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 877 users  
Reviews: 10 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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Release Date:

12 February 1960 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs

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(Westrex Recording System)

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The night of the planned air date, a plane carrying Richard L. Bare and William Reynolds crashed in the Carribean Sea, injuring both (though not seriously). It is believed that during their swim to land, they discussed the episode that night and Bare requested Reynolds not to look at him. He later admitted that he commended Buck Houghton's decision to reschedule rather than use the incident for publicity. See more »

Goofs

Rod Serling's narration says at the end of that the title phrase Purple Testament comes from the William Shakespeare play "Richard III". It is actually Richard II, Act 3, Scene 3. 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

 
You See It in the Face
1 October 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a very nice episode. It is about a curse. A World War II platoon leader is able to see a light in the face of those who will die that day. It is a true curse because he is responsible for them in battle. This puts him in a very difficult position. He can't eat. He can't sleep. He also can't convince others that he is not crazy. Much of the episode is about his efforts to be listened to. He sees the light in the face of his best friend and fellow officer, played by Dick York. This is a human story with a supernatural element. The acting is very good. The war is presented. The faces of the men show the incredible strain of battle. Of course, Serling sets us up for a classic Twilight Zone moment.


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