Monday, December 20, 2010

Ice Cold in Alex (1958)

Director: J. Lee Thompson

Starring: John Mills, Sylvia Syms, Anthony Quayle, Harry Andrews

More info: IMDb

Tagline: They had to make it...even if one of 'em was a traitor!

Plot: A group of British Army personnel and nurses attempt a dangerous and arduous trek across the deserts of North Africa during WWII. The leader of the team dreams of his ice cold beer when he reaches Alexandria, but the problems just won't go away. One of them turns out to be a Nazi spy and they must all work together in order for any of them to survive the journey across countless hundreds of miles across a brutal and unforgiving desert.

My rating: 9/10

Will I watch it again? Oh, yeah!

Many months ago I was on a WWII movie kick that dealt specifically with the North African campaign. I think I watched a half dozen or more movies over the course of the week. Most of them were quite good. This was the last of that binge and certainly the best. ICE COLD IN ALEX is one of the finest WWII flicks I've ever seen. The acting by the four leads is superb and the location shooting looks magnificently hot and dangerous as hell.

Leighton Lucas delivers a fine score for this British adventure war drama. Enough can't be said about the performances. These men and women act their balls and ovaries off! J. Lee Thompson sure knows how to deliver tension. There are a couple of scenes (getting the truck up a steep dune, for one) that are absolute nail biters and when something happens that doesn't go their way, you're devastated.

The ending had me all choked up. Didn't see that coming. It's so well done that it should bring a tear to your eye. It's getting to me just thinking about it. In the two hours and nine minutes you spend with these people you really get to know them and like them. By the time their journey is over, you feel like you've been through some of it yourself. You've invested emotion in them and the payoff is beautiful. Unfortunately, it's still not available here in the U.S..

No comments:

Post a Comment