actually playing Ichabod Crane! (Where's the snipe-nosed schoolmaster??) Glad Tim Burton didn't go along with JD's idea to ugly him up.
It was surprising that Tim really seemed to create quite a different character altogether, just retaining his fragility and being an outsider. I'll leave it to others to find more similarities; I can't think of any at the moment.
Unlike the story Ichabod, the Johnny Ichabod was sincerely romantic, lovable, independent, and brave. (I know he was terrified half the time, but that means it took even more bravery to search the haunted woods, go into the witch's cave, chase the horseman, investigate the tree of the dead, etc. And, YIKES!!, anyone would be afraid of a spider!!)
To me the biggest difference between the two was that in the story Ichabod absorbed every frightening tale he heard and got carried away with his surroundings. Ichabod Johnny had a very traumatic childhood that led him to lose his faith and tend to believe in only what sense and reason could prove. Of course, by the end he had evolved a bit from this theory. And that brings us to the end...quite a different ending! He gets the girl!
Well, I may be way off track in my conclusions, but I hope this proves I was a good girl and did my arduous homework assignment... :angel:
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Unread postby Liz » Thu Oct 20, 2005 11:59 am

Betty Sue wrote:To me the biggest difference between the two was that in the story Ichabod absorbed every frightening tale he heard and got carried away with his surroundings. Ichabod Johnny had a very traumatic childhood that led him to lose his faith and tend to believe in only what sense and reason could prove. Of course, by the end he had evolved a bit from this theory. And that brings us to the end...quite a different ending! He gets the girl!
Well, I may be way off track in my conclusions, but I hope this proves I was a good girl and did my arduous homework assignment... :angel:


I have to admit I didn't do my homework, so I'm a little rusty here. From what I remember of Ichabod Johnny, he was not the one with the interest in witchcraft, although Ichabod in the book was. But I'll stop there because we're not supposed to get into other characters. I think you covered pretty much what I would have said, Betty Sue.

I was not as surprised by the differences in Ichabod's appearance (because I had heard that the Ichabod in the story was supposed to be ugly) as I was by his position as a schoolmaster and how his character played out in the Irving story.
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Unread postby Bix » Thu Oct 20, 2005 1:54 pm

Very good answer, Betty Sue. Even though I had seen various pictures of JD from Sleepy Hollow and read comments here at the Zone, I was still very surprised at how different the movie character is. And that same thing happened to me, too, about not really realizing for several minutes that Johnny's character is Ichabod Crane. I was watching him and getting the story line, but somewhere in the back of my mind was that voice asking, "When is Ichabod Crane going to show up?" Anyway, once I readjusted my brain, I enjoyed Johnny's Ichabod. And I'm glad Tim didn't make him ugly, too.
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Thu Oct 20, 2005 3:23 pm

No homework, eh Liz? :mad: Your punishment is to watch Sleepy Hollow 10 times! :-P

Both Ichabods were a bit snobby in their own ways and both were easily frightened, at first anyway. Of course their professions were totally different and physically they couldn't have been more different. I think Ichabod Johnny is much more likeable and humourous. I with the rest of you in that I am glad they didn't try to make Johnny look like Irving's description! :yikes:
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Unread postby Johnny Fan » Thu Oct 20, 2005 5:30 pm

I would have to say that I prefer the Ichabod Crane portrayed in the film version. I'm not sure if my opinion would be different if I had read the story first before seeing the movie, but when reading the story, it was rather difficult for me to imagine Ichabod with "huge ears," "a long snipe nose," and other descriptions written by Irving because I was just so used to Johnny's portrayal of Ichabod.

In the story, Ichabod seems rather snobby, and as I mentioned in our discussion yesterday, he only seems interested in Katrina Van Tassel for her wealth. Ichabod in the movie seems much more kind, and he has obvious respect for Katrina. He is also very courteous in the movie and doesn't get too caught up in the rivalry with Brom, like the Ichabod in the story does.
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Thu Oct 20, 2005 6:34 pm

Johnny Fanatic, I was familiar with the story Ichabod so was pleasantly surprised with the Johnny version! Much less of a caricature.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

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Unread postby Johnny Fan » Thu Oct 20, 2005 6:57 pm

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:Johnny Fanatic, I was familiar with the story Ichabod so was pleasantly surprised with the Johnny version! Much less of a caricature.


Definitely-I can't even begin to imagine how Johnny would have looked like in the movie if he had followed Washington Irving's description of the character. It would have been very hard to get used to, that's for sure!
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Thu Oct 20, 2005 8:36 pm

Johnny Fanatic wrote:
DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:Johnny Fanatic, I was familiar with the story Ichabod so was pleasantly surprised with the Johnny version! Much less of a caricature.


Definitely-I can't even begin to imagine how Johnny would have looked like in the movie if he had followed Washington Irving's description of the character. It would have been very hard to get used to, that's for sure!


Thank you, Tim! :cool:
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

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Unread postby nebraska » Thu Oct 20, 2005 9:53 pm

Johnny would have had great fun playing Ichabod as he was written originally, don't you think? I know it wouldn't have been as much fun for us, but he would have created something worth watching and something really memorable I'm sure. Thinking of George at the end of Blow......

I did do my homework last night, and I was surprised at how much detail I had forgotten! But, we not discussing the movie as a whole tonight.......

I agree that Johnny's Ichabod was much more sensitive and vulnerable and caring.....and interested in Katrina because of who she was, not what she possessed. And I think Johnny's Ichabod was a bit smarter as well. He was grounded in fact and science and he had to see the haunted things with his own eyes before he would believe, where Irving's Ichabod was easily drawn into the ghost stories and imagined things that weren't there.

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Unread postby bluebird » Thu Oct 20, 2005 10:15 pm

I wasn't really surprised ~~ after all, we're talking Tim Burton here. I knew he would do something different with it.
I had read the story years ago and seen the Disney version with the schoolmaster Ichabod, snipenose and all, and loved it. In fact, I just got it on Ebay and can't wait to see it again.
In Tim and Johnny's Sleepy Hollow I did expect to see Ichabod as a schoolteacher, but from the moment Johnny Ichabod was shown on the screen (after I stopped saying to myself how beautiful he was) I accepted Tim Burton's version AND vision for the story. Gave myself up to it and never looked back to compare it with Washington Irvings' story.
Johnny's Ichabod had so much more heart.
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Fri Oct 21, 2005 11:07 am

Nebraska, I felt the characters were much more developed as well. But I suppose that is easier to accomplish in two hours of film instead of a short story. :eyebrow: I think Johnny would have had fun with the original Ichabod as well, but you can tell he fun with this version as well!

bluebird wrote: In Tim and Johnny's Sleepy Hollow I did expect to see Ichabod as a schoolteacher, but from the moment Johnny Ichabod was shown on the screen (after I stopped saying to myself how beautiful he was) I accepted Tim Burton's version AND vision for the story. Gave myself up to it and never looked back to compare it with Washington Irvings' story.
Johnny's Ichabod had so much more heart.


I was surprised that Ichabod was a policeman! I was lost in the movie too. I think there were enough differences between the two versions that I didn't feel like I had to pick one over the other. Although, I would pick Ichabod Johnny if someone MADE me choose!
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!


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