A Southern planter is about to be hanged for sabotage during the Civil War; when he is dropped off the bridge the rope breaks and he flees for his safety amid bullets and shots from a cannon. In this wonderful adaptation of Ambrose Bierce’s short story, the depths of a condemned man’s mind are probed. What does go through one’s mind moments before death? —IMDb
French director of La Riviere du Hibou, a short film with a twist in the tail
ROBERT ENRICO, who has died aged 69, owed such fame as he enjoyed beyond his native France to a single short film, running only 27 minutes, which he made in 1961.
La Riviere du Hibou, shot in black and white and set in the American Civil War, claimed top prize at a festival of short films in Tours in 1961, went on to take the Palme d’Or at Cannes the following year, and two years later won an Oscar as best short film under the title Incident at Owl Creek. The source was a story by the 19th-century American writer Ambrose Bierce, originally called An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge. Few short films have taken the world by storm quite so quickly and spectacularly. Its appeal lay in the skill with which Enrico concealed the twist in the tail.
On a rickety bridge built across a river, a civilian is strung up for summary execution for partisan activities. At the last minute, the rope breaks;… read more
Magnificent french 'short' that would later feature in the first Twilight Zone series. Archetype of dozens of films 'with a twist' that resurfaced now and then over the decades, the most memorable perhaps being one produced in 1990. More recently not the same twist, but the idea of getting to a point which would allow the makers to wrong-foot the audience seemed to become an easy, overused box-office gimmick. Sadly!
This award winning short was adapted from a story by Ambrose Bierce, the author portrayed on screen by Gregory Peck in Old Gringo. It concerns a condemned man who makes a last-minute escape from the noose when it breaks and he is plunged into the river below. We follow his return home to his wife but then, as befits a film that gained wider exposure after an airing on The Twilight Zone, there is a twist in the tale..