Short Story

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

Source: "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." Like Like Television. 1999. Web. 25 November 2009.
This film by Robert Enrico is adapted from the story written by Ambrose Bierce. The short film does an excellent job of telling this great tale, about a man accused of trying to sabotage a bridge during the civil war. As the story begins, the man is about to be executed - by hanging from Owl Creek Bridge. We enter the man's mind, as he imagines that the rope breaks - and he narrowly escapes the onslaught of bullets from the Union soldiers. Then he runs through an arched forest canopy - trying to return to his wife and child, who are waiting for him at his home. Most of the story takes place, during that brief few seconds, as he falls from his gallows - to the moment when his neck snaps. An incredible journey of mind.... look out, there's a sign post up ahead!

external image owlcreekbridge212.jpg
beautiful cinematography tells the story, as there is almost no dialogue.

A First Prize Winner at the 1962 Cannes Film Festival and in 1964 - an Oscar for Best Short Subject, Live Action Subjects. Roger Jaquet stars as the convicted man who imagines his escape. This is a very powerful short movie (28 min) - and we spent a lot of time cleaning up the film, and restoring it as best we could.

external image owlcreekbridge214.jpg
He runs through the glorious sunlit tree canopy, trying to get home

1. Read/listen to the Ambrose Bierce's short story "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge."
2. View adaptation of short story.
3. Write a short paragraph in which you compare/contrast the elements of the story and the film.
4. Think about the film elements we have discussed so far: thematic and fictional elements, visual design and special effects, color, and music and sound. Discuss how the film uses each of these elements in relation to the short story (i.e. give an example from the video that illustrates each element).
5. Do NOT post on the wiki--bring in a hard copy next class!


V for Vendetta Background Presentation

V for Vendetta Presentation.key

Viewing Questions

V for Vendetta Viewing Questions.pages


Romeo and Juliet


60 Second Tabloid

Comparison Chart

Romeo and Juliet vs. West Side Story

Act I- The Fight

In Verona, Sampson and Gregory (Capulet servants) complain that they will not put up with insults from the Montague family. Abram and Balthasar (Montague servants) appear and the four start quarreling. Benvolio (Lord Montague's nephew) appears and tries to break up the quarrel, but Tybalt (Lady Capulet's nephew) appears and picks a fight with Benvolio. At length, officers try to break up the fight, even while Lord Capulet and Lord Montague begin to fight one another. The Prince of Verona (Escalus) appears and stops the fighting, proclaiming sentences of death to any that renew the fighting.
West Side Story

Act I- The Balcony Scene

While leaving the party, Romeo hides in the orchard while Mercutio and Benvolio call for him to come out of hiding and go home with them; yet he will not. After they leave, Romeo appears and speaks to Juliet under her window, saying "But soft! What light through yonder window breaks? It is the East, and Juliet is the sun!" By and by they swear their love to one another. Juliet tells Romeo she'll send a messenger to him the next day to learn the details of their wedding.
West Side Story Balcony

Adaptation Project

1. In pairs, pick a short story in which to adapt to film.
2. Make a short 5 minute film that depicts the important characters and actions of the film.
3. You are free to make the story your own, but the challenge is to keep the "essence" of the story alive.
4. You must include a script for the film and must cite all images.
5. You can either act in the film or use images from the web.
6. Please post the script and the film on the wiki.

Adaptation Rubric.pages