IMDb > Ice Cold in Alex (1958)
Ice Cold in Alex
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Ice Cold in Alex (1958) More at IMDbPro »

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7.9/10   3,755 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Down 4% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Christopher Landon (novel)
T.J. Morrison (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for Ice Cold in Alex on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
27 June 1958 (UK) See more »
From Tobruk to Alexandria... they had to make it... even if one of'em was a traitor!
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for 3 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 1 win & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
My favourite war movie See more (51 total) »


  (in credits order)

John Mills ... Captain Anson

Sylvia Syms ... Sister Murdoch / Sister Diana Murdoch

Anthony Quayle ... Captain van der Poel

Harry Andrews ... M.S.M. Pugh

Diane Clare ... Sister Denise Norton
Richard Leech ... Captain Crosbie
Liam Redmond ... Brigadier (D.D.M.S.)

Allan Cuthbertson ... 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)

Walter Gotell ... 1st German Officer
Frederick Jaeger ... 2nd German Officer

Richard Marner ... German Guard
Peter Arne ... British Officer at Oasis

Paul Stassino ... Barman

Directed by
J. Lee Thompson 
Writing credits
Christopher Landon (novel)

T.J. Morrison (screenplay) and
Christopher Landon (screenplay)

Produced by
W.A. Whittaker .... producer
Original Music by
Leighton Lucas 
Cinematography by
Gilbert Taylor (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Richard Best 
Casting by
Robert Lennard 
Art Direction by
Robert Jones 
Makeup Department
Eric Aylott .... makeup artist
A.G. Scott .... hairdresser (as A. Scott)
Eric Allwright .... assistant makeup artist (uncredited)
Production Management
Barry Delmaine .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Gus Agosti .... assistant director
Art Department
Bill Beavis .... scenic artist (uncredited)
Sound Department
Charles Crafford .... dubbing editor
Les Hammond .... sound recordist (as Leslie Hammond)
A.W. Lumkin .... recording director
Len Shilton .... sound recordist
Special Effects by
George Blackwell .... special effects (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Val Stewart .... camera operator
Norman Warwick .... second unit photography
Steve Birtles .... electrician (uncredited)
Kelvin Pike .... focus puller (uncredited)
Music Department
Leighton Lucas .... conductor
Transportation Department
Eddie Frewin .... unit driver (uncredited)
Other crew
F.R.G.S. G.S. Thomas .... location consultant
Joan Kirk .... continuity
Walter C. Mycroft .... scenario supervisor (as Walter Mycroft)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Desert Attack" - USA
See more »
130 min | USA:76 min (1961) | UK:138 min (pre-censored version) (1958)
Black And White (archive footage) | Black and White
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound Recording)
Finland:K-16 | Iceland:12 | Sweden:15 | UK:PG (tv rating) | UK:PG (re-release: uncut) (2011) | UK:PG (video rating) (1988) (2002) (2006) | UK:A (1958) (passed with cuts) | USA:Approved (PCA #19618) | West Germany:12 (f) (cut)

Did You Know?

The song that van der Poel sings is called "Sarie Marais" and is used as a regimental quick march by the UK's Corps of Royal Marines. It first came to the attention of British troops during the Boer War.See more »
Factual errors: In the first encounter with the Afrika Korps the German troops are riding in two American WWII era half-tracks rather than the German half-tracks they would have been using at that time and location.See more »
Capt. Anson:[draining his glass of beer] Worth waiting for.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The 100 Greatest Films (2001) (TV)See more »


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31 out of 37 people found the following review useful.
My favourite war movie, 19 July 2002
Author: M Perry from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

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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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Ice Cold in Alex (1958)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Ice Cold in Alex barbara-123
Anthony quayle's shorts Sneakypanda29
ambulance reversing uphill djviner
How about a remake? wood_bee
Van der Poel name tags SueBee55
Second encounter with the afrika corp greensville
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