Captain Mueller (Yul Brynner) is a German seaman assigned during WW II to deliver a cargo of much-needed rubber from Japan to occupied France. Though the politically neutral Mueller feels the assignment is foolish, he is overruled, and the ship--partly crewed by political prisoners of the
Nazi government--prepares for the voyage, a mission fervently supported by Mueller's first officer, Kruse (Martin Benrath). Robert Crain (Marlon Brando) is a wealthy deserter from the German army now living in India under the guise of a Swiss national. He is approached by Colonel Statter (Trevor
Howard), a British intelligence man, who threatens Crain with exposure unless he goes ...