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"Ocean's Eleven" could never be made again...
Nazi_Fighter_David19 February 2002
Warning: Spoilers
The only real pleasure in "Ocean's Eleven" is being let into the Rat Pack circle for a couple of hours... The film stops all too frequently for guest spots and in-jokes, with a slow first hour... Compared to Jules Dassin's 'Rififi,' or to Phil Karlson's 'Five Against the House,' it pales considerably...

'Ocean's Eleven' is a weak heist film with the emphasis firmly on light humor, and few diverting escapades, but nobody cares because the cast includes the biggest stars of the day (Frankie, Dino, Sammy etc...), burning the motion picture into the collective memory of the public as the first to showcase Hollywood's notorious Rat Pack...

'Ocean's Eleven' is a buddy movie made with real buddies, and it's fun... It in't supposed to be very good... It is supposed to be cool... A playground for legendary entertainers, these guys knew how to get the job done, to pause only to knock back innumerable Whisky sodas, wear their tuxedo, hang out in bars, talk the talk, belt out a couple of classy little numbers, and have a great sense of fun together on screen... And this fun filtered off the silver screen and into the audience like a tasty appetizer before the main course...

Old Blue Eyes is the mastermind of the heist... He is carrying out a plan originated by racketeer Spyros Acebos where five gambling casinos (Sahara, Riviera, Desert Inn, The Sand and The Flamingo) will be robbed simultaneously at midnight on New Year's celebration...

During the week before Christmas, the 'special combat team' (all experts in one thing and another) arrive in Las Vegas, for the job-of-a-lifetime... The scheme of the robbery is ingenious, requiring military precision and perfect timing... An electrical tower will be blown up to black out the whole town... The swag will be deposited in garbage cans outside the casinos, and the cans will be collected by a disposal truck...

On New Year's Eve, the hold-up goes off beautifully, exactly as planned... Only one of the men has a heart attack on the street and collapses... The gang cannot get the multi-million loot out of Las Vegas but they manage to hide it in some place, unknown to them, however, that 'someone' was preparing for them all a nice wry outcome...

Dean Martin, the eternal essence of cool, is the entertainer who sings "Ain't That a Kick in the Head,' and Sammy Davis Jr. is the perennial icon of cool who sings "EEO-Eleven.'

Peter Lawford is the playboy with one objective and one mission: To hit Las Vegas, Nevada!

Angie Dickinson is the understanding wife, discreet, feminine and chic... Unfortunately the camera does not especially flatter her looks...

Richard Conte is the master electrician dying of cancer, who needs to leave some cash for his kid's college...

Cesar Romero is coldly menacing and very amusing: 'They shouldn't have done it while I was in town. It's embarrassing!'

George Raft is the mob with the best deal to get the money back...

Akim Tamiroff is hilariously neurotic as the master planner...

Buddy Lester wants to get his wife out of stripping...

Shirley MacLaine is the drunk gal in urge for a little kiss in a critical moment...

Red Skelton is the unlucky player, arguing with the casino cashier how to raise his gambling limit...

"Ocean's Eleven" could never be made again... The new 'Ocean's Eleven,' 2001 is considerably different in the details.. After all, there was only 'one' Rat Pack, and if the Ocean's Eleven of 1960 is anything, it is certainly a Rat Pack movie... So if you still have a strange fascination with this gang of friends, and like to watch essentially a these guys playing around on screen, and to watch Las Vegas as it looked in 1960, well... check out this nostalgic trip back... You'll never see its like again...
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Ultimate Rat Pack Outing
BB-1527 November 1999
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.
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The Rat Pack in a pretty amusing heist romp movie
ma-cortes12 October 2005
The picture talks about the biggest robbery of all . Spyros Acebos (Akim Tamiroff) pulls off a scheme introducing the plans for a new business venture : simultaneously burgle five casinos in Las Vegas as Sahara , Flamingo , Golden Nugget , Riveira and Desert Inn . He agrees with Danny Ocean (Frank Sinatra) backed by a motley and eclectic gang to execute it , formed by 11 pals ( Dean Martin, Peter Lawford, Sammy Davis, Richard Conte , Norman Fell, Richard Benedict..). The crew back in action , now veterans , after fighting in Second World War at 82nd Airbone division as paratroopers . We wouldn't call it a special group just Danny Ocean and his buddies , the night they blew up all the light , shutting off the electricity in Las Vegas . Millions dollars are taken from the casinos . But the elaborated plan itself goes wrong . They encounter complications when an investigator (Cesar Romero) discovers the tracks . This adaptation achieves one of the greatest entertainments of the history of motion pictures . We never met a band like Ocean's eleven .

