Story is based on a book [by Max Catto] but records actual events.
It is little more than an incident, depicting the adventures of a small patrol sent to find out if a village is inhabited by the enemy.
There are no base camp sets, nor home scenes before the inducted boys join the army. All the action, humor and pathos centres on the mixed bunch from every walk of life, wisecracking, beefing and just plain scared, comprising one rookie officer, three regular soldiers, including one sergeant. The remainder are untried civilians.
With the subdued lighting used throughout most of the shots, owing to night marches, and the indistinguishable drab jungle outfit, anonymity swamps most of the characters. Only the closeups of their sweaty faces, and calling each other’s names brings individuality to the actors.
All the cast has equal opportunities to score, George Baker as the conscientious officer, Harry Andrews as the tough sergeant and Ronald Lewis as the outsider, disliked by his buddies.