27 November 1999 | BB-15
Ultimate Rat Pack Outing
Ocean's 11 never tries to be brilliant and is only sometimes good. The thin plot is a set up for the "boys" to look sharp (and they sometimes do), sing songs (which they do well) and to show off 1960 Las Vegas (which by today's standards looks pretty shabby).
This is a second rate heist story with a few gangsters thrown in. But after all, we have Sinatra and company. You can see that the excellent film, The Rat Pack, was very right on. Sinatra is his arrogant self. Martin is relaxed, Lawford is suave and the singing by Sammy Davis Jr. is great.
Ocean's 11 is a snap shot of what was "cool" in the ultimate era of coolness. It's all here, the clubs, the Marilyn Monroe look a likes, the flashy clothes and lots of money. It's better than imitations such as Swingers since Ocean's 11 is the source. Of course it includes the legendary bad treatment of women and African Americans. The actresses are either add-ons or pathetic martyrs (Angie Dickinson). As for Sammy, he puts up with the garbage man part, a racial slur (all in good fun of course!) and the self centeredness of these guys. I just admire him because he had to do it, so he could perform.
Back to the "fun". The boys get to be clever, then there's a surprise ending and finally we see them shuffle hung over in front of a casino. Every few years I check out Ocean's 11 not just to watch this silly movie but also to see the rats (or brats?) and chuckle (and wince) at an amazing time in the USA, baby.