From the beginning until the end the comedy and giggles along with moderated action are continuous . Besides , it has got an intelligent script and an extraordinary final surprise . Significant portions of the movie interactions between major characters were ad-libbed . The actors playing the leading roles all knew each other well and improvised dialogue as well as or better than the script . For comic relief in charge of the various relationships among several characters and their numerous jokes . Splendid songs by Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr and sensitive ending song by Frank Sinatra . Appears uncredited Shirley McLayne in an agreeable comic performance , Red Skelton and George Raft as invited actors . Superb and stunning musical score by Nelson Riddle (author of Batman TV music). Enjoyable and glossy cinematography by William H. Daniels (Greta Garbo's usual photographer). Director Lewis Milestone's masterpiece of the amusement and entertainment . The movie was remade by a funny and stylish remake with George Clooney and director Steven Soderbergh and several sequels . Rating : Good and nice . Worthwhile watching.
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fun snapshot of the Rat Pack
didi-518 June 2004
This version of 'Ocean's 11' hardly needed a plot, did it? Just an extended ad for the Rat Pack's Vegas shows and the enormous ego of Frank Sinatra, here strutting his stuff as Danny Ocean, leading his war chums in a plan to rob numerous casinos in one night.

So we get Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Peter Lawford, and Joey Bishop (did they play characters in this? can anybody remember who?) and a fun romp to the pay off - still getting referenced in films being made today. George Clooney's remake was nowhere near as much fun. There's music in this movie, of course (with that cast you'd be disappointed if not), plus appearances from Angie Dickinson, Shirley MacLaine (uncredited but noticeable), Cesar Romero, and Errol Flynn's widow Patrice Wymore.

This really is a lightweight lark if you're in the mood. Is it a good film? Probably not. Is it good entertainment? Absolutely.
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Good old fashioned well humoured heist flick
discogoth9 December 2001
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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1960 Ending / 2000 Ending
caspian197818 January 2005
Warning: Spoilers
The original Ocean's 11 will always remain a classic because of the Rat Pack. It is unfair to compare both Ocean 11's movie because of the different cast, different stories, and completely different endings. Still, looking at both films, you can make a case for both why each is better than the other. Frankie, Dean, Sammy, Peter and Tony are all gone now, making the cast of the original legendary. The remake is more realistic as it answers many if not all the questions that the original failed to answer. Even for a Rat Pack movie, the original turns out to be more campy that the remake. The ending alone is worth discussion. In 1960, how wrong is it to have the criminals get away clean? For 2000, it is not only welcomed but rewarded if the "little guy" can out do or cheat the big system. For 1960, the ending of Ocean's 11 advertises that crime does not pay.
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The Heist of All Time
bkoganbing18 January 2006
I remember back in the day when the commercials were out for Ocean's Eleven it was described as the heist of all time. It wasn't exactly that, but there is a spirit of camaraderie that is present through out the film.

Frank Sinatra had signed a picture deal with Warner Brothers and was beginning a long term commitment to the Sands in Las Vegas. What better way than to combine everything at once. A film on location in Las Vegas.

So Frank got his pallies together and they filmed Ocean's Eleven in between shows at the Sands. They also managed to get into another film, several of the principal players in Ocean's Eleven did guest shots in Pepe while at the Sands.

Ocean's Eleven has a lighthearted insouciance about it, a group of former Airborne Rangers get together in Las Vegas for a heist of the big casinos carried on with military precision. Why waste all that good airborne training now that they're civilians.

Sinatra doesn't sing in this, I can't imagine why he didn't give himself a song here, but Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr. did sing two numbers suited to their talents.

Ocean's Eleven marked the first time that Richard Conte worked in a Sinatra film. He became a Sinatra retainer in his later years, appearing in several Sinatra films. They parted when Conte appeared in The Godfather against Frank's wishes.

After Ocean's Eleven came Sergeants Three with the main cast members appearing again. After that the Rat Pack broke up with these guys going their own way, though many of them did have joint projects together over the years. The quality of the films went down hill, except for Robin and the Seven Hoods. That was a musical and not something to be done in your spare time.

