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  1. #1
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    If they are all so suspicious of the german spy going into the desert every evening with his spade, when do the rest of them take a crap? Also lipstick would never write on wood like that.


  2. #2
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    I don't know about you but I would be suspicious of anyone wearing a pair of shorts like Anthony Quayle does. Could be why constipation set in with the rest of the cast?.

  3. #3
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    ANNIE:



    If they are all so suspicious of the german spy going into the desert every evening with his spade, when do the rest of them take a crap? Also lipstick would never write on wood like that.
    Ice Cold in Alex is one of my top 10 all-time war movies...and there's very little action really.



    Sylvia Syms never looked so gorgeous as she did in uniform and sweaty working in the desert.



    The "South African" played by Quayle was suspicious because he took his pack with him every time he took a crap and always at EXACTLY the same time.



    I'm trying hard but I don't remember the lip-stick on wood writing scene.

  4. #4
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    Sylvia Syms used her lipstick to write Sister Denise Norton's name on the wooden cross they used as a grave marker. Taking the lipstick from her bag Sister Murdoch asks "will this do? I'm afraid its not waterproof". Which is a strange thing to worry about in a desert.

  5. #5
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    I agree with Polynikes.

    The measure of a great film is whether it can stand the test of time. "Ice Cold In Alex" surely does that. - It is brilliant ! The film has an excellent storyline and the acting and location cinematography is faultless. As you watch this film you gain a real sense of what it may have been like when British lines were in confusion at the spectre of the advancing Afrika Corps as our party try to effect an escape from the advancing Germans in a field ambulance.

    I also think that in the 1940's - before the days when synthetics were used in cosmetics, it is entirely believable that a lipstick (probably made from whale byproducts) would write on dry wood.

    Oh, and yes - Sylvia Syms was GORGEOUS !

  6. #6
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    At the time, I bet Ice Cold in Alex was the best thing since sliced bread for the Carlesberg brewery. Just think of all that free cinema advertising the firm gained.



    ---------

    Anthony

  7. #7
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    It seems every time I watch the film, at the end I say, 'Are they her real eyebrows?', according to my wife! I did not realise I said it. Having bought The Punch and Judy Man, the other day, I'm sure they are real, as they stay on when she wipes her cold cream off. (And yes, I can see why she stuck in my memory now!)Cheers folks.

  8. #8
    Rennie
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    Going a little off the subject of original posting, somewhere, very recently I saw a discussion thread about the exact location of the bar at the end of superb film. I have just been reading an extract from an excellent new book (forgotten title) containing trivia on various films. In it, John Mills is quoted as saying the bar was actually a studio set up, at I believe Shepperton Studios. He also said, that for some reason it was insisted upon to have fake lager drunk in the famous scene. However no concoction looked convincing so and lager was actually used. After, I think 14 takes, Mills says he was a little 'heady'!!

  9. #9
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    Ice cold in Alex "saved my life"

    When I was 13 i bought my first car an austin a40.

    It was a bit of a wreck and had no foot brake.

    We lived in an untarmaced road the council hadnt got round to adopting but I was forbidden to drive it.

    I used sit in it to practice the motions of driving from a book. once a week I would run the engine to keep the battery charged.

    One week I forgot and accidently combined the two I executed the perfect pull away I looked up to find the houses moving.I stopped safely but the car was now 200 yds from my door. I would be busted the car would be destroyed, I wasnt about to try driving in reverse.Then I remembered the scene where they crank "katie" up the dunes with the starting handle , It worked (my parents never did find out.) I also managed to get my sisters morris minor out of a muddy barn the same way,using the engine produced too much torque& wheelspin.



    I love that film ,the changes in pace give a nice sense of time without making it bitty. Echoing what was said previously I think a more modern treatment of the same script would be overloaded with action scenes.It was a film about people in a war rather than a "war film" I think for me that is its strength.



    If you are mean ,or like me a "full metal anorack" the only thing that could spoil it is the Landrover parked in the background in the last scene where Antony Quayle is being driven away. I dont think they entered production till around 1948.

  10. #10
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    Unfortunately,for all you "full metal anoraks"there is another thing too add,later-on in the film a plane flies over a drops a container down to the group,this was a Bristol Beaufighter.which was fine,the problem is it was a Mk10 which didn't actually see service until after the war!Did this spoil the film for me?Not a bit of it! :)

  11. #11
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    Sent away to UK for this movie. Fortunately the DVD played on my Dell, I wasn't aware their was a separate system for the states. Anyway loved the film. Quayle in the quicksand was harrowing. Occasionally John Mills looked like he was being groomed as a matinee idol particularly one love scene w/ Syms. His hair was so carefully coifed it almost looked like it was directed by someone else and inserted. Glad I had a beer in the fridge by the end.

