Odd amalgam of a French film, starring a British, German, and American trio, directed by an American and written by three men from different countries. Perhaps that's what goes wrong with this flawed war story of two men in the African campaign during WW II. Burton knows that Jurgens is a coward, Jurgens knows that Burton has been diddling Roman, Curt's wife. Jurgens attempts to kill Burton a few times (scorpion bite, etc.) and finally succeeds. Jurgens comes home to earn a medal for his alleged valor, but the rest of his life is a shambles as Roman sees him for what he is. Ray has the ability to make almost anything interesting, and Burton can make the most turgid words seem fascinating. Rare story points in that Burton, who is the hero, is eventually killed and Jurgens remains alive. It's a basic mistake and an attempt at irony that fails. Audiences want to see their heroes win.