The remake of Ocean's Eleven that George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and several other name players of today did was a far more serious film. Good in its own way, but just not the same.
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The Kings of Old Vegas
misslv8027 February 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Ocean's Eleven is the definitive Rat Pack film. I have not seen the remake, but it's hard to imagine a new crew who could pull off a Las Vegas heist like old Frank, Sammy, Dean, and all the rest. Ocean's 11 represents a period of time when the Rat Pack were at the top of their game. I really liked the simplicity of the film, that snappy and campy Rat Pack humor. The film has a great score by Nelson Riddle and the intro/opening credits of the movie were very imaginative for its day. Watching this movie, I was almost rooting for the guys to pull off the heist and get away with it. The movie also features Angie Dickinson, who plays Sinatra's long-suffering wife, Cesar Romero as a shady character who is engaged to Peter Lawford's mother, and Norman Fell (who went on to play Mr. Roper in Three's Company) as one of the Eleven. Shirley Maclaine also has an uncredited cameo. It's definitely a must for any Rat Pack fan!
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Exception of the Rule
kosmasp9 May 2007
The exception of what rule? The Rule that says (at least as listed in most books) that the original (movie) is better than the remake. Well here comes this movie, to show you, that that isn't the case. A shame then, because the stellar cast (after all you get to see the Rat Pack at work here!) promises so much more, than you actually will get out of it!

Although it seems to be more the fault of the script than the cast, I can assure you that I did watch this movie before I watched the remake (which is crucial, to not be afflicted by the impact of the movie) and it just doesn't sustain the comparison with the remake! That's how I felt!
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What's your drink?
bobc-519 July 1999
While other movies try to induce the willing suspension of disbelief, this movie goes the entire opposite direction and never lets us forget that these are entertainers putting on a performance. In case you weren't entirely sure, the closing shot leaves no doubt. As one reviewer perfectly describes it, "The blurred boundaries between showbiz and private life seem to have vanished for good." That's quite an accomplishment!

The stars aren't acting, they're partying down in an elaborate role-playing game and inviting you the viewer to play along with them. Join the party and for 2 hours you too can be a swinging, sophisticated member of the rat pack who can simultaneously handle a martini and cigarette in one hand and doesn't have to pause for even a second when somebody asks "what's your drink?". "Ocean's Eleven" is the "Pulp Fiction" of the Kennedy era - a movie that makes you feel hip just to watch it.
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It's All For Laughs! So Chill Out!
angelsunchained30 September 2018
This is Rat Pack heaven; not a serious drama. The Rat Pack and friends laughed all the way to the bank. Heck, every cocktail waitess, showgirl, party girl, model and female friend of the Packers all got one liners in this ego infested fun. People overthink this movie. Nothing to dissect; it's all drunken Rat Pack fun. So, ring a ding ding and ding a ding ring.
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This movie stinks but looks cool.
anchovyd16 September 2011
I first saw this movie when I was a little kid. Being a big Sinatra fan and a lover of 60's and 70's movies I watched it again last night. I remembered loving it as a kid but now I have to say that this movie stinks.

Sure it looks all 60's cool and has Sinatra, Martin, and Davis but honestly it was Cesar Romero who stole the show. Romero housed every member of the rat pack. This guy was on a different level from the rest of the cast and it showed. Sinatra was phoning it in as was Martin. The only guys even trying to act were Davis and Lawford. After the film was over I had a new found respect for Cesar Romero.

Okay now that I've crapped on the acting which was mediocre with the exception of Cesar R. I really have to crap on the writing, but this is more like something after eating five black bean burritos with chiles and a quart of Mexican tap water.

Who is the Greek guy? Why is he even in the film? It looks like Sinatra has the thing planned out what did this guy do? I guess he was there for comic relief but not only was he annoying but his purpose is never really explained. Why would the 11 cut him in, he didn't do anything.

Next, you mean to tell me that there is no security in the money room at a casino. I mean basically these guys turn off the lights and only have to subdue one or two money counters before getting to the safe at each casino. I can suspend my disbelief as much as the next guy but you'd have to be brain dead to buy into this part of the story.

Finally, the Ocean's 11 gang are spread out from Phoenix to Salt Lake, to San Francisco and Los Angeles. The gang descends on Vegas to pull the heist but then as a matter of coincidence everybody's mistress, mom and fiancé also decide to go to Vegas for the New Year's festivities, to throw a monkey wrench in the heist and put Cesar Romero on the case. The script is weak. Decent story but the execution is lame from the get go.

