By Michael Burke (Kansas, USA)
An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge is undeniably one of the best made short films ever. The short movie follows Peyton Farquhar, a rebel spy sentenced to death by hanging after interfering with US army business. The film then proceeds to blur the line between imagination and reality, as Peyton tries to imagine ways he will be able to escape his predicament and return to his family and girlfriend. As for the film itself, it is as intriguing as it is heartwarming, and the ending nearly made me tear up.
Even with its short duration, the film still makes you want to see Peyton return home to see his mother, father, friends, and girlfriend. And for a while, it looks like he just might. sadly, that doesn’t happen. The fact that this film made me think that Peyton might actually make it even after I saw him pushed off the bridge is outstanding work. Combine this with excellent camera work, including stunning underwater shots, then you a recipe for success.
My only complaint about this film is that it is confusing. I had a hard time at some points figuring out what was going on. At one point you see Payton with a noose around his neck over the edge of a bridge, and then you see him walking back towards his home. However, by the time the film ends, I realize that was sort of the point. Or at least it seems that way. Seriously, this film does a good job at making it seem like reality and imagination are one in the same.
Despite being filmed way back in 1962, the producers of this films certainly managed to do great with the camera work, lighting, and character design. While watching a version that had a modern twist to it, while the original took place back in the American Civil War, both versions are still great. Never before have a watched a stunning and visually interesting film that only lasted a little over eleven minutes. That’s the immediate give away that it took full advantage of the short length. Even throughout the and more, more, and more short films were released between 1962 and 2017, this film still stands as one of the best filmed short stories, and the one with the most intriguing story, location, and characters. The fact that most of the movie takes place over a bridge and is still interesting means that the producers did a very good job.
It reminds of the hard work shown in the 2013 film Locke. The entire movie sees the main character, portrayed by Tom Hardy, driving in a car for two hours. While on paper, this would seem like a very boring concept, the story and complex protagonist makes the film very investing. That’s the case with An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge. Despite most of the movie showing the lead character standing on the edge of a bridge with a noose around his neck, as well as a few scenes with him submerged in water and running back to his house, the investing story and deep characters, even in its short length, managed to make the film one of the great short stories of all time.