Ice Cold In Alex (1958 – Blu-Ray)

“Let’s hope the beer was all I said it was okay”

After enjoying John Mills in ‘Great Expectations’ I thought I’d have another dip into his oeuvre with 1958’s ‘Ice Cold In Alex’.  Like everyone in the UK I’m aware of the famous Carlsberg drinking scene through sheer cultural osmosis, but this was my first time watching.  The WWII plot follows a disparate group of Allies as the drive a battered ambulance across the searing heat of the desert avoiding landmines and german patrols.  John Mills is of course magnificent as a noble yet damaged and alcoholic officer who has the task of keeping their hopes alive by leading them towards a promised ice-cold beer in Alexandria.  The small cast of supporting actors is also outstanding including the unspeakably gorgeous Sylvia Syms.

‘Ice Cold In Alex’ ranks alongside other throughly stiff-upper-lipped British war films like ‘The Great Escape’ and ‘The Dambusters’.  It speaks not of garish patriotism but quite bravery and dignity in the face of seemingly impossible odds.  The Blu-Ray transfer has a gorgeous pin-sharp clarity defining every grain of red-hot sand and every bead of sweat on the ambulance crews faces.

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