After seeing so many rave reviews for this flick I just had to chime in. Giving it a 9 out of 10 because this "isn't supposed to be a good movie" is a sorry excuse. So is the lame excuse "hey these guys are just being themselves and goofing off like they do when the cameras aren't rolling." To my eyes the Rat Pack weren't having fun. They looked bored and like they were all mailing it in. Looks more like they had a contractual obligation to make this flick and they didn't put any effort into it. Like I said the only guys trying were Sammy Davis Jr, and the scene stealing Cesar Romero.

As a heist film this movie stinks. Rating 1/10 Good premise, that's it. Acting stinks for the most part: 3/10 (Cesar gets an 11/10.) Script: 0/10 Style Points: 8/10 pretty cool display of 60's cool. Needed more exteriors and cars to bring it to 10/10 the sets were cheap too.

Overall a 4/10 for me. Sinatra and gang normally cool but are borderline lame in this movie and it's the script that should have been put in that casket with Richard Conte, not the mony.
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Not the best, But if your a devoted Rat Packer.........
furs4u8 February 2006
Not the best, But if your a devoted Rat Packer.........It's a fun time and great to see them all in the Vegas of past.. when Vegas WAS VEGAS!! It was still great to see the likes of Donald O'Connor and Red Skelton as the headliners and see the elegant lounges where thery would all perform,up close and personal not for 100-300 feet away. You could walk up to them after a performance and actually chat with them as they left the stage. Everyone was dressed in suits,tuxedos, and formal dresses, wearing furs and everyone smoking. If you remember the the days of no cell phones, using the operator to make long distance calls, no computers, walkmans, cassette and 8 tracks tapes, then this is one movie you should love.
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Ain't that a kick in the head? Ironically those words sum up my exact feelings on this film
jimbo-53-18651123 March 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Running with the general consensus that the original is better than the remake, I decided to sit down and watch the 1960 'Rat Pack' original version of Oceans 11 and words honestly can't express how disappointed I felt after watching it.

The film starts OK and has a light comedic approach and starts to build its foundations pretty well. I'm prepared to accept that Oceans 11 needs some build up in order to establish the players involved in the heist; whilst it starts out fun, it quickly becomes arduous and generally very tedious to sit through the over-long introduction. Was the soap opera aspect with Danny Ocean and his wife really necessary? Oceans 11 redeems itself slightly in the second half when we finally get to the heist which I'll admit was quite clever and imaginative. Despite this though, the original version of Oceans 11 just seemed to be missing something; it lacked any sort of spark, it lacked fun and any real excitement. It's been a long time since I've seen the remake so I'm not really in a position to give a 'blow by blow' analysis of the two films, but I do remember enjoying the remake much more than I enjoyed this film.

The film throws in a plot twist later involving heads of the 5 Casinos and Duke Santos (who figures out that Oceans gang have stolen the money). The Casino bosses offer Santos 30% of the total money that's stolen if he's successfully able to recover the full amount. This twist perked my interest, but it never went anywhere and seemed pointless when we then learn what direction the film took at the end (I'll admit it was surprising, but not in a good way - I actually found the ending a bit dumb and anti-climactic if I'm being totally honest).

I had high hopes for this film and figured that because I enjoyed the remake that I must surely enjoy the original. However, despite a strong start, the odd bit of light humour and a relatively clever middle section, the film is counter-balanced by an over-long set-up, unnecessary soap opera and for the most part it just lacked fun and excitement. Mediocre and not worth bothering with.
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A classic best left in the 60s
wondernat15 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I know it's unfair to judge a historical piece from a modern perspective, but I can't help but throw in some of my own personal bias against this Dino quote: "(If I were elected in public office) I'd repeal the 14th and the 20th; take the vote away from women and make them slaves." That quote was enough to ruin my illusions of the movie. It was hard to believe that even in the 60s it was OK for men to say stuff like this in the mainstream. *Sigh*

Another thing that sucked was the end -- how is it that after all they went through, they didn't get to keep their loot? Once again, I suspect they had to appeal to the (unfortunate) white and self-righteous general public that would've just been up in arms about the thieves getting away with their crimes at the end. It just wasn't satisfying to watch all of these cool cats walk away from Vegas empty-handed. Again, I suppose at the time this film was made, such ending would never have been accepted. (But still!)

However, it's a fun movie and nothing takes away the fact that this is was the "IT" movie - super cool, suave and Rat-Packed! Dino and Sammy Davis, Jr. make this film so smooth with their numbers. It was truly awesome to watch them perform. I wouldn't call it a musical, however, because their numbers were brief and scattered, rather than often and organized. I think that's what made it fun: you never know when they're going to belt it out for the audience.

