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One of the hottest films in production right now is the new George Clooney movie, Ocean's 11. On May 27, 2001, I'll be in the front row. It's got Clooney. It has Julia Roberts. It has Brad Pitt. It has Matt Damon. It has Don Cheadle. Steven Soderbergh is directing. However, back in 1960, it had the Rat Pack.
Frank Sinatra stars as Danny Ocean, the leader of 11army buddies who plan on robbing 5 Las Vegas casinos at midnight on New Year's Eve. Of course, everyone is in it for different reasons.
Tony (Richard Conte) wants to do it because he is dying and wants his wife and child to have some money to live on. Danny (Frank Sinatra) is doing because it's the only way left for him to try to beat Las Vegas. Sam (Dean Martin) is doing it because he wants to stay loyal to his buddies. Jimmy (Peter Lawford) wants to prove that he can do it and doesn't need a helping hand to get by in life.
Can they pull off the greatest heist ever? Since it has been 15 years since the war, have they gotten too slow? Too rusty? Will Sammy sing?
The movie captures that moment in time when the Rat Pack was controlling more than just the record business or the movie business. They controlled culture. Everyone wanted to be Frank, Dean or Sammy. They walked the streets of Las Vegas like they owned the place, and they did. Heck, they helped elect a President.
The film has a great plot and gives each character a little something special to do and a reason for his involvement. The script is full of wonderful, snappy one liners that flow from the actors mouths as naturally as a conversation in the park, but also includes some touching moments and great acting by Richard Conte. Best of all, the audience is left wondering if Ocean's 11 will be successful right up to the very end, and that's the way a good movie should be.
I recently read a quote from George Clooney, where he coyly suggested that his version would fix some minor flaws with the film. While the plot between Danny Ocean and his estranged wife is dropped quickly so it never is fully realized, I don't think there is much he can do to improve. However, I can't wait to see.
Sammy sings. Dean sings. That's worth the $3 right there! Rent Ocean's 11 this weekend.
Directed by Lewis Milestone
Written by Harry Brown and Charles Leaderer
Frank Sinatra Danny Ocean
Dean Martin . Sam Harmon
Sammy Davis Jr. .. Josh Howard
Peter Lawford . Jimmy Foster
Angie Dickinson .. Beatrice Ocean
Richard Conte . Anthony Bergdorf
Cesar Romero . Duke Santos
Patrice Wymore .. Adele Ekstrom
Joey Bishop .... Mushy O'Connors
Akim Tamiroff Spyros Acebos
Henry Silva . Roger Corneal
Buddy Lester .. Vince Massler
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