52 user 18 critic

Ice Cold in Alex (1958)

Approved | | Adventure, Drama, War | 27 June 1958 (UK)
During WW2 in North Africa, a medical field unit must cross the desert in their ambulance in order to reach the British lines in Alexandria.



(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 3 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »


Cast overview, first billed only:
Captain Anson
Sister Murdoch / Sister Diana Murdoch
Captain van der Poel
M.S.M. Pugh
Sister Denise Norton
Captain Crosbie
Brigadier (D.D.M.S.)
Brigadier's Staff Officer
David Lodge ...
C.M.P. Captain (Tank Trap)
Michael Nightingale ...
C.M.P. Captain (Check Point)
Basil Hoskins ...
C.M.P. Lieutenant (Alexandria)
1st German Officer
2nd German Officer
German Guard
British Officer at Oasis

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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 Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


From Tobruk to Alexandria... they had to make it... even if one of'em was a traitor!


Adventure | Drama | War


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

27 June 1958 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Desert Attack  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (1961) | (1958) (pre-censored)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)


(archive footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Sylvia Syms's then husband used to send her obscene limericks in the post, which she then gleefully read out to the cast and crew. See more »


The head on the beers at the end changes from a lot to very little and back again in nearly every shot. See more »


Capt. Anson: [draining his glass of beer] Worth waiting for.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: TOBRUK - 1942 See more »


Featured in The 100 Greatest Films (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

Red hot in Alex
4 May 2004 | by (London,England) – See all my reviews

'Ice Cold in Alex' is an absorbing story of a British ambulance trying to get to safety in the North African desert. There is the heat, minefields, enemy troops, more heat, shifting sands and human weaknesses to contend with and at the end of the film (over two hours)one feels exhausted. The main characters are an army captain on the verge of a breakdown, a determined nurse, a solid sergeant major and a South African soldier whom they pick up on the way. With simple heroism they try making their way to their goal, which in this case is a glass of ice cold beer in Alexandria on the coast.

The interplay between the characters and the growing bond they have in adversity is well played by the actors. John Mills' deeply troubled captain is particularly well acted. Harry Andrews, Anthony Quayle and Sylvia Syms are fine too. The other main character is the ambulance itself, gradually coming to pieces on the way, steaming and bumping along.

J. Lee Thompson was a very able director and there are some excellent scenes here. The minefield scene near the beginning and the hill scene near the end are great, tense and emotional. The beer scene is moving and uplifting. The best British films about the Second World War are generally about a small group of ordinary people who faced with crisis and peril just get on with it.

17 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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