This is what makes me think that this movie was made primarily to get the Rat Pack together in a film. It was fun to watch all of these debonair gents strut down the Vegas Strip on New Year's Eve, but if watched for anything other than this angle, you may be slightly disappointed. Good thing I'm something of a Dino fan.
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NF0931 May 2005
Two years ago, when I was twelve years old, I watched a video called On the Town.Uneducated little dunce that I was, before that I'd known only vaguely of Francis Albert Sinatra. And after spending half the movie trying to figure out which of the three sailors WAS the Sinatra of whom I had heard vaguely, I finally decided correctly on the adorable, skinny one with blue eyes. And promptly after that, I announced to several uninterested audiences that I was a fan. I am now fourteen. I have read 60 or 70 biographies on him and his contemporaries, have seen approximately 25 of his sixty movies, have heard and memorized a sizable amount of his complete discography, have written quite a few essays and reviews, and would be more than happy to recite to you a detailed account of his career, life, and the tremendous gossip and legends that followed it about.

I think those uninterested parties are starting to believe me.

In any case, I am a definitive Sinatra adorer writing a review for one of his movies, so I'll warn you before hand: it may be a little bit biased, but I'm going to be as honest as I can. All right. You've been warned. Carry on then.

The main problem I've read about in these ''instructive criticism reviews,'' is that this movie moves much too slowly, meaning that for the first hour or so the picture is about Frank and company, not about eleven guys holding up a couple of casinos. I readily admit that, and so much the better. If you expected to see the latter when you saw the posters proclaiming FRANK SINATRA!! DEAN MARTIN! SAMMY DAVIS JR.!!, you are extremely dense and certainly deserve your disappointment. Yes, believe it or not, this is a RAT PACK movie, and as such it happens, by a strange twist of fate, to be about the Rat Pack. Elementary, my dear Watson.

Another complaint involves severe lack of plot.(See above inscription.)

Yet another of the whiners has pouted that none of the cast appears to have much interest in what they're doing. I would like to mention here that, like they themselves modestly pointed out in a gag used frequently on various Vegas stages, they could do this kind of stuff anytime they wanted to. At this moment in time Frank Sinatra was the #1 singer in the country, the #1 box office attraction in the country, one of the highest paid individuals who ever won an Oscar or a Grammy, the biggest draw in Las Vegas, or anywhere else for that matter, had more power than all the Harry Cohns and Louis B.Mayers put together, and was on his way to Camelot with Senator John Fitzgerald Kennedy. The Rat Pack playing at the Sands was such a gigantic draw they were having to turn down thousands of reservations, and when Ocean's 11 was released it immediately made the list for the biggest box office smashes of all time.

In other words,even if the whiner's complaint is true, (and I don't think it is) it's laughable to imagine that the Clan's not especially caring whether or not they won Academy Awards would stop either the success of the movie or (ha) their careers.

Anyway, if they are blasé in the picture, they are the coolest not-caring actors in show business.

There is also a much more serious accusation that many people actually believe. And I honestly believe that this accusation is not true. This rumor involves the color conscious sixties, some allegedly racist jokes, and Sammy Davis Jr.

Yeah, the Rat Pack told some jokes about Sammy. On the Copa Room stage

many an audience would roar at stupid gags like ''Keep smilin' Smoky, so everyone knows where you are" and '' Nat King Cole was a merry old soul.A merry old soul was Nat King Cole.... A merry old COLORED soul,'' and ''Have you noticed how much better it sounds when he does his own people rather than our people?'' And, of course there were the times when Dean would scoop little Sammy up in his arms, waltz forward, and say ''I'd like to thank the NAACP for this trophy.''

Sam, for his own part, would come on after Dean sang ,''Did you ever see a Jew - jitsu? Well, I did.'' and complain on cue ''How would you like it if I said,' Did you ever see a wop-SICLE!!!''

It didn't mean a thing. It wasn't cruel. It was corny, hilarious chatter between three grown-up boys who treated each other - and kidded each other- like brothers. It's only since then that the situation has been contorted into a racial injustice by idiots who are looking for a fight. That's all.

I guess that about sums up the Defence's case, unless the Prosecution has anything it wishes to add. No? All right then.