  12. #12
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    I think You are right.

    But

    Can some one else confirm:-



    The "love scene" was re shot after the censor objected to the depth of ms syms cleavaage on display . So they had to do it again with one more button done up on her shirt?

  13. #13
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    In the voice-over preamble to this great movie we are told that the story is true. Is there anybody out there who knows if that's right or where I could find out more?

  14. #14
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    The author of the novel on which the film was based,Christopher Landon, served with the 51st Field Ambulance in North Africa during WWII.



    It is reasonable to assume the story is a composite of actual events he experienced or heard about.

  15. #15
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    Going a little off the subject of original posting, somewhere, very recently I saw a discussion thread about the exact location of the bar at the end of superb film.
    The scenes at the end of the film are taken in the 'Maidan Djzair' (Algeria Square) in Tripoli. The bar is still there (whether they actually filmed it, or reconstructed it in the studio I don't know). Its across the road from the main Post Office.

    The opening scenes from the film look as if they were taken of the 'Jebel Nefusa', which is a mountain range some 60 miles south of Tripoli. The dramatic escarpments are a feature of the area.

    Quite a few films used Libya (a great climate, and plenty of scenic variety) in the 50's and 60's.

    I lived and worked in Libya in late 1970's. Another film favourite is 'Flight of the Phoenix'. Whether it was actually filmed there I don't know, but the oil field workers and the airplanes haven't changed to much since the 1960's. They are still flying 'Twin Otters' on certain routes to this day.

    Another film on Libya well worth watching is 'Lion of the Desert', with Antony Quinn. Although a Libyan Government backed film, it is I think quite authentic, and cerainly I have not heard any sensible criticisms of it. Gives one an valuable insight into 20th century Libyan colonial history.

  16. #16
    Rennie
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    I am positive I have posted this somewhere before. In a very recent book on film trivia, Sir John Mills states that the interior of the bar was a studio set. He also said that every conceivable non alchoholic drink was tried as substitute for lager. None worked, so he happily had to 'endure' endless 'takes' slurping the real McCarling!!

  17. #17
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    hardgrafter:

    The scenes at the end of the film are taken in the 'Maidan Djzair' (Algeria Square) in Tripoli. The bar is still there (whether they actually filmed it, or reconstructed it in the studio I don't know). Its across the road from the main Post Office.

    The opening scenes from the film look as if they were taken of the 'Jebel Nefusa', which is a mountain range some 60 miles south of Tripoli. The dramatic escarpments are a feature of the area.

    Quite a few films used Libya (a great climate, and plenty of scenic variety) in the 50's and 60's.

    I lived and worked in Libya in late 1970's. Another film favourite is 'Flight of the Phoenix'. Whether it was actually filmed there I don't know, but the oil field workers and the airplanes haven't changed to much since the 1960's. They are still flying 'Twin Otters' on certain routes to this day.

    Another film on Libya well worth watching is 'Lion of the Desert', with Antony Quinn. Although a Libyan Government backed film, it is I think quite authentic, and cerainly I have not heard any sensible criticisms of it. Gives one an valuable insight into 20th century Libyan colonial history.
    Flight Of Thje Phoenix was shot in Buttercup Valley, California - also the desert location for The Garden of Allah, Beau Geste and The Empire Strikes Back

  18. #18
    Senior Member Country: England sanndevil's Avatar
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    ClapperLoader:

    At the time, I bet Ice Cold in Alex was the best thing since sliced bread for the Carlesberg brewery. Just think of all that free cinema advertising the firm gained.



    ---------

    Anthony
    In fact, at the "Sylvia Syms in Conversation" event at the BFI in April, she mentioned that she ultimately received an ex gratia payment of £25k for her work from the brewery. I would imagine the other leads got the same, perhaps more for Johnny?

  19. #19
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    The "love scene" was re shot after the censor objected to the depth of ms syms cleavaage on display . So they had to do it again with one more button done up on her shirt?
    Quite correct - quite a fuss was kicked up over her decollette that the scene had to be re-shot with that extra fastening !



    IIRC the publicity stills for the scene are with the extra button undone.



    Somebody said that the bar interior was a set at Shepperton - wasn't ICIA an ABPC Elstree shot picture ? If not, forgive an ageing memory... blush



    SMUDGE

  20. #20
    Rennie
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    Recently read the book, and interesting to note that in the final pages Sister Diana Murdoch and RSM Tom Pugh end up as an item, whilst poor old Captain Anson walks on down the road after their 'Ice Cold In Alex'. Also the lager is named, and it wasn't Calsberg. (sorry, didn't take a note of the name

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