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File:Icecoldinalex 6729.jpg

Worth waiting for

Ice Cold in Alex is a World War II film about a bunch of British soldiers trying to outrun the Afrika Korps in the North African desert in an ambulance after they're cut off from their column in the wake of Rommel's assault. The drama concentrates on the interplay among the characters in their struggle to cross the desert alive rather than on the war happening around them, but provides an important framing device for their personal struggle.

Possibly the first post-War film in which the Germans were not simply depicted as a faceless and valueless enemy.

This film provides examples of:


 van der Poel: "So what do I do if he asks for a drink?"

Pugh:: "He WON'T!"

    • Also played straight on a meta-level; the heat of the desert and the characters' struggle is so palpable in this film that almost all who watch it will crave a beer after the finale. So much so that Carlsberg used the ending sequence in the bar, unedited, as a straight up advert for their own beer.
  • It Has Been an Honour: Van Der Poel to the rest at the end of the film although he isn't going to die, just be taken as a POW.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Murdoch and Anson clearly have chemistry, but Anson is all too aware of his problems.

 Murdoch: I'd like to be coming with you.

Anson: Too much of a handful.

Murdoch: You'll be coming back to Alex?

Anson: No. Wouldn't work out. I'd like to think it could, but... it wouldn't. I'd only make you unhappy.

Anson: See? I've started already.


 "You should never ask a man what he's doing when he takes a shovel into the desert!"

  • Oh Crap: Anson and Pugh at seeing their commanding officer blown up... but not for the obvious reasons.

 Pugh: "My toolkit!"

Anson: "My whisky..."

  • Officer and a Gentleman: Anson especially after he risks being tried for treason by concealing van der Poel's true identity as a spy from his superiors.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: A drunkard captain, an engineer, a refugee nurse and a lost South African soldier.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Averted; as Murdoch is about to apply lipstick before going into the bar for her well-deserved beer, she realises it was all used for marking the grave of Norton.
  • Shot At Dawn: Averted, thanks to the crew's admiration for German spy van der Poel/Otto Lutz.
  • Spot of Tea: Van der Poel is rumbled partly due to not knowing how to make tea in the desert properly
  • The Stoic: Captain Anson. Although at first his stoicism seems to come straight out of a bottle, his determination is what keeps the rest of the gang going.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: A given considering it's a war movie.
  • Those Wacky Nazis: Averted, in that the Germans are portrayed as normal soldiers who actually help the gang on one occasion although this is partly due to van der Poel being a German spy. Truth in Television to an extent, as Rommel was a highly honourable commander and the Afrika Korps were renowned for being as civilised as one can be in a war.
  • Unkempt Beauty: Sister Murdoch doesn't weather quite so badly as the men, but a few days in the desert gives her chapped lips and frizzled hair.
  • Worthy Opponent: Van der Poel at the end is saluted as one of these, and of course the desert itself.
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