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Ice Cold In Alex (Digitally Restored) [DVD]

John Mills , Anthony Quayle , J. Lee Thompson    Parental Guidance   DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
Price: £12.49 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Ice Cold In Alex  (Digitally Restored) [DVD] + Cruel Sea [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: John Mills, Anthony Quayle, Harry Andrews, Liam Redmond, Peter Arne
  • Directors: J. Lee Thompson
  • Producers: W. A. Whittaker
  • Format: PAL
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Optimum Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 12 Sep 2011
  • Run Time: 124 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 25,742 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



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 (1951) and The Desert Rats (1953), 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. Staring John Mills, Sylvia Sims, Anthony Quayle and Harry Andrews 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 (1952) 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 (1961), also starring Anthony Quayle, who then returned to the desert for the ultimate British war classic, Lawrence of Arabia (1962). --Gary S. Dalkin

Product Description

United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Mono ), English ( Subtitles ), WIDESCREEN (1.66:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Black & White, Cast/Crew Interview(s), Interactive Menu, Scene Access, Trailer(s), SYNOPSIS: The British Ice Cold in Alex was released in the US as Desert Attack. John Mills stars as Captain Anson, a grumbling alcoholic sent on a WW2 mission to Alexandria. Travelling to his destination by ambulance, Anson becomes acquainted with his fellow passengers, nurses Sister Diane Murdoch (Sylvia Syms) and Sister Denise Norton (Mary Clare) and South African officer Captain Van Der Poel (Anthony Quayle). One of these worthies is a German spy-and only two of the passengers will survive until the fade-out. SCREENED/AWARDED AT: BAFTA Awards, Berlin International Film Festival, ...Ice Cold in Alex ( Desert Attack )

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
53 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Blu Ray truly worth waiting for... 16 Jun 2011
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Finally, one of the greatest ever British war films comes to the format it was destined for. A tense, thrilling war picture and a superbly written and acted character study with career-best performances from some of the finest actors Britain has ever produced, `Ice Cold in Alex' is a film that demands respectful treatment in the transfer to high definition, and Optimum have more than risen to the challenge, providing a simply stunning Blu Ray that doesn't so much push the boundaries of what older films can look like on Blu Ray as it does smash clean through them.

Put simply, this is one of the very finest black and white high definition transfers I have ever seen, with a level of detail and clarity that is simply staggering. Whilst the old standard DVD was very presentable, this new restoration blows it clean out of the water. Gilbert Taylor's razor-sharp cinematography has never and will never look better than it does here. Fine object detail is beyond criticism, with the numerous desert vistas providing a visual treat, and close-ups revealing every pore of skin and bead of sweat, enhancing the gritty feel of the film. Grading is exceptional, with a deep and rich greyscale and no evidence of clipping even in the brighter scenes. Digital tampering is kept to a minimum, with a natural film-like look present throughout. The use of modern `sprocketless' telecine transfer means that there is no evidence of telecine wobble, with the image remaining rock steady from the first frame to the last.

As with Optimum's release of `The Dam Busters', the original BBFC censor card has been retained, another lovely little touch that helps to set this release apart.

Sound is also good, presented as a 2 channel mono PCM track.
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53 of 58 people found the following review helpful
Four people in an ambulance are struggling to cross the hot, blinding North African desert on their way from Tobruk to Alexandria. It's 1942 and Rommel's Africa Corps is just about to take Tobruk and continue its race to Egypt. There is Captain Anson (a blond John Mills), an ambulance officer stressed to the breaking point and just this shy of being an alcoholic; Sergeant Major Tom Pugh (Harry Andrews), a big, capable lifer who has been with Anson for several months and knows his weaknesses; Diana Murdoch (Sylvia Syms), a nurse who was stranded in Tobruk, who has a steady hand but has seen her friend, another nurse, die in an attack on the ambulance; and Captain van der Poel (Anthony Quayle), a strong, swaggering South African they meet in a deserted outpost. Captain Anson is persuaded to let van der Poel join them because van der Poel has three bottles of gin with him. He also carries something in a knapsack he refuses to let out of his sight.

