Morituri's splendid black-and-white cinematography, for which it was nominated for an Academy Award, creates an uneasy moodiness that amplifies the stark choices and necessities of the characters, particularly Brando, who delivers a finely understated performance as a detached German conscientious objector who is forced into the situation, and must rely on his wits alone to survive. Brynner is also extremely potent as a tough German captain, whose ship is the object of the secret plan.
This movie is low on kinetic action, but high on characterization and dramatic tension, and ably captures the often disquieting ways and means of the espionage game.
There is a great movie in "Morituri" just waiting to get out but it just does not entirely pull it off and put all of the pieces together. However, it is fun watching Brando and Brynner play a high stakes game of cat and mouse between two characters who are in the same boat, so to speak. So, on the one hand, there is a lot of old fashioned intrigue, but in the last half hour, reality creeps steadily in, almost from another movie entirely. I know this is meant to give the pacifist Crain a sense of purpose, but he seems to be doing pretty well up until then. The movie made in 1965, might have included this more as information intended towards the audience which might have been more ignorant of the Holocaust than we are now.