Sunday, November 9, 2008

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

A man stood upon a railroad bridge in northern Alabama, looking down into the swift water twenty feet below. The man's hands were behind his back, the wrists bound with a cord. A rope closely encircled his neck. It was attached to a stout cross-timber above his head and the slack fell to the level of his knees.

"An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" is a short story by Ambrose Bierce. It was originally published in 1890, and first anthologized in Bierce's 1891 collection, Tales of Soldiers and Civilians. The story is famous for its irregular time sequence and twist ending.

A 1962 French short film was based on this story. It was directed by Robert Enrico and produced by Marcel Ichac and Paul de Roubaix with music by Henri Lanoe. It won awards at the Cannes Film Festival and the Academy Awards, and was also screened on American television as an episode of The Twilight Zone.

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