Twilight Zone: Season 1, Episode 19

The Purple Testament (12 Feb. 1960)
"The Twilight Zone" The Purple Testament (original title)

TV Episode  -   -  Fantasy | Horror | Mystery
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 780 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 3 critic

A U.S. army lieutenant serving in the Philippines during WWII develops a harrowing ability to see in the faces of the men of his platoon, who will be the next ones to die.

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Title: The Purple Testament (12 Feb 1960)

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
...
Narrator (voice)
...
Capt. Phil Riker
William Reynolds ...
Lt. Fitzgerald
William Phipps ...
Sergeant
Barney Phillips ...
S. John Launer ...
Lieutenant Colonel
...
Smitty
...
Orderly
Marc Cavell ...
Freeman
...
Jeep Driver
...
Harmonica Man
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Storyline

In the Philippines in 1945, army Lt. Fitzgerald has developed the disturbing ability to look into his men's faces and know who will be killed in the next battle. He says it's like a light is shined on their face. His superior, Capt. Phil Riker, consults the medical officer but he finds nothing conclusive. Fitzgerald passes out when visiting one of his wounded men in the hospital after he sees the light on his face. When he sees the light on Riker's face, he begs him not to go out. After they return from the operation, he sees that there will be one other casualty that day. Written by garykmcd

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12 February 1960 (USA)  »

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(Westrex Recording System)

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Riker (Dick York) says "None of us is a mind-reader." York later starred in Twilight Zone: A Penny for Your Thoughts (1961) in which his character gained telepathy. See more »

Goofs

Captain Riker and Lieutenant Fitzgerald are wearing their insignia, which is incorrect. Officers serving in front line units made a point not to wear their insignia because it identified them as high priority targets for Japanese snipers. See more »

Quotes

Narrator: [Closing Narration] From William Shakespeare, Richard the Third, a small excerpt. The line reads, 'He has come to open the purple testament of bleeding war.' And for Lieutenant William Fitzgerald, A Company, First Platoon, the testament is closed. Lieutenant Fitzgerald has found the Twilight Zone.
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Connections

Referenced in The Twilight Zone: Into the Light (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Largo
(aka Going Home) (uncredited)
from Symphony No. 9 in E Minor 'From the New World', Op. 95
Music by Antonín Dvorák
Arranged by Lucien Moraweck
Played by the 'Harmonica Man' when Captain Riker puts some photos and his wedding ring on the table,
and again at the end
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User Reviews

 
I'd Rather Not Know
22 July 2006 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

Army lieutenant is cursed with gift of premonition.

Battlefields are not the usual locale for occult happenings. This one is. It's the waning days of WWII in the Pacific theater and an infantry officer (William Reynolds) suddenly undergoes spooky premonitions of who will live and who will die. Fine performance by Reynolds on whom the episode turns. He manages the gamut of emotions in very convincing fashion, among the best of the series. You get the feeling he's really on the ragged edge. Also, the production crew turns an ordinary sound stage into effective recreation of battlefield headquarters, where most of the action takes place. Very atmospheric in its use of light and shadow, the photography lends the small jungle clearing a believably eerie appearance. Then too, the supernatural moments are strangely unsettling and well done. Some nice touches, as when Reynolds tosses his shaving kit aside before getting in the jeep, or when the camera picks up the shattered reflection in the broken mirror. Probably because this was still the first year of production, the episode is done with extraordinary care, and it shows. Purple Testament may not quite make the first rank, but it's darn close.


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