I love this movie. I'll admit that. I know there is probably a grand total of 3 critics out there who agree with me, but I'm not a critic. I'm a fan. I'll never tire of watching Sam dancing on garbage cans as he sings Ee-o-eleven, or be bored watching Dean, with his nonchalant cool, croon about you-know-what being a kick in the head, and I can't watch that last scene enough where Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr. stroll past The Sands' sign that advertises.... I'd better not give it away. Watch it yourself.

There are plenty of better movies out there- but there was only one Rat Pack.

And, no matter what anyone say's- They were magic. This is magic.

Ring-a-ding ding.
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An Unpolished gem; a Mission-Adventure Comedy With Characters and Style
silverscreen8883 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Please, forget whatever you have heard about this film. It is a very interesting adventure-comedy, very-well directed, decently-acted and intelligently presented. The "Rat PacK' whom singer Frank Sinatra had gathered about him in the late 1950s and early 1960s included singers Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin, comic Buddy Lester and Joey Bishop and actor Peter Lawford. This is the best film this group of friends ever made together, one absolutely filled with interesting character revelations, old Sinatra songs used as background and fine co-stars including Ilka Chase, Cesar Romero, Angie Dickinson, Akim Tamiroff, Richard Conte, Henry Silva, Patrice Wymore, Norman Fell, Richard Benedict, Jean Willes, Clem Harvey and George Raft. This effort has very good dialogue, many interesting confrontations between characters and the best portrait of Las Vegas 1960 available anywhere. It also has that rare achievement, style,, and a fascinating plot-theme. Danny Ocean's old outfit from WWII have been home 15 years-- and they are finding there is no place in a corporate-government bureaucratized United States for independent minds--they are all facing a "system" that wants no part of men who think for themselves or want justice and are willing to work to get it. Enter Tamiroff, who plays an idea man--Acevos--who with the help of Sinatra and Lawford concocts a daring plan to rob several Las Vegas casinos on New Year's Eve of millions of dollars. The plan requires commando-like precision and skills--so Ocean recruits his hungry war buddies, ranging from Conte with a serious heart condition who wants to do something for his son, to Lawford who just wants to recapture the wartime sense of purpose, to bright, talented Sammy Davis, stuck on a garbage truck. The plan is initiated and set into motion step-by-interesting step; but even when it comes off flawlessly, the outfit is not home free. Chase's fiancée, Romero as Duke Santos, a man who plays the percentages and has gone legit is hired by the casinos' owners to find the money for a finder's fee; and he puts two and two together--and comes up with eleven. The surprise climax, as the money, secreted for out-of-town delivery in the coffin of a dead Richard Conte, ends up being burned in a cremation ceremony as the group are present for the funeral is a classic of its sort. Of course, this disaster robs Ocean's team of their proceeds, but keeps Santos from profiting and makes sure they do not go to jail. At the end, the eleven wander into the sunlight, to ponder perhaps another scheme to get the justice that seems to be nowhere for them. The film has a very-special look. with Nelson Riddle's music, Lewis Milestone's veteran direction and a good script as its main underproppings. This is a storyline so strong it can be a mission film, an adventure and a satirical comedy at the same time. its authors can digress, make a joke at their own expense and deliver a telling one-liner with powerful effect. It has characters, warmth, and much more. An unpolished gem.
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Could this film be any dumber???
Conagher-710 January 2001
Warning: Spoilers
This is a bad movie. A bad premise, a bad plot, bad actors, bad script, bad camera work, I bet even the catering was bad. I'm too young to know of the Rat Pack in their "glory" days, but this movie would make a terrible legacy.

Set in the tinny, gilded era of Las Vegas, the members of the Rat Pack conspire and (somehow) rob five of the casinoes on The Strip. With a see-through thin plan, they manage to rob these casinoes of millions. Were it so easy! Obviously the casinoes didn't have the security today's casinoes have, but it stretches my suspension of disbelief much too far to believe that the security was so lax. One of the eleven runs around playing with the wires in all of these casinoes without anyone so much as seeing him, all in broad daylight! If the casinoes were this easy to rob, people would be robbing them by accident!

Another problem with the movie was the motivation of each of the characters to rob these places. The only guy who had any motivation at all was Anthony Bergdorf (Richard Conte), the one who had terminal cancer (who happened to "suddenly" die from it moments after the heist). The rest seemed to be doing fairly well financially, judging by their expensive clothing and their posh digs. I suppose Josh Howard (Sammy Davis, Jr.) had a motivation as well, being a poor black trashman (who owns a pretty expensive suit that he wore to the organizational meetings). But this was at the end of the Fifties, and Howard was barely allowed to hang out with the rest of them, and probably would have gotten screwed out of the money in the end anyway.

