An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge


Still with the short films, this is one I’ve known about for years but only recently seen. La Rivière du Hibou was Robert Enrico’s 1962 adaptation of the oft-reprinted Civil War story by Ambrose Bierce, An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge. Enrico made three such films from Bierce’s stories, this being the most celebrated; in addition to gaining awards it was also screened as part of The Twilight Zone series which makes me wonder how I’ve managed to miss it for so long. As an adaptation it’s very faithful if you overlook the awkward interjection of a song halfway through.

This particular tale I now find overly familiar since I adapted it in comic strip form in 2003 for the Ambrose Bierce number of Graphic Classics. That strip was one of the last comics I produced, a somewhat misguided attempt at using 3D software. My adaptation involved a great deal of guess-work at the military and other details so I watched Enrico’s opening scene with a sense of relief that his version isn’t so different from my own. The shots here are from this grainy copy of the film. There’s a better copy here from the Twilight Zone screening with Spanish subtitles added.

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