Japan, 1942. Mueller (Yul Brynner), a captain of the Nazi navy, is annoyed at being forced to accept a crew composed partly of criminals. Meanwhile the mission is urgent, as part of the shipment is seven thousand tons of pure rubber, which will fit German troops in Europe. Robert Crain (Marlon Brando), a German deserter living in India, is blackmailed by Statter (Trevor Howard), a Colonel of the English Intelligence Service, who wants Crain to board this same ship by posing as a Gestapo SS, for this shipment is also important to the Allies. Crain’s function is to deactivate all explosives, which will cause the ship to sink when the captain senses that his cargo will be captured by the enemy.