French director Robert Enrico directed this devastating short masterpiece covering the final moments of a man about to be hung for sabotage during the Civil War who is suddenly saved when the rope breaks. He then makes his way through hazardous country, trying to finally reach home. The somber mood is emphasized by the sparse movements of the soldiers, the extreme close-ups of the man about to be hung, and the black-and-white camerawork that moves almost painfully slowly between the noose, the water, the trees. Based on a story by Ambrose Bierce, the film won the short film Palme D'Or at the 1962 Cannes Film Festival and a 1964 Academy Award for Best Short Subject, Live Action, and was featured as a special episode of Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone.
Civil War |
Essential Cinema |
Short Stories |
Rod Serling bought the 28-minute film to air as the final installment of THE TWILIGHT ZONE series, on February 28, 1964.
The actual opening credits misspell OCCURRENCE as OCCURENCE.
Also available as a double-feature with RED BALLOON.