Based on the novel of the same name by Christopher Landon, Ice Cold In Alex is set in Africa in 1942. During a raid by the Afrika Korps, a British ambulance crew become separated from their unit and must find their way to Alexandria, through the desert, on their own. Their only hope lies in a dilapidated ambulance called Katy, Captain Anson, an alcoholic officer on the edge of a breakdown (played by John Mills), and the mysterious Captain van der Poel (Anthony Quayle) who may or may-not be a German spy.
Famous for the final scene of the film, which was used in a beer ad, Ice Cold focuses on the very human stories behind the horrors of war. Even the Germans – who in films of the period often end up as little more than Nazi caricatures – are shown to be decent people trying, essentially, to do what’s right.
British war movies have always been curious beasts. While other nations made films about their triumphs and heroes, even in times of war, Britain remained resolutely in love with the underdog. And it’s because of this that films like Ice Cold have survived the test of time so well. The big picture – the realities of war – can be overwhelming, but we can all connect on the small scale. And even 60 years on, the tale of Captain Anson and his itinerant band – “all against the desert, the greater enemy” – still resonates.
StudioCanal’s timely 4k restoration of one of the greatest British war movies looks glorious and, the good news is, that it will be released as part of their Vintage Classics Collection, showcasing fully-restored classics, with a mountain of additional content. Add it to your collection now.