A Confederate spy, about to be hanged, is hallucination when the rope breaks and he is plunged into reality. Or is he? 1963 Acadamy Award winning "Best Short Film."
From the short story by Bierce. Aired for a special Twilight Zone episode. First aired on Feb. 28, 1964
- Absolutely Breath-taking!
I saw this movie as a part of my Film course. It was the first movie shown to us in class. First, not only because it effectively uses some of the basic and important cinematic techniques, but also because it illustrates the very basis of cinema - illusion. For the three-fourths of its length we're totally, skillfully fooled into believing that what is happening to the protagonist is "real", that it's happening and then the ending hits you like a whirlwind, taking you completely unawares! It is not just this surprise ending that makes this movie so great. It is the mastery over the cinematic form on the part of the director, Robert Enrico to deliver sheer magic in the space of 20 minutes - that is cinema at its Finest!
This film is chilling, yet absolutely wonderful. One cannot help but to have sympathy for the convicted man. The beauty of nature is displayed quite perfectly in his cute musical number; the sunlight plays wonders with the camera despite the film being in black and white. There is hardly any dialogue to clutter up the message, only one man's struggle to live. The ending is amazing and will leave the viewer's jaw agape. This film is even better than the original short story. Recommended viewing for anyone who craves a short movie that is long on depth.
- One of the great shorts of all time
Rod Serling brought this to American attention as a part of the Twilight Zone series and I have to agree with his departure from the popular series. A great story, intimately told. It points out the beauty of life and how it is magnified when death threatens. I think it is as good or even better than any Zone episode both in style and depth.
- Shows how much can be told in so short a time
One of my all-time favorites, Occurrence at Owl Creek goes on to highlight the art of conveying a lot in as short a time as possible. It's a must watch for all film enthusiasts, even those for whom time is at a premium, since although the movie is just a few minutes long, it can be the experience of a lifetime. Cannot comment on the movie itself here, as that will spoil the entire fun. A masterly treatment of a short story with a nice pace and excellent camera work.
- The last seconds of this film take it from being very good, to being excellent!
This film was once shown on the Twilight Zone because Rod Seling liked it so much. It is like a classic short story in its pacing and its finale. The cinematography is very intimate. It draws you right in the the man's heart.
Director: Robert Enrico
Writers: Ambrose Bierce (story), Robert Enrico
Roger Jacquet ... Peyton Farquhar
Anne Cornaly ... Mrs. Farquhar
Stéphane Fey ... Union Officer
Color:Black and White