A group of army personnel and nurses attempt a dangerous and arduous trek across the deserts of North Africa during the second world war. The leader of the team dreams of his ice cold beer ... See full summary »
A married, middle-aged woman is shocked to discover that her husband, who she thought was content in their marriage, has become infatuated with a beautiful younger woman and is planning to leave his family for her.
J. Lee Thompson
A small British army team is sent to destroy a German petrol dump as part of the preparation for a major attack in the North African campaign. Whilst they are there they spot a large number... See full summary »
Two stories in one - an easygoing British Corporal in France finds himself responsible for the lives of his men when their officer is killed. He has to get them back to Britain somehow. ... See full summary »
A group of army personnel and nurses attempt a dangerous and arduous trek across the deserts of North Africa during the second world war. The leader of the team dreams of his ice cold beer when he reaches Alexandria, but the problems just won't go away. Written by
Ice Cold in Alex used to show up on the late show on CBC years ago, and it has also been on some of the cable channels. It gets better with each viewing. When the subject of war movies comes up, I always tell people this is my favourite war movie, and, in my opinion, one of the best - and usually get a blank look. They recognize the cast when I list them, though. And it is a great cast - Mills, Andrews, Quayle. And I am totally in love with Sylvia Sims in this. (I guess I must have a thing for beautiful women, with no makeup, sweating in khakis. I loved Juliette Binoche in Canadian battledress in The English Patient, too - but I digress).
This is simply good storytelling and great character drama in a setting that tests character, with an authentic look and feel and superb B&W photography of the kind that distinguished so many post-war 'neo-realist' films. There are so many great moments such as van der Poel lifting the ambulance, the 'surprise' encounter with the SAS (?) man, the Blimpish officer's encounter with an 88-mm shell in his Humber staff car, Mill's moments of crisis, stunning closeups of Sylvia Sims, and and especially that moment in the bar which makes you want to run out for a tall frosty one. Next time I view it, I will indeed have a cold Carlsberg waiting in the fridge. Years ago, I was sailing across Lake Winnipeg to Gimli on a slow, hot July day, with little wind, I promised we would enjoy beer and pizza when we finally made it to harbour, and I was thinking of this movie.
I am also a bit of a military vehicle buff, and I like this movie for that, too - for me, the ambulance - I think it's an Morris-Commecial CS11/30F, or maybe a Ford WOT2, but I'd have to see the movie again to be sure - is also one of the stars. Cranking-up-the-sand-dune is probably my favourite scene with it. The Wages of Fear /Scorcerer comes to mind as a comparable vehicle-as-character movie.
Vehicle buffs will also enjoy the anachronism of seeing a Land Rover parked on the street in the background of the final shot - the car wasn't in production until 1947.
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