The funniest problem was the dialogue. That script used more similies and metaphors than a dog has fleas. At some points in the movie I was never quite sure what the characters were saying because of the archaic euphamisms being used.

All in all, this film was one big throbbing pile of cheese. It's a caricature of the Fifties, the Rat Pack, and of itself. I've heard that these people were playing themselves in this movie. If so, the Rat Pack seems to be a group of self-absorbed, arrogant, greedy, base, immature little boys, riding around in the lap of luxury and bemoaning problems of their own making. If you're still wearing your bobby socks and poodle skirts and are disgustingly in love with this group, I suppose you could suffer through it, otherwise keep your conception of the Fifties and the Rat Pack pure and avoid this horrid movie.
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Slow fizz
Bill Slocum19 September 2002
Heist movies are by nature slow, but the pace on this one is positively glacial. Frank Sinatra is Danny Ocean, ringleader for a squad of paratroopers who figure on striking it rich by hitting five big Las Vegas casinos on New Year's Eve.

It's a great concept, and using it as an excuse for a Rat Pack summit meeting promises a lot. Those guys had talent to burn, and charisma, too. Unfortunately, "Ocean's Eleven" never really delivers. Sure, it's amusing in parts, but never funny enough to qualify as a comedy. It's too logically challenged to work as a caper flick. Worst of all, the film builds no real suspense for most of its two-plus hours of running time. As many folks have said already, it just took too long getting started. Obviously, "Ocean's Seven" would have been a better idea, focusing on three casinos, or even just one or two.

I liked Dean Martin in this one a lot. His performance of the terrif "Ain't That A Kick In The Head" is a real charmer, and he fills out some other scenes nicely. But most of the gang is strictly surplus cargo. And Sinatra, well, he's great in a lot of movies, lending them the right mixture of vulnerability, range, and surprising self-effacement, but here he plays that same smug, hepcat hard guy that dragged down his Tony Rome movies and other lesser vehicles. Sure, the Chairman was cool and looks swell in those sharkskin suits, but I didn't like his character, and when he's the central figure, that ties down everything else from the get-go.

"Ocean's Eleven" is one of two '60s films I'd call "Happening pictures," the other being "Casino Royale," where the big reason for its existence seems to be simply to bring a lot of show biz talent in one place and let all else take care of itself. "Ocean's" works better than it otherwise would only because of nostalgia, for its view of the old pre-theme-park Vegas and a time when men were men and preferred unfiltered cigarettes and dames who blended well with the wallpaper. "Casino" was just stupid from the start, but "Ocean's Eleven" had a chance to be more, if the screenwriters plotted it out better, developed some focus, and crafted characters you could care about.

One dynamite thing in the film everyone notes is the ending. There's two, and they are both good, the resolution of the story (alright, the writers had one inspired moment) and the final shot of the characters walking out with the names on the marquee behind them. That last shot has been recreated many times, from "Buckaroo Banzai" to Quentin Tarantino, but never surpassed. It's one moment of style that has some substance to it. Too bad substance is something the rest of the film is so desperately wanting.
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One of the best times I've had watching a movie...
hunts16 May 2000
This is one of the best times I've had watching a movie. Not having grown up in the era of the Rat Pack, I'm just now discovering the films made by this legendary bunch of guys. I watched Ocean's Eleven with a combination of laughs and suspense. It's a great idea for a story because it keeps you guessing but it's also got a bit of a campy feel to it. Like when everyone keeps saying "Duke Santos!!" whenever they hear the guy's name. It quickly became a favorite catchphrase at our house! The camp factor in no way detracts from the film, however. I won't give anything away about the end, but I seem to recall my jaw hitting the floor during and after the funeral scenes. I really felt for those guys! I'm anxiously awaiting for the 2001 remake just for comparison's sake. I don't know how they could do it justice but I'm just curious enough to check it out. The original is a movie buff's dream. Just knowing that Frank, Sammy, Dean, and the rest were in Vegas having the time of their life makes it all the more intriguing. For anyone looking for good solid entertainment, Ocean's Eleven delivers!!
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Big Yawn
m.p.9 December 2001
Like others, I decided to see this because of the hoopla for the 2001 remake. What a waste of time, but fortunately, I cut my losses after the first hour and started switching back and forth between the movie and war coverage on the news channels. I didn't miss anything. The pace was about as fast as frozen fudge dripping off an ice cream sundae: slug-like, in other words. Maybe 40 years ago, a story about a bunch of ne'er-do-well World War II vets was still relevant, but now the characters just seem like a bunch of boring losers. Presumably, whatever appeal this movie ever had was because of the novelty of the Ratpack celeb cast. Nowadays Ocean's 11 might serve as a curiosity piece showcasing the things Hollywood used to be able to say and portray in movies without a second thought: Chinese and blacks portrayed as stereotypical servants and servers (even Sammy does a Stepin Fetchit turn), women portrayed as occasionally necessary but mostly resented accessories (did the Taliban get their ideas on how to treat women from this movie????). And how annoying was Akim Tamiroff in his role? Skip this piece of dreck - spend the time cleaning out your refrigerator or something - at least the fridge will live up to its "cool" reputation.
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probably more compelling off-screen
SnoopyStyle4 May 2015
Danny Ocean (Frank Sinatra) and Jimmy Foster (Peter Lawford) have gathered war buddies to pull off a new commando raid. They plan to rob five Las Vegas casinos on New Year's Eve. Beatrice (Angie Dickinson) is Ocean's ex. Sinatra's playmates Dean Martin, Joey Bishop and Sammy Davis join him to have some fun.

