Tuesday, 28 February 2012

You Can't Win 'Em All

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

Original Promotional Poster

Josh Corey - 'You gotta have faith. Just because a man lies, steals & cheats doesn't mean he's all bad'

You Can't Win 'Em All was a adventure western released in 1970 & directed by Peter Collinson who is best known for 'The Italian Job'. Starring Bronson & Tony Curtis this British production centered on two former U.S. Army soldiers who join a band of Turkish mercenaries in 1922.  Corey (Bronson) & Dyer (Curtis) are hired by a local governor, to escort his tree daughters to Smyran and to protect a gold shipment that is to accompany them. Nobody is aware that Elci, a local colonel, plans to seal the gold for himself, while a rebel general persues all parties involved.

This movie really doesn't feel like it's from 1970 at all. The late 60's & early 70's saw cinema gain a harder edge with more enthuses on realism and tougher violence. Yet You Can't Win 'Em All feels like a production more suited to the late 50's with it's light hearted approach. The violence feels kind of cartoonish and never threatening. Sure many people die in this film but it's never presented in a vicious way.The brawl in the bar early on in the film immediately tells you what you are in for, a nice gentle and predictable ride.

The war scenes feel very pedestrian & almost routine like you would find in almost any old western you'd find on daytime television re-runs & another downside is the clunky dialogue which feels awkward at the best of times.

The highlights of this film tend to centre around the relationship between Curtis & Bronson who share many witty & humorous exchanges which you would expect to see in a Lethal Weapon movie. However, an extra dynamic is added with their characters never fully trusting each other which is very similar to Eli Wallach & Clint Eastwood's relationship in 'The Good, The Bad & The Ugly'

Tony Curtis received top billing for this film & whilst he does have slightly more screen-time than Bronson he is completely outshone in his scenes with Bronson who's character seems much more confident & in control of his destiny than that of Tony Curtis. For this reason Bronson's character is a much more memorable one than that of Tony Curtis so despite not being top bill on paper manages to steal the show.

Despite this Bronson's performance is hardly a classic by any stretch of the imagination. Having given his most iconic performance as Harmonica in Once Upon A Time In The West just two years prior to this you can't help but feel that this is a massive step backwards

Overall You Can't Win 'Em All is a pleasant viewing with some light hearted action & humour here and there. It's completely forgettable & at times kind of bland yet it offers enough entertainment to make it an enjoyable & easy viewing.

Japan clearly knew who the star of this movie was

Also Known As: Soldiers of Fortune

Director: Peter Collinson

Year Of Release: 1970

Character: Josh Corey

Also Starring: Tony Curtis & Michèle Mercier

Age During Shoot: 49

Bronson Death Count: 12? 

Length: 97 minutes

Film Rating:  5/10

Bronson Rating: 5.5/10


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