Based on the Anton Myrer novel The Big War, In Love and War is an entertaining showcase for several of 20th Century-Fox's younger contract players. Robert Wagner, Jeffrey Hunter and Bradford Dillman plays three young San Francisco residents who sign up for the Marines at the outbreak of WW2. The film traces the progress of all three in the Pacific "theater of operations," emphasizing the characters' individual strengths and shortcomings. One of the men is a gung-ho patriot, the second is a perennial goof-off, and the third hopes to prove his worth to his wealthy father. The women in the three protagonists' lives are played by Sheree North, Hope Lange, France Nuyen, and Dana Wynter, the latter delivering a powerhouse performance in an extremely difficult role. Providing comic counterpart to the more serious goings-on is nightclub comedian Mort Sahl, making his screen debut in a tailor-made role as an eternal griper.