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Ice Cold in Alex

"starring John Mills, Sylvia Sims, Anthony Quayle and Harry Andrews"

Ice Cold in Alex starring John Mills, Sylvia Sims and Anthony Quayle

Review

The title Ice Cold in Alex refers to the beer the heroes of this 1958 British World War Two classic plan to drink in Alexandria, once they have escaped from the Germans, negotiated minefields and survived both mechanical failure and the killing heat of the North African sands. The setting is Libya in 1942, at the height of the campaigns featured in The Desert Fox and The Desert Rats, and a disparate group in a military ambulance - which include a Nazi agent to add tension of one kind and a beautiful nurse to add tension of another - must make an epic journey to safety. The terror and poignancy comes from our certainty that not everyone will survive, such that the suspense sometimes reaches near unbearable levels. 

Director J Lee-Thomson was clearly inspired by the then recent French masterpiece, The Wages of Fear and handles both the character drama and set-pieces with great skill. He would go on to make another great war adventure, The Guns of Navarone, also starring Anthony Quayle, who then returned to the desert for the ultimate British war classic, Lawrence of Arabia.

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