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Rip Van Winkle is an 1896 film starring Joseph Jefferson. This film, one of the earliest uses of film to tell a narrative story—maybe the earliest—was an adaptation of Jefferson's stage play, itself an adaptation of the Washington Irving story. It was directed by film pioneer William K.L. Dickson.The film is seven short scenes depicting Rip Van Winkle wandering into the forest, meeting some strange people, drinking with them, then passing out. He wakes up after a twenty-year nap, now with a long white beard. Initially the clips were exhibited as part of vaudeville shows. In 1903 the Biograph film company released the seven clips together as a single 4 1/2 minute film.Rip Van Winkle is not really that interesting as a dramatic film, but it is important due to its status as one of the first narrative films made anywhere. It has a place in the National Film Registry.