A band of soldier friends from the 82nd airborne regroup 15 years later to rob millions of dollars from five Las Vegas casinos. When one of the eleven's future step-father learns who pulled the job, the crew must find a way to smuggle the loot out of town before their payoff is cut in half.Written by
I haven't seen the new remake of this movie yet, but they have some pretty big shoes to fill. Technically Ocean's Eleven may not be a great film, but whatever minor plot shortcomings that exist are made up for in spades by immeasurable style.
I'm not going to explain the plot, as I'm sure that 50 other people already have. It's been a while since I've watched an older movie, so I found the loose-yet-confident chemistry and acting of the brat pack members to be very refreshing. They seemed so natural around each other, which is no surprise considering that they were buddies in real life. Sammy Davis Jr. was his usual charismatic self (why didn't he take off with the money??), Dean Martin seemed to be playing himself, a bit tipsy and sweaty with a drink in one hand and a smoke in the other, as he does in most of his films, and Frank Sinatra was also good as the understated womanizing organizer. However, I thought that Cesar Romero (known for his manic portayal of the Joker in the 60's Batman tv series) really stole the show right out from under the overly confident brat pack...I found his performance to be very commanding and impressive. A nice surprise to see comedian Red Skelton and Norm Fell (Three's Company's Mr. Roper!) in there as well!
A few things hilariously go unexplained, like how they all managed to get casino jobs virtually overnnight, but it hardly seemed to matter. You know this movie is basically just a vehicle for the brat pack, and it's pure entertainment to just watch all these legends hamming it up, especially during the couple of musical interludes where you get to hear Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. croon a few really catchy songs, like E-O Eleven!
At the same time it's also a window into another era, a time of larger than life Hollywood stars. Another thing that really jumped out at me was how unabashedly politically incorrect this movie is, showcasing a dramatically different mentality than what we see in movies today. Ocean's Eleven is a pure guy flick, where all the women are no more than window dressing and are treated as such by the male characters. As dated as the macho attitude of the film may seem nowadays (and even already by late 60's standards), I found it to be a fascinating glimpse into the past when guys were guys and women were umm, dames! As ironic as it is, I found seeing this old movie without the typical modern day contrived politically correct preaching to be very refreshing, and somehow strangely rebellious!
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