This was a great excuse for Sinatra to gather his Rat Pack and party in Vegas. The script is surprisingly pedestrian. The setup meanders in an endless series of boring scenes. The cinematic style is stiff. The performances are nothing to write home about either. It may be that the best performances happened off screen as the buddies drank the nights away. The saddest thing is that this is a waste of good talent.
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Hangover Flick
harry-765 December 2001
It really wasn't that great an idea to begin with--a remake of "Gunga Din" with Sammy as the "waterboy."

As a matter of fact, the "Rat Pack" always seemed a rather low point in Sinatra's career. Here was a genuine vocal artist, who proved his mettle many times in his classic LP recordings, both at Columbia and Reprise.

He significantly elevated the medium of popular song to an incredible level of respectability. When he toured, he utilized a full string complement, replete with horns and harp. And his choice of both repertoire and arrangers was exemplary.

Thus, in this viewer's opinion, his entire Vegas period was a misguided enterprise, diminishing this great performer's ultimate legacy. Likewise for over half of his routine film choices.

"Ocean's Eleven" was one of those mistakes, as he did his near-Rat Pack-parody with sidekicks Martin, Davis, Lawford, and Bishop. Oh yes, they're fellow piasanos Conte 'n' Romero in the along the way, plus a few cameos by MacLaine, Raft and Skelton (and who was that unidentified "mystery man" seen from the back as Mr. S. strolls through the Sands?)

Vegas always impressed me as a "Land for Loosers," glitzy as it may be. Those one-arm-bandits lining the casinos have built-in house-odds, no matter how much silver may gush out from time to time. "Ocean's Eleven" bears the Vegas aura of superficiality and the sorrow stemming from a "bad roll."

Certainly Geore C. Johnson's and Jack G. Russell's story and script doesn't help matters. Nor does Lewis Milestone's slipshod production-direction (this director's total works record being around 50:50).

So, "Ocean's" is a bit of a puffy red-eyed flick, which had best remained with those 3 am Pack sessions: banterings which revel in the night, but take flight at dawn.
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As slow and inept as the cops in the movie...
Jbbarger17 November 2001
This movie was a dragging compilation of Sinatra and his cronies wandering about Vegas. It could have been better if the pace had quickened and they had limited themselves to fewer casinos. Hitting five casinos with eleven guys isn't just overextending your crime spree, it's overextending the movie. Like I said in the summary, the cops in this film are slow and useless. The suspense could have been much better if the fellows actually had a worthy opponent.
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Not the best.
qtkt1823 October 2013
If there are any fans of this movie out there I'm sorry, but I didn't think this movie was very good. At all really. The plot was very hard to follow, the acting wasn't that good, and the soundtrack basically consisted of two songs. Ain't That a Kick in the Head by Dean Martin and Eee-O-11 by Sammy Davis Jr. , both of which were played over and over though out the film. By the end of the film, I was so sick of those songs I wanted to scream. And Frank Sinatra didn't sing at all which was kinda the main reason I watched the movie in the first place. To hear him sing. Big disappointment there. But Sinatra was the highlight of the film anyway. I always enjoy his performances, no matter how bad the film itself is. If I were a viewer, I would watch the remake of this film instead. It's made much better and the acting is better as well. I'm sad to say it but this film was kind of a flop.
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