Story is a compact drama, interestingly told, of a lost sunrise patrol on the Libyan desert. It’s an intimate study of characters and hardships encountered in the desert.
There’s the sergeant (Thomas Mitchell), resourceful tactician of the last war and a most inspiring leader for the unit. It’s his influence, after fatal wounding, that drives corporal Henry Fonda on with the remnants of the outfit and transforms Fonda from a self-effacing individual into a determined, confident personality.
Desert warfare is vividly displayed, with the little group facing the rigors of forced marches across the sands with limited supplies; and mixing in several engagements against enemy units encountered along the way, including a climactic blasting of a German camp set up in an oasis.
Producer-writer Lamar Trotti provides director John M. Stahl with a neatly-woven script [from a novel by John Brophy], and Stahl directs in deft style.