During an evacuation in the waning days of the Korean War, three American soldiers retrieve an enemy airman and take him prisoner aboard the civilian ship returning them to their lines. When an order comes down from their superiors to kill the prisoner, the sergeant in charge, Briscoe, orders his men, Dennison and Hackett, to carry out the execution. But first one and then the other refuse to follow the order. A tense stand-off ensues between the seemingly heartless sergeant and his conscience-stricken men.
- Kirk DouglasSgt. P.J. Briscoe
- Robert Walker Jr.Pvt. O.A. Dennison
- Nick AdamsPvt. V.R. Hackett
- Pancho MagalonaKim aka 'The Gook'
- Nehemiah PersoffCapt. Van Ryn
- John BleiferSteward
- Mark MillerLt. D.D. Troy
- John AldersonCrewman Svenson
- Anders AndeliusCrewman Andelius
- Frank RichardsCrewman Kaskevitch
- William ChalleeSchmidt
- Barnaby HaleCrewman
- John GilgreenCrewman
- Ralph AhnMajor Chun
- Dallas MitchellRadio Sergeant