The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)
7.5/10
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9 user 2 critic

A Quality of Mercy 

Hot shot new Lieutanant Katell tries to make his mark on the last day of World War II in the Pacific and gets a unique perspective on his actions.

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(teleplay by), (based on an idea by) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
...
...
Rayford Barnes ...
Andrew Watkins
Ralph Votrian ...
Hanachek
...
Dale Ishimoto ...
Sgt. Yamazaki
...
Japanese Captain (as J.H. Fujikawa)
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Storyline

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 garykmcd

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TV-PG
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Release Date:

29 December 1961 (USA)  »

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(Westrex Recording System)

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This episode was one of four episodes to be remade for Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983), though only loosely remade in this instance. The relevant segment was directed by John Landis. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[closing narration]
Narrator: '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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User Reviews

 
Switching Sides
28 October 2014 | by See all my reviews

Dean Stockwell stars as Lt. Katell, fresh to the battlefield and eager to take command of what remains of an American artillery unit in the Philippine islands on August 6, 1945 in the last days of World War II. The men(played by Albert Salmi, Leonard Nimoy, among others) are tired and fed up, but have no choice but obey the order to attack a well-defended cave where a group of Japanese soldiers are holed up. Fate takes an interesting turn when the Lt. finds himself now a Japanese Lt. named Yamuri, ordered to attack a cave where the Americans are holed up...What will he do in this inexplicable situation? Morality play works reasonably well, though of course viewer may wonder just how merciful one should be when fighting an aggressive enemy...


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