I might just love Richard Burton. I might just love a good psychological love triangle. I might just love it when both collide.
This war film barely acknowledges the worldwide conflict that makes its setting as it focuses tightly on the tense conflict between its two main characters, Burton's Captain Leith and Curt Jurgens' Major Brand. They both love the same woman, though Leith forsook her years ago and Brand is currently married to her. When both get sent on a dangerous mission, the tensions infect their work.
The film plays out like a cross between a chess game and a conversation, a study in contrast and compare that speaks volumes without entirely hitting you over the head with it. It's not subtle, but it doesn't treat you like an idiot, either. This all fails to address Nicholas Ray's contributions to the matter, but I'm far too taken with the performances to go into it.
December count: 5/100.