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Treasures of the Twilight Zone (1962)

Cast: Stephane Fey, Stephane Fey, Pierre Danny, more...
Director: Robert Enrico, Robert Enrico
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Studio: Image Entertainment
Genre: Foreign, France, Experimental/Avant-Garde, War, Civil War
Running Time: 75 min.
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This title is currently out of print.

Ambrose Bierce's classic hallucinatory short story An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge has been adapted to film at least three times. The first version was a 1932 short subject directed by Charles Vidor; the second was a two-part 1959 installment of TV's Alfred Hitchcock Presents; and the third was this award-winning French short, adapted and directed by Robert Enrico. The time is the American Civil War: Southern plantation-owner Peyton Farquahr (Roger Jacquet) has been condemned to death for spying against the Union cause. As he prepares to be hanged from the Owl Creek bridge, Farquahr morosely contemplates his fate and fondly recalls his loving wife (Anne Cornaly). The commanding officer gives the signal, Farquahr is dropped off the side of the bridge -- and suddenly the rope breaks. Farquahr breaks loose of his bonds, remains submerged in the creek as the soldiers' bullets whiz all about him, breathlessly reaches dry land, and painstakingly makes his way home to the arms of his wife. As he rushes towards her and.......ah -- to say more would be to ruin the surprise. The music by Henri Lanoe includes an original ballad, "Live Livin' Man", sung spiritual-style in English. An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge made its American TV premiere as the February 28, 1964 installment of the anthology series The Twilight Zone. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

a short story adaptation done right by DPOWERS October 16, 2002 - 8:56 AM PDT
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
an occurrence at owl creek bridge is among the great literary adaptations in movie history.

directed and adapted for the screen by robert enrico, this french short is furiously "cinematic" -- it takes a story by ambrose bierce, all internal monologues and subjective description, and transforms it to action action action without removing or dampening the intellectual payoff.

it's just so cool that enrico refused to make more of the story than bierce had intended. it's not padded out with extra plot or longer "moments" that kill the pace and it's not forced to comply with a larger framework in order to make a whole movie of a collection. it's a short movie because it comes from a short story.

as i heard it, rod serling saw the movie at cannes and immediately booked it for the twilight zone. when it was broadcast, serling even cut sponsor time from that night's show to screen the film non-stop and mostly uncut.

why, you ask, is this 1891 wartime story suitable for the twilight zone? heh heh heh.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 8.18)
11 Votes
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Adaptating a book is a dicey proposition. Here are some of the best, or at least most interesting, movie adaptations of novels and short stories; some even improve upon the original. A growing list.

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