58 user 29 critic

Ice Cold in Alex (1958)

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


J. Lee Thompson


Christopher Landon (novel), T.J. Morrison (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 4 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
John Mills ... Captain Anson
Sylvia Syms ... 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 Michael Nightingale ... C.M.P. Captain (Check Point)
Basil Hoskins 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


A group of Army personnel and nurses attempt a dangerous and arduous trek across the desert of North Africa during World War II. 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


International Critics Award for the Best Film - Berlin Film Festival 1958 See more »


Adventure | Drama | War


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The ambulance used is an Austin K2, which saw widespread service with the British during World War II. See more »


In the very last scene, as Lutz is being driven away from the bar by the British military police, a Land Rover can be seen parked next to the bar. The first Land Rovers were produced in 1948, six years after the battle of Tobruk. See more »


Capt. Anson: I'll tell you this, the next drink I have's gonna be a lager. Ice cold. There's a little bar in Alex with a marble top counter and high stools. They serve the best beer in all the middle east. When we get through with this lot I'm gonna buy you one. I'll buy you all one.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: TOBRUK - 1942 See more »

Alternate Versions

Original British version, "Ice Cold in Alex", runs 130 minutes. US distributor shortened the film in 1961 to 76 minutes and released it as "Desert Attack". See more »


Featured in Hollywood U.K.: A Very British Picture (1993) See more »


My Old Man (Said Follow the Van)
Written (1919) by Fred W. Leigh and Charles Collins
Sung by John Mills, Sylvia Syms and Harry Andrews
See more »

User Reviews

One of strongest character driven war films ever.
29 August 1999 | by DoctorSee all my reviews

This is a masterly example of how to make a film. The plot is simple, how to get an ambulance from behind enemy lines to safety, but it's given such force and power by the characters thrown together to achieve this. The alcoholic burnt out Captain, the solid Sergeant Major, the plucky nurse and the mysterious stranger. The performances are somewhat mannered by todays standards however they are all excellent, especially Harry Andrews (who rarely gets a mention) but who is the solid rock that holds the other characters together. Don't miss the original UK version, the shortened US version may be safely passed over. This film shows it is possible to make an interesting war film with hardly any violence.

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English | German

Release Date:

27 June 1958 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Ice Cold in Alex See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


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

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)


Black and White (archive footage)| Black and White

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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