7.8/10
4,424
54 user 24 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.

Director:

J. Lee Thompson

Writers:

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

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Cast

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
Edit

Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Adventure | Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

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

Runtime:

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

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Black and White (archive footage)| Black and White

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the problems with the iconic final scene was that Sylvia Syms hated lager. See more »

Goofs

The CMP Officer and 2 CMP NCO's who enter the Bar to arrest the German in Alexandra are not showing any whistles with chains in their breast shirt pockets as all CMP would do. A chain should be seen linking from one pocket to the other. See more »

Quotes

Narrator: Two million men. Two million stories. This is one. It happens to be true.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: TOBRUK - 1942 See more »

Alternate Versions

When originally released theatrically in the UK, the BBFC made cuts to secure a 'A' rating. All cuts were waived in 1988 when the film was granted a 'PG' certificate for home video. See more »

Connections

Featured in War Stories (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
You Taste and Feel the Sand in Your Mouth and Eyes
29 October 2006 | by kitsilanoca-1See all my reviews

This taut, engrossing and exciting war drama is more a fascinating character study than just another WWII film. Made in the sweltering heat of the northern Sahara Desert of Libya, I found myself sitting up until 2 am to see it through to the end, enjoying every minute of it, feeling like I was experiencing every task of the events in the story along with the characters.

The story tells of ambulance corps officer played by John Mills named Captain Anson, whom the war has driven to drink, who is unwillingly ordered to leave besieged Tobruk before the Germans break through and take the strategically important town over. In his ambulance he takes with him two young nurses, along with the stalwart Sergeant Major Tom Pugh played by Harry Andrews, and heads out across the desert for Alexandria in Egypt. Their journey leads them through many obstacles, and along the way they pick up the enigmatic South African army officer, Captain van der Poel (van-der-POO-el he corrects them in his distinctly Afrikaner accent) played by Anthony Quayle, who has become detached from his unit and is looking for a lift. Can they beat the elements of the desert and make it to Alexandria, where Anson knows of a certain bar that serves the ice cold lager he so longs for and promises the others?

In height and build Mills is a much smaller next to big men like Andrews and Quayle, but I was very impressed with how his strong acting and personal inner character make him seem as tall and broad shouldered as the other two. I also admired how the whole cast put their all into the many no doubt very difficult scenes, obviously having to deal with the physically exhaustive work that was asked of them, the tortuous heat and sand fleas nipping at their legs. I could see they were feeling the affects and that adds to the realism of the whole film. Note even the lovely Sylvia Syms as the seemingly unshakable nurse Sister Diana Murdoch, didn't avoid having to look hot, sweaty and bothered like her male co-stars, unlike some Hollywood actresses of that time who I will not even mention. That and the ambulance must have been an oven during the whole shoot.! A truly unique film and worth the whole gripping two hours.


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