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
Although Director J. Lee Thompson had seen The Wages of Fear (1953), he had not drawn direct influence from it for this movie. See more »
After some days of travel Sister Diana asks where Captain van der Poel is going with a shovel, to which the others reply, 'Never ask', implying that he is going off to the toilet. But surely well before this time this one of the others would have done the same, prompting the same question. At the very least she would have asked long ago what the arrangements were for such things in the desert. See more »
Two million men. Two million stories. This is one. It happens to be true.
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Opening credits prologue: TOBRUK - 1942 See more »
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 »
I recently watched the film again after many years. It bears its age well and I had forgotten the number of nail-biting sequences: brigadier's car blown up, chase by Germans, second check by Germans, Anthony Quayle in the quicksand, and best of all, "winding" the ambulance up the sand cliff to get out of the Qattra Depression, etc. etc.
The four main characters play their roles well although my personal favourite is Anthony Quayle as the South African/German. He successfully conveys a figure of strength and confidence, balanced by a sense of defeatism when his true identity is revealed.
John Mills is solid in his playing of the worn-out but still dogged British officer although he is diminutive against Anthony Quayle and Harry Andrews.
Sylvia Sims is plucky and just about believable whilst Harrt Andrews is totally dependable as the sergeant.
Altogether a cracking film !
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