Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

The film version of Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge was fairly close to the written story, with a few distinctions. I felt that the written version showed more clearly what was going on in the victim’s mind, which is only natural, because it would be much more difficult to do that visually. I also felt that the description of the time slowing down and the hints like the dark forest that was unexpectedly wild gave a little more indication of the end of the story than the film version did. Another clue from the written version that was missing from the film was the fact that Farquhar (as identified in the written version) actually lost consciousness for a time after being hung. From that point on things were written just a little less realistically and gave various hints that he was actually dead.

The film makers used different techniques to try to give the viewer the first person point of view, sometimes focusing on different objects that Farquhar would have been looking at, and at other times focusing on the expressions on his face as he went through different emotions. The camera seemed to lead Farquhar through the woods, down the road, and to his wife at the end of the journey. There it switched back and forth from his perspective to her perspective as they ran toward each other, finally swinging off to the side as they finally touched, then jumping to the image of him swinging from the bridge. In all that time – in the film – there was no evidence that the journey was anything but a real escape from the hangman.

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