7.8/10
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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.

Director:

J. Lee Thompson

Writers:

Christopher Landon (novel), T.J. Morrison (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

The was was bad enough - but the road from Tobruk to Alexandria was even worse! See more »

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

In the bar scene in Alexandria, Sir John Mills was drinking real beer because ginger ale and other substitutes didn't look real enough on film. In the final cut (the fourteenth take) he actually was quite drunk. See more »

Goofs

Although Basil Hoskins's character is described as Corps of Military Police lieutenant, his cap badge is that of the Middlesex Regt. The NCOs are wearing the correct MP cap badges. See more »

Quotes

Capt. Anson: [after the two nurses agree to go with Capt Anson across the minefield] Dames and mines. Lovely party.
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 »

Connections

References The Wages of Fear (1953) 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

 
Red hot in Alex
4 May 2004 | by henry-girlingSee 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.


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