On August 6, 1945 - the last day of World War II - a forward platoon acting as artillery spotters get an eager and aggressive Lieutenant Katell. The artillery has been unable to dislodge a Japanese unit from a cave and Katell decides that the unit is going to attack. He suddenly finds himself in 1942 however, leading a Japanese unit that is about to attack Americans who are holed up in a cave. He looks into a mirror of sorts when his Japanese superior orders destroy the American stronghold. When he flashes back to 1945, he has second thoughts about the attack. Written by
Shortly after the perspective shifts to the Japanese one, the camera zooms in on an ammunition box. The casings around it are blanks. You can tell by the crimped ends with no projectile. See more »
'The quality of mercy is not strained, it droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath. It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.' Shakespeare, the Merchant of Venice, but applicable to any moment in time, to any group of soldiery, to any nation on the face of the Earth - or, as in this case, to The Twilight Zone.
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On eve of WWII's end a war-weary platoon is ordered into combat.
Interesting concept that takes literally the admonition to put yourself in the other man's shoes, in this case an enemy soldier's. Good characterizations. Salmi shines as the battle-hardened grunt who knows when to stop. In fact, the whole platoon exudes a sweaty, dirty battle fatigue that makes their resistance to the fresh-faced lieutenant very believable. Dean Stockwell's gung-ho officer is also well done, the kind of uncaring-about-the-cost glory-hound, who ended up getting fragged in Vietnam. Also, Salmi's dressing down of the lieutenant's selfish ambition amounts to a classic version of the enlisted man's grudge. One real flaw-- did the producers have to cast a racial stereotype as the Japanese major, even down to the buck teeth? Nonetheless, this remains an entry with a humanely worthwhile message well delivered.
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