Wednesday, July 26, 2017

You Can't Win 'Em All (1970)

Director: Peter Collinson

Writer: Leo Gordon

Composer: Bert Kaempfert

Starring: Tony Curtis, Charles Bronson, Michele Mercier, Patrick Magoo, Fikret Hakan, Gregoire Aslan, Leo Gordon, John Alderson, Tony Bonner, Horst Janson, John Acheson

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Two soldiers of fortune matching wits and guns against the armies of two nations!

Plot: During the 1922 Turkish Civil War, two Americans and a group of foreign mercenaries offer their services to a local Turkish governor who hires them as guards for a secret transport.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again?  Probably not.

#49 on Project: Badass Charles Bronson

LEVEL OF BADASSICITY (10 being the highest): 9

Charles Bronson in his prime at 49 in 1970.  'Nuff said.  I'm surprised I hadn't seen this one before but that's OK because, as one of my favorite action heroes, I welcome every opportunity to see a Bronson picture for the first time (well, almost).  This one is fun.  Bronson smiles a lot and looks to be enjoying himself.  I like that rarely seen side of him.  Tony Curtis plays his usual happy go lucky, always on the make with the ladies character that he played so often during this period which is fine as he's very good at it.  Bronson grins and kicks a lot of ass but it's Curtis that provides the occasional laughs and some of his reactions are very, very funny.  There's plenty of outdoor war action going on and the location shooting in Turkey makes this even more special and different.   Patrick Magee is fourth billed but he doesn't show up until the last 6 minutes.  He probably put in one day's work for a nice little paycheck.  The Turkish landscape is beautiful and I can't say enough about how refreshing it was to see such a different type of landscape and period this film was set.

As you can see by the above video, Bronson logs in 41 kills.  He would've had more.  In fact, not many people know this but it was in his contract that he would get all of the kills in every movie because he felt, and rightfully so, that no one would ever believe that any of his co-stars would be able to get a kill in while Bronson was on the job.  It's still hard for me to accept that his kill count isn't in the hundreds.  It turns out that behind that super masculinity and solid testosterone lies a compassionate man so, at least for this picture, he was generous enough to allow Curtis to get a couple of lethal shot in and some of the other cast members.  I guess he felt bad for some of his crew that didn't get any speaking lines so he told the director, producers and studio that some of the other fellas can shoot some mofos dead.  It's a little known story but I swear it's true because I just made it up.  Another top Hollywood secret is that the studios would allow scenes in his romantic comedies where he would off a bunch of lowlifes only to have the footage end up on the cutting room floor.  Bronson never knew this as he wouldn't watch his own movies and it was only after his death that that little piece of skulduggery was leaked out.  They even waited 8 years to release it for fear that a freshly deceased Bronson was still a lethal Bronson. 

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