Adapted by Leon Uris from his own novel, the film follows a group of World War II marines, from Basic Training to Battlefield. Major Van Heflin knows that his men are spoiling for a real fight, but must make do with the desultory skirmishes assigned them by the Brass. All this changes with an onslaught of heavy-duty battling in the South Pacific. Aldo Ray plays a tough leatherneck who falls in love with demure Nancy Olson, while James Whitmore, Tab Hunter, Dorothy Malone and Raymond Massey costar. And watch for young Justus McQueen, cast as private L.Q. Jones; McQueen liked his character name so much that he adopted it as his professional cognomen. Composer Max Steiner's musical score earned him an Oscar nomination.