Eleven friends who know each other from World War II service plan to rob five of the biggest casinos in Las Vegas in one night. They develop a master plan but after the whole thing is over, something goes wrong...
J. H. Minde | Boca Raton, Florida and Brooklyn, New York | 12/03/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"OCEAN'S 11 is a real time-capsule classic. The ultimate "heist" movie, starring The Chairman of The Board, Dino, Sammy, Joey, Peter, and the rest of The Rat Pack, this one is worth seeing just to watch "the boys" hanging out together and getting into trouble.
The late Fifties All-Adult ambience of Vegas is priceless, as is the hep cat cool which just oozes off the screen. Let's face it: How many men could get away with calling the President of the United States "Chickee Baby"? Well, Frank called JFK precisely that. Even Bill Clinton was never that swingin'!
The storyline is a standard potboiler involving a group of old Army buddies setting up the biggest theft in American history, five Vegas casinos. Frankie ain't doin' no singin', and the film's a bit slow moving in spots. They're playing it a little too straight and serious,and there are less laughs than chuckles, and no sex, but the film was a product of it's times (1960) and still had to get past the censors in those days. Peter Lawford is over the line as a forty year old Mama's Boy trying for the Big Score.
No matter how good the Clooney remake is, he won't touch this one at all...There's only one Rat Pack!
Call this an addendum:
After seeing the Clooney release of OCEAN'S 11, I decided to add a few more thoughts. Well, the new movie is ALMOST better---more action and more pacing, better scriptwriting. In short, a technically superior film in most ways, which is marred by the one thing you can't put a price tag on---the chemistry.
Although Clooney is grand (he swanks across the screen like a Bond villain on vacation), Brad Pitt is appropriately and irreverently serious, and Carl Reiner is outrageously funny, the "new crew" can't replicate the charisma of the Rat Pack.
Although the Eleven in both films are con artists and thieves, they are the antiheroes we all dream of. At the end of the original, you feel for the "bad guys," who, after all, ain't really that bad ("Coo-coo, baby!"). The remake hardly introduces most of the Eleven, and you don't really give a Rat's Pack whether most of them get away with it or not. They're only props.
Julia Roberts is curiously flat, colorless, and dried up as Danny Ocean's wife (where in the original, Angie Dickinson was undeniably THERE in what was a really very minor role). Andy Garcia is an evil presence as the "good guy" casino owner.
Both films are worth your time. The one has what the other lacks. In short, if computer imnaging could ever morph the original actors into the remake, this might just be the best film ever made. "
It's All About the Swagger, Baby!
Kevin Nieman | Moorpark, CA United States | 07/13/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"People argue about "cool." Some say John Coltrane is cool. Other say Clapton, Dylan, or Lennon are "cool." Lenny Bruce is "cool" to some, and Miles Davis epitomizes "cool" for others. For me, there isn't a man who has EVER lived who personified "cool" more that Mr. Sinatra. You can see what I mean here in the first motion picture that casts the infamous "Rat Pack" in major roles, "Oceans 11." Playing an ex-WWII soldier, Sinatra's Danny Oceans plans the greatest heist in history: Rob five Las Vegas casinos at once on New Year's Eve. It's a bold plot for a bold cast. There's Frank with his "I own the world" charisma. There's Sammy Davis Jr. with his usual flair for the song and dance routine. "Deano" Dean Martin also croons in the picture, and Peter Lawford, the only non-singer of the four main Rat Packers, still holds the audience with his charm and wit.This film shows what Las Vegas was like when it was an "adults only" city. This was when Sinatra and his boys ruled Vegas, and we should be thankful that they had the foresight to put some of the flavor of the times on film. Now, where's my martini? I'm late for my craps game."