Ice Cold in Alex is one of the best of the war movies Britain produced in the Fifties. It sets up a small group of people on a tense journey through a desolate landscape in a broken-down ambulance. We get to know these people...and we begin to worry whether Captain Anson is going to lose it every time he gets close to a bottle; whether van der Poel is truly a South African or a German spy; whether it will be Sergeant Pugh, or Nurse Syms, or van der Poel who'll get killed in one of the dangerous situations they encounter. And the movie has plenty of well-directed, tense situations coming one after the other. The four of them encounter mine fields that must be crossed, sand storms, Nazi ambushes and pursuits, capture by German troops they must talk their way out of (with van der Poel coming in handy), mechanical breakdowns and quicksand.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not a lot of people know this but... 24 Jun 2013
A superb film and an excellent transfer. This film has a particularly funny scene that the cinema going public never really noticed,and for the simple reason that they were not shown one of the later "takes". The scene at the very end of the film when the cast get to have their long awaited Carlsberg Lagers,the original Ice Cold in Alex of the title,involves John Mills knocking back a pint of Carlsberg Export Lager in one good guzzle.They had originally tried to use a substitute for the real lager but it simply didn't look right so they used the real stuff.Unfortunately for John Mills something went wrong with the later part of each take and this involved the entire scene being repeated,about 8 times, with the result that by the time the scene was finally filmed to the satisfaction of the Director John Mills was pissed out of his skull and had to spend the rest of the day sleeping it off.
A very fine film with a superb British cast that simply couldn't be made now because we don't have people good enough to pull it off.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Four Against the Desert; five with the ambulance 28 Dec 2012
Three of Britain's finest ever screen actors and WWII's most beautiful nurse. Can this get less than five stars? I'd give it ten if I could. Any John Mills film is good for me. Harry Andrews always with his quiet authority, and Anthony Quayle rarely quite at the front of a film but always leading it in his own way. Sylvia Syms, need I say any more?

The triumphs and tragedies of a samll group of people all with their own problems, one a disguised enemy. The desert backdrops. The unashamed tugging at heart strings. The comradeship. The themes are very familiar, but the scene of changing the spring, taking the ambulance up the slope, the final scene in the bar; these are as good as any scene in any movie. Ever.

This film lacks nothing; even the use of a US half-track by the Germans does not detract. Even amongst John Mills' wonderful legacy, I think this is his best.

A great book, too.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars No Subtitles be warned.
As someone who is hard of hearing I looked for the information on subtitles.It now appears Amazon have taken them off? Read more
Published 23 days ago by Ian D. Jones
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
it was just as described, received package very quickly would definately do business again. A+++
Published 2 months ago by Alan
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Brilliance !!
Classic British war story. This shows you do not have to have a megabudget and special effects to create a brilliant film. Read more
Published 6 months ago by David Speare
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic
One of the classic movies and looks great in this redigitised version. They don't make em like this anymore. Super.
Published 6 months ago by MH
5.0 out of 5 stars A great story
I have watched this many, many times as the story is excellent and the locations interesting. Superb acting by all four actors.
Published 8 months ago by R. L. Hore
5.0 out of 5 stars Good old Katy
I love this film, what more can I say. Watch it and those beers at the end, worth everything .
Published 8 months ago by Nosila
4.0 out of 5 stars Nailbiting thriller about WWII
A very good thriller set in the desert war of WWII. It has some unforgetable nailbiting scenes and an underlying spy story that makes it one of the best WWII films I have ever... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Helena Palmgren
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
love this film and also like the fact it is in black and white which adds to the atmosphere. A touch pricy for an old film but still worth it.
Published 10 months ago by William Thompson
5.0 out of 5 stars Ice Cold in Alex
Received in Excellent condition and just what was required to keep the grown ups entertained an excellent war film with good entertainment all around
Published 11 months ago by Les
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic British black & white...
Apart from a brief, delightful cameo from Liam Redmond as a lunatic British brigadier, and Diane Clare as the panicky & unfortunate Nurse Norton, this is a superb tale that... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Mr M.R.Watkinson
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