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You Can't Win 'Em All (1970) Starring Tony Curtis, Charles Bronson

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You Can't Win 'Em All (1970)

Starring Tony Curtis, Charles Bronson

As the Ottoman Empire collapses throughout Turkey in 1922, a number of adventurers from all over the world sign on to protect the locals from thieves and marauders--for a hefty price. Two such mercenaries are Adam Dyer (Tony Curtis) and Josh Corey (Charles Bronson), who are hired by provincial Turkish governor Osman Bey (Gregoire Aslan). Adam and Josh are expected to protect their boss' gold shipment, and to provide safe conduct for Osman Bey's three daughters. Along the way, our "heroes" decide to forget their mission and abscond with the gold, but their plans are foiled by their own inherent ineptitude--and by the bothersome interference of duplicitious Colonel Elci (Fikret Hakan). You Can't Win 'Em All is best described as a "western with fezzes."

Director: Peter Collinson
Writer: Leo Gordon

Stars: Tony Curtis, Charles Bronson, Michèle Mercier, Patrick Magee

The interiors of Osman Bey's Palace were filmed at Said Halim Pasha Manor, Turkey.

Was originally offered to director Howard Hawks, who passed on it.
Because of some fictitious historical events, the film was banned and never released in Turkey. After 43 years, on 26 May 2013, a digital TV platform broadcasted the movie for the first time ever.
The film takes place in 1922. The guns used are Thompson sub-machine guns with drum magazines and Lewis MG.
"The country, the people, were fabulous," said Tony Curtis shortly after filming ended. "The thing that did us in was the very shoddy British production set up. They promised certain things on location and didn't provide them. There were inadequate sanitary conditions: people got sick. The director, Peter Collinson? I have no comment about Mr Collinson. Some day I'll tell you about him."
Aircraft sequences were flown and coordinated by Charles Boddington and Lewis Benjamin. The aircraft were owned by ex-RCAF pilot Lynn Garrison who shipped several of his S.E.5 replicas from Ireland to Turkey for the production. They were previously featured in The Blue Max and Darling Lili and would go on to star in Von Richthofen and Brown, Zeppelin, The Great Waldo Pepper, and numerous TV commercials.
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 emphasis 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 never feels 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.
Attaturk, well played by Patrick Magee, commanded the Turkish national movement in the war of independence. His successful military campaigns led to the liberation of the country and to the establishment of Turkey. He transformed the former Ottoman Empire into a democratic, modern, secular nation-state. His reforms are referred as Kemalism. Ankara became the new capital and Kemal abolished the Caliphate and Sultanate. Later on, the Treaty of Lausana, signed July 24, 1923, established most of the modern boundaries of the country and also led to the international recognition of the new Republic as the successor state of the defunct Ottoman Empire under the government of Attaturk.