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The Twilight Zone: A Quality of Mercy

During World War II, a young gung ho American Lieutenant sets his sights on defeating a sickly, injured group of Japanese soldiers held up in a cave. Suddenly, the Lieutenant finds himself as a young Japanese soldier ordered to massacre a group of Americans, stuck in the same situation.

Episode Info
Episode number: 3x15
Production Number: 4809
Airdate: Friday December 29th, 1961

Director: Buzz Kulik
Story: Sam Rolfe
Teleplay: Rod Serling



It's August 6, 1945, and in the last days of World War II in the Philippines a platoon of American troops observes for a mortar attack against Japanese soldiers holed up in a cave for two days. Sgt. Causarano calls into headquarters to note that the bombardment is doing no good and to recommend they bypass the cave. He reports to the tired men that HQ may give the order to bypass later that day, and they hope that they won't be called on to storm the enemy soldiers. However, HQ sends a gung ho Lt. Katell to take command of the platoon. Katell orderes a frontal assault but Causarano warns against it as the other soldiers grumble. One of the soldiers, Watkins, is particularly disgruntled and Katell orders the men to shape up. Causarano interrupts his tirade and Katell confirms his orders. The sergeant advises him to remove his insignia so the Japanese won't target him as an officer. He then suggests that they wait the Japanese out and Katell considers his advice, but decides to go with an assault. Causarano observes that the lieutenant has only been on the battlefield a short time and hasn't been shot at yet or shot at anyone. Katell is eager to kill Japanese and tells Watkins to clean up his weapon. When Katell snaps at the men, Watkins says they've had enough of killing and Katell storms off to observe the cave...

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