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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 4 October 2009
I was Monty's Double (1958) Black and White
An evergreen classic, with ME Clifton-James, the man who really did act as Monty's double during the war, starring in a version of events that ensures a dramatic, if fictional, climax to an otherwise true tale of war time deception. A strong cast supports the lesser known star, John Mills is dry and amusing as Major Harvey. But it is Cecil Parker who steals the show with a wonderful performance as the absent minded genius working for British Intelligence. This is a light hearted, witty re-telling of ME Clifton's book recounting his part in a successful diversion from the D-Day landing destination of Normandy. Real footage of Montgomery's tour through North Africa is dropped somewhat clumsily into a very British studio film, but it has too much charm to detract from the whole. It's warm, affectionate wartime comedy that makes perfect comfort viewing.

Ice Cold in Alex (1958) Black and White
John Mills (in North Africa again) as the war worn Captain Anson who has turned to drink to cope with the stress of command. Harry Andrews plays his stolid Sergeant trying to keep him from his worse enemy and Sylvia Syms is the adoring nurse who they're stuck with in an Army ambulance that's seen better days, limping through a Nazi overrun Libya. Anthony Quayle's South African accent is probably enough entertainment in itself, he is the German spy who hitches a ride with them. It's the claustrophobic ambulance in contrast with the vast Libyan desert that provides a wonderful backdrop to the ensuing drama. The friendship and mutual respect that grows between the four is masterfully drawn. The hope of ice cold lager in Alexandria dangles before the thirsty crew and pulls them on to the best piece of product placement, Heineken, ever got for free. A war film of reconciliation.

Went the day well (1942) Black and White
The only one in this collection that was made during the war, this is a gritty Ealing drama of a typical English village on the South coast being occupied by some brutal Nazis. Leslie Banks plays a duplicitous fifth columnist in the midst of the unsuspecting villagers. Marie Lohr plays the gutsy Mrs Fraser and there are sterling performances from a strong Ealing cast with the spinsterly Elizabeth Allan coming to terms with the fact her only admirer is a Nazi spy. Frank Lawton and the lovely Mervyn Johns provide strong suppport. There are few laughs but plenty of superbly filmed propaganda. Simple courage and selfless action win the day against a remorseless, and seemingly unredeemable, foe that leaves you in no doubt who deserved to win the War. Black and white in every way.
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on 1 September 2008
The War Collection Volume 1

This is a great little set containing 3 B&W films

I was Monty's Double sees M.E Clifton James re-enact the real life role that he undertook during WW2 as Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery's double in an attempt to convince the Germans that the D-Day invasion would come from Africa instead of Britian.

Ice Cold in Alex sees a small group attempting to flee from Tobruk ahead of the German invasion, due to circumstances against thier control they are forced to cross the desert in attempt to reach Alexandria.

Went The Day Well is a film about a group of soldiers who arrive in a small English Village and turn out to be German soldiers, thier mission to prepare for a German invasion and the various civillians attempts to stop thier plans.

This is a great little boxset and well worth purchasing
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I have the 3 separate War Collection sets. Of the three, this is the weakest. "Went The Day..." & "Monty's Double" are average films. This, in itself, is not a criticism; they're both perfectly watchable but, equally, neither are anything special. A "no star cast" nevertheless gives solid, workmanlike performances in Went The Day, but the film is let down by the fact that, even for a wartime film, the basic story is rather contrived & unlikely. "Monty" is based on the true story of the deception performed by ME Clifton-James in the war. It does, though, plod somewhat, despite the presence of John Mills, and it's easy to see why Clifton-James struggled to find work as an actor; his fame rests solely on his resemblance to Monty, his acting skills are decidedly ordinary. There is a marked tendency for Amazon reviews to give either 5 stars or 1. Were I reviewing these films individually, I'd give them both 3. As I've said, this is not a criticism - they're enjoyable enough, albeit you won't watch them again that often.

What lifts this set is "Alex". This is inarguably a classic amongst war films. A strong story, an equally strong cast, and excellent direction too. This is most definitely a 5 star film. If you've already come across it, you don't need me to say any more; if you haven't, then perhaps the fact that I'm reluctant to give anything away might persuade you it's worth seeing? I hope so! In any case, at the time of writing, for less than £4, you get a 5* film with two other decent enough films thrown in effectively free. How can you resist? ;-)
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on 22 August 2011
If you're a fan of war films, then this trilogy is a must, especially if you've been on Mars and never seen the films.
'Went The Day Well' is a fairly plodding bit of wartime home front propaganda, which nowadays is a creaking old thing, and while worthy is unlikely to capture your interest. 'I Was Monty's Double' is a superb bit of fun with the double himself playing both, er, the double and Monty. The film has a very mischievous and rather funny thread running right through it, but it is well played in the serious vein too, as in the scene when 'Monty' addresses the Americans.
Last but by no means least, 'Ice Cold in Alex' is one of those immortal films. It should best be seen in cinemas where the rascally management turn on the central heating full blast even in summer, then make a fortune from selling ice cream. One sweats watching the efforts of the ill-assorted crew of the hefty ambulance as they flog themselves and it mercilessly across the North African desert to reach Alexandria, where the shattered Capt. Anson, having sworn off his too-familar drink, has promised to buy them all a glass of cold, dewy Carlsberg. And what a glass of Carlsberg it is. Unforgettable.
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on 1 August 2013
Very mixed;

' Ice cold in Alex' very good.
' I was Monty's double' Goodish, but skimped and very 'stagey' in places.
' Went the day well?' Forgettable I would only watch that one again if it was the only DVD that the burglars hadn't taken and the weather was cold and foul, and the shops were closed and the TV was out of action.
There were excellent war time films, I remember them well, but I do wonder why the compilers of this collection have chosen most of these? It's a pity, and seems like a missed opportunity to me.
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on 11 January 2016
Ice Cold In Alex is a fantastic film, Went The Day Well is good and I was Monty's Double is OK. They are all interesting films that are well worth seeing, each giving a different angle on WWII from none front-line perspectives but still managing to create interest and drama.
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on 15 July 2008
This set has three of the most important British war film in history.
I was Monty's Double. A Trueish Story a fine romp where an actor takes the place of the famous British General of WW2 to fool the Nasis.
Ice Cold in Alex. The Longest beer Ad in History. As a band of straglers make there way accross the Desert in North Africa talking about a certain familure beer found in Alexandria.
Went the Day Well. A forgoten classic. The Eagle has landed was claimed to be partly true but I guess this is the true story. A band of Royal Enginneers cme to a Quiet English village only to be exposed as Nasis and it is up the the home guard to save the day.

Yes three great WW2 films and while not up todays standards still great films.
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on 2 April 2014
These collections represent good value, but are inevitably always someone else's choice. 'I was Monty's Double' is a laboured effort with only the use of the actual man as a passing interest as he is not a good actor, and propped up by others who are. 'Went the Day well' is a disappointing film very dull. 'Ice Cold in Alex' redeemed the set and has stood the test of time.
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on 14 May 2013
Like JM as actor so, seen some on TV so nothing to exciting to expect. Ice Cold in Alex ok, the Monty Double having trouble viewing on DVD player for some reason, just keeps saying loading, will report if can not resolve.
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on 9 April 2012
Simply put, if you are as old as I am , you will have seen these on a Sunday afternoon, with mum and dad,

They are Black and White, War Films, John Mills ( of course ) ...

Need I say more
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