Blazing action and spectacle are on the menu as battle-toughened sergeant John M Stryker (John Wayne) prepares a group of soldiers for action in the Pacific. His training methods are harsh and the men dislike him, especially new recruit Peter Conway (John Agar). Slowly, however, this dislike turns to respect, especially when Stryker saves Conway's life. But the men have got their biggest test ahead on Iwo Jima where they have to inch their way up Mt. Suribachi under constant Japanese fire.