During the American Civil War, Union troops are about to hang a man, a Southerner, from the Owl Creek bridge. As he goes over the side with the noose around his neck the rope breaks and he manages to unbind his hands and feet. As he swims downstream, he has images of home and his lovely wife. He also manages to evade the troops who are trying to stop him. Just as he reaches his destination however, his true circumstances are revealed. Written by
Did You Know?
was getting ready to take his end-of-season break, with all but one of the shows for the fifth season already filmed or in production, when he decided to leave early and go to a French film festival. There he saw Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge
(1962) and immediately hunted down the producers with an offer to buy it for a one-time showing for American TV. Serling reportedly picked it up for $10,000 and flew straight back to Los Angeles, filming a new intro the moment he got to the studio and plugging the show into that same week's time slot. Not only did Serling get what was considered a classic, he also saved nearly $100,000 in production costs and brought the season's worth of shows in on budget. This prompted ABC-TV to offer to pick up The Twilight Zone
(1959) for another season. Serling said no to the deal when his discussions over the content of the new season made it appear he would be "going to the graveyard" for each show, doing Gothic horror shows. (ABC did want that, and eventually would pick up Dark Shadows
(1966), which fit the bill, in daytime.) See more
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. See more
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.'