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Ice Cold In Alex *Digitally Restored  [Blu-ray]
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John Mills stars in this war story set after the fall of Tobruk in World War II. Two English army officers (John Mills and Harry Andrews) and two young nurses (Sylvia Syms and Diane Clare) are driving an ambulance through occupied North Africa to Alexandria. Along the way they pick up a South African officer (Anthony Quayle), and more than once avoid capture and death while crossing the German lines. However, as the South African officer begins to undermine their confidence, they gradually come to suspect him of being a German spy.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Battle of Gazala, 1942. A British ambulance leaves Tobruk just before Afrika Korps cuts the city off. Five people are on board: Captain Anson (John Mills), a seriously shaken in battle officer from transport pool, his tough as nails chief NCO, mechanist sergeant major Tom Pugh (Harry Andrews), nurses Diana Murdoch (Sylvia Syms) and Denise Norton (Diane Clare) and an Afrikaner South African officer, Captain van der Poel (Anthony Quayle), who got separated from his unit and catches the ride with them to go to Alexandria. As Axis troops progress quickly, they have soon to leave the main road and cut through the most hostile regions of desert. This is how the film begins and the rest is the struggle of those five ill assorted people against the deadly dangeorus wilderness - and their own demons...
The film begins slowly and in fact during the first ten minutes I was actually wondering what everybody saw in it, but then it started catching momentum and I finally understood that everybody was right. It is a great film and a great story, with tragedy included but ultimately very uplifting.
The scenario is strong. The ending, always the most vulnerable point, is VERY good. There is a lot of tension and drama. Characters are well shown, with their strengths and vulnerabilities. The one point slightly less good was the romance element - I somehow found it a little bit artificial, but it ultimately is not all so important to the plot.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I watched this film years ago and enjoyed the drama, but now in the 21st century I found the patronising attitude to women and the automatic hero status of the very unheroic lead... Read morePublished 3 days ago by Manyaslip
had this film already but decided to go for the restored film ..was not disapointed the picture quality is very good ..and of course it stars the late great actor john millsPublished 1 month ago by rose
All-time favorite war film. Not many people have heard of it but it is truly grounbreaking (especially for 1958). Mills and Sims are exceptionalPublished 2 months ago by R. N. Leahy
An interesting story, addressing some aspects of war that we don't often think about - for example, that everything is not so clear as the propagandists would have us believe. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Geoff.S