Legendary writer Ambrose Bierce was known to be brilliant, cantankerous and romantic in all his life's passions, and was revered as one of the top storytellers of the late 19th Century. In 1890, he presented his recently published collection of Civil War Stories to novelist Gertrude Atherton and fledgling young publisher William Randolph Hearst during an infamous meeting in Sonol, California. This meeting sets the forum for the presentation of three of Bierce's most popular stories including "One Kind Of Officer", "Story Of A Conscience" and "An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge." This acclaimed collection features epic battle sequences, deeply conflicted drama and the signature "surprise endings" that characterized most of the short stories by Ambrose Bierce. Written by
This film succeeds in capturing the intensity and the realism that Bierce portrays in his writings. This isn't a typical war film, or even a standard civil war film. Instead it is more layered. The connections to Bierce's writings are overt, but if you aren't familiar with them, it might put you at a disadvantage.
The best part about this film is that it ISN'T a standard bloody war film, nor does glorify war. It is both lyrical and stark. The Direction is fluid and deft and authentic to the era. Campbell Scott carries the Bierce role with real dignity.
This is not intended to be a "Hollywood" film. It mines from a literary figure and his work to create vision of one era from a slice of literary history.
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