Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Red Hot in Alex

One of Agent Triple P's favourite films set in World War 2 is Ice Cold in Alex (1958), an almost perfect drama set in North Africa.  Ever since we first saw this still of stars John Mills and Sylvia Syms we thought it carried a strong erotic charge and it still does.   In fact the amount of skin she is displaying here was too much for the British film censor who cut the scene so this amount of exposure does not appear in the finished film.  It just demonstrates that you can have an erotic picture without it being explicit.

Syms plays an army nurse stuck with a group of misfit troops struggling through the wartime desert in an ambulance to reach Alexandria and an "ice cold" beer.  She never looks anything less than gorgeous throughout, dressed in her uniform and usually glistening with sweat.

She can crank Triple P's handle any day

The heat was real as it was shot on location in the desert, although in Libya, not Egypt, as post Suez crisis Egypt would have been difficult for a British film crew at the time.

In the final scene of the film our heroes get their beers and the look on Sym's face is one of pure desire.  In fact it was very good acting on her part as she couldn't stand lager and they had to use the real stuff for it to look right on camera.  John Mills got through fourteen glasses of Carlsberg before they had the scene in the can.  

In the original novel, the beer is American Rheingold but the producers felt the name was too Germanic.  In reality, as Denmark was occupied by the Germans in WW2, they would not have been able to get Carlsberg in Alexandria.  More likely they would have had the local beer, which Agent Triple P used to drink in Egypt, Stella (not to be confused with Stella Artois), which Triple P's father also used to drink during his service in Egypt in WW2.


  1. This makes me want an "ice cold" beer. ;)

  2. Ah yes, I remember Stella beer from when I used to excavate in Egypt. Did you ever come across a wine called Cru des Ptolemies? It was really bad, but I used to buy it just for the name.

    1. No! If I had seen that I would definitely have tried it! I stuck to Lebanese wine in Egypt. It was always excellent.