An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

Back in the day, my Social Studies teacher wheeled in the old 16mm projector and showed us a short film that I never forgot.

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge is one of the great short stories by the bizarre satirist Ambrose Bierce that was made into a equally great short film by director/writer Robert Enrico that won many international awards, including Best Short Subject at the Cannes Film Festival in 1962 and the Academy Awards in 1963.

The mystical Civil War vignette is presented on youtube in three parts: Part 2 is here and Part 3 is here. (Part 1 is above)

The vivid 28-minute French film features virtually no dialogue as well as the uncanny fantasy sequences of a Southern spy about to be hanged. Time slows down as the noose is placed around his neck. He dreams about his wife at home, who smilingly approaches, offering him a dish of sweets, with his daughter slowly swinging on the family swingset in the background.

The music in the film features a haunting ballad called Livin’ Man by Henri Lanoe.

The film, which is shown here edited for television, is introduced by a personal favorite, Rod Serling in a Twilight Zone episode from 1964.

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