A two-fisted account of what happens to an infantry platoon in Korea is told with a general air of excitement, tension and action. Battle sequences, well-staged under Anthony Mann’s direction, are all small-scale, but none the less deadly, as befits the plot and its few characters. The Philip Yordan scripting from Van Van Praag’s novel, Day Without End (Combat), does considerable to overcome the fact that there is much that is similar in warpix and the characters that inhabit them.
Robert Ryan, battle-weary lieutenant trying to get the remnants of his platoon back to battalion headquarters, and Aldo Ray, hostile, disrespectful sergeant from another company trying to get his combat-shocked colonel to safety, each score strongly. Robert Keith, the colonel, successfully carries off a role that requires only one word of dialog.
Where the film does stand out over the usual warpic is in its intelligent use of music. Elmer Bernstein composed and conducted the score, never trying to compete with the sounds of battle and thereby heightening the effect of many scenes.