See The Rat Pack "Hijack The Town" in "Ocean's 11"
Phillip C Mackey | Webster, TX United States | 01/29/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
""Ocean's 11", produced in 1960, was the first of a series of films starring members of the Rat Pack (Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy David Jr., Peter Lawford, and Joey Bishop at the time. Lawford and Bishop would kicked out by Sinatra later on) for Warner Brothers and this movie was far and away the most popular of the bunch. Many of the actors who hung out with Pack like Shirley McLaine would find themselves in various cameo roles in this film. Though Sinatra was looking for a film script that he and his pals could do together, it was Peter Lawford who found the book "Ocean's 11" and the rest is history.Although the DVD cover calls this movie a heist caper, the script must rank as the most easygoing heist even presented on screen. The title character, ex-paratrooper Danny Ocean, who is played by Sinatra, calls together ten members of his old unit to plan and execute a multi-million dollar robbery of five Las Vegas Strip casinos and much of the beginning of the film is spent gathering up the team, spending time with a few of them to see why they decide to join in and spending time watching Danny tangle with the women in his life and the boys tormenting their underworld backer. The planned heist appears to be foolproof and remarkably easy as long as everyone does his job. Naturally since this is 1960 and the bad guys still can't really win, a few twists in the plot are thrown in.Surprisely, Sinatra does not give a very good performance in the film, especially when compared to his earlier work. Of the rat packers, only Peter Lawford gives a solid performance throughout. Even Dean Martin, with his relaxed style of acting, slums it on occasion. It is the other actors like Akim Tamiroff, Patrice Wymore, George Raft, and Cesar Romero who give the best performances. In fact, Cesar Romero almost steals the show as the (almost) retired gangster Duke Santos who might just crash the boys' New Year's Eve party. It is surprising that some of the best scenes in the movie are ones without the nominal stars.The main problem with this edition of "Ocean's 11" is that it suffers from an identity crisis. You suspect it was intented to be a comedy, or a suspense, or maybe even a morality play but the script cannot make up mind through most of the film. It is perhaps best to describe it an excuse for a group of people to make a movie and have a good time doing it and hopefully the film audience will join in the fun.If you like your crime films to have lots of suspense, action and explosions, "Ocean's 11" is not the film to see. If you like to see a time capsule of a bygone era whose likes we will not see again, this film may work for you."
Terry B. | USA | 01/08/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is my favorite movie. I always had 2 copies, one to hoard and one to loan. The remake would be a good movie, if they didn't try to tie in to the original. But when they invite comparison, they come off the big loser.
The REAL Ocean's 11 has the best ending, the perfect ending. The cast is incomparable. From all reports, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin would wander the casino after filming, and take over tables as the dealer. Losers were declared winners, and the owner didn't care - they were bringing in too many customers for the owner to complain about paying out a little extra.
Everyone I have introduced to Ocean's 11, regardless of age, has been extremely complimentary. One even said he liked the remake - until he saw the original. And he was a young Vice President of a company which employed more than 500.
The remake would have been good - if they hadn't stolen the name and tried to be a remake. As a stand alone, it's okay. As a remake, it pales miserably by comparison. If you want to see a great movie, see the original, the REAL, Ocean's 11."
kelsi | Dallas, Texas | 06/29/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Reading the reviews before me and having already seen the movie (it was the first thing I saw/heard Rat Pack-related, and I was hooked afterward), I'm going to dispel and argue a few things they have said.
First of all, if you're looking for anything other than something to relax to, go watch something else. Frank said before they even started production on this movie that they weren't out to win any awards; the goal was to simply have fun. I'll agree that "the 2001 remake has a better script and direction", but that wasn't what these boys aimed to do. "How can they even try to compare the new one to the old one?"
So true. I mean really, who, in their right mind, would try to compare ANYONE to Frank Sinatra? No one in the universe will ever come close again. Basically this movie and the new one are two totally different movies and I highly suggest you watch them as so."I'm going to go out on a limb, and say that this movie will not appeal to younger viewers (40 and under), the same way that it appeals to their parents or grandparents."
Um. Excuse me? I'm 16 and I am a diehard fan of Frank, Dean, & Sammy. You can't get any cooler than them."I didn't see the 'coolness' or 'swagger' that is associated with the Rat Pack. To me, they all looked the same, dressed the same, and acted the same."
That's just nuts. I don't know what else to say to that.Overall, I highly suggest this movie to anyone who's into late 50s-early 60s Vegas (honestly, I dearly wish that Vegas still looked like that), immense talent, and just having a good time.
This is not a "thinking" movie... if you want that, go watch "Frequency"."