"An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" is a French short film that was edited into an episode of the The Twilight Zone.
"Tonight a presentation so special and unique that, for the first time in the five years we've been presenting The Twilight Zone, we're offering a film shot in France by others. Winner of the Cannes Film Festival of 1962, as well as other international awards, here is a haunting study of the incredible, from the past master of the incredible, Ambrose Bierce. Here is the French production of 'An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge."
A Confederate soldier is about to be hanged when the rope breaks, allowing him to escape and return home – or does it?
"An occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge - in two forms, as it was dreamed, and as it was lived and died. This is the stuff of fantasy, the thread of imagination... the ingredients of the Twilight Zone."
Preview for Next Week's Story
Twilight Zone regular Charles Beaumont brings us our next offering, a tale of age and youth and a beautiful woman. Our star is Ann Blyth, our story: "Queen of the Nile". They say that beauty is only skin deep, and when the surface is scratched, what you might conceivably find underneath is something quite apart from beauty. This is the rather intriguing basis of our next presentation on The Twilight Zone. Miss Ann Blyth in "Queen of the Nile".
- Rod Serling (Narrator)
- Roger Jacquet (Peyton Farquhar)
- Anne Cornaly (Abby Farquhar)
- Anker Larsen (Union officer)
Directed by Robert Enrico Teleplay by Robert Enrico Based on a story by Ambrose Bierce
- Marc Scott Zicree's The Twilight Zone Companion incorrectly states the French film was purchased for $10,000. This mistake has been reprinted in a number of books since the 1984 publication. The Twilight Zone: Unlocking the Door to a Television Classic by Martin Grams correctly verifies the purchase price as $20,000 plus $5,000 additional costs for reediting.
- According to Zicree, An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge was the last episode of the classic Twilight Zone to be "produced" (presumably referencing the reediting and the addition of footage of Rod Serling, as production of the series was cancelled afterwards). It was not, however, the last episode of the series to be broadcast.
- Two years after its production, the film was screened as an episode of The Twilight Zone. Producer William Froug saw the film and decided to buy the rights to broadcast it on American television. The transaction cost The Twilight Zone $25,000 – significantly less than the average of $65,000 they expended on producing their own episodes. However, Froug’s purchase allowed for the film to be aired only twice (the first airing was on February 28, 1964). Consequently, it is not included on The Twilight Zone’s syndication package (although it is included on Image Entertainment's DVD box set of the original series and on the DVD Treasures of the Twilight Zone).
- Cayuga Productions
- Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) (in association with)
- Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) (1959) (USA) (TV) (original airing)
The rights to the short story were purchased for 20,000 dollars.
Errors and Goofs
The Union Soldiers (giving orders on the bridge) and Peyton Farquhar (when he pronounces his wife's name) all speak American English with French accents.
- Main article: List of memorable quotes from the first series