OCEAN'S 11 (1960): DVD
Eleven ex-military playboy buddies lead by Billy Ocean (Frank Sinatra) and his pals Sam Harmon (Dean Martin), Josh Howard (Sammy Davis, Jr.) and Jimmy Foster (Peter Lawford) re-unite in Las Vegas to execute a daring heist on New Year's Eve. They develop a master plan, use all the latest tools, blow all the lights in Vegas and rob five big casinos. When the whole thing is over, there's an investigation by Jimmy's future stepfather Duke Santos (Cesar Romero).
Review by Shannon J. Harvey:
Do DVDs come any cooler than this? In their first major film as a group, the original 1960s Rat Pack of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop conspire, bicker, drink, croon and generally play themselves as misogynistic relics of a bygone era planning to rob the Las Vegas casinos they inhabit
like lounge lizards. It could almost play as a documentary, and it's certainly one of the most relaxing films ever made. As Sinatra woos his lady (Angie Dickinson, in a minor role - this is a boys-only film) and slowly gathers his crew, Martin and Davis provide musical accompaniment (Ain't that a Kick in the Pants and Ee-O-Eleven respectively). Even the complicated heist plot is relaxed, always staying secondary to the cool-cat milieu (The Rat Pack were even performing in Vegas at the time of making the film). Sometimes the dialogue sparkles and sometimes stinks. "Take the vote away from women," says Martin, "make slaves of 'em."
Ocean's Eleven might be slow and long, but it is a unique film, not only for the self-reflexive cast but the setting of a Las Vegas that no longer exists. The number of casinos and neon lights may be less than today, but this is a more intimate, more appealing Vegas, even with the lounge suits, gaudy colours and cringe-inducing décor.
This is best revealed in the DVD's "Map of Vegas." Here you launch into five short vignettes on the five casinos featured in the film (The Flamingo, Riviera, Sands, Sahara and Desert Inn). Retired cocktail waitresses and showgirls reminisce about how today's mass-market Vegas is nothing compared to The Rat Pack's glory days, and check out the poker chip Easter egg describing the Casino Legends Hall of Fame.
An excerpt from Johnny Carson's Tonight Show hosted by Frank Sinatra is included, with ol' Blue Eyes curiously hazy about the shooting of Ocean's Eleven with guest and co-star Angie Dickinson. Angie also lends a few amusing insights on the film's commentary track, but the audio is dominated by the sombre voice of Sinatra Jr., who gives an insiders guide to the debonair days of Vegas and the Rats that ruled it. Thankfully, Warner Brothers have had the good sense to give the DVD just enough cool extras, so sit back and enjoy the original just as the boys would - with a martini or a cocktail.
Published April 11, 2002
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REVIEW OCEAN'S ELEVEN
You can buy it HERE - next day delivery within Australia
OCEAN'S 11 (1960): DVD (M)
CAST: Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., Peter Lawford, Angie
Dickinson, Richard Conte, Cesar Romero, Joey Bishop, Patrice Wymore, Henry
Silva, Buddy Lester, Jean Willes, Akim Tamiroff
DIRECTOR: Lewis Milestone
RUNNING TIME: 127 minutes
SPECIAL FEATURES: Commentary by Frank Sinatra Jr. and Angie Dickinson ; Interactive "Then and Now" Las Vegas map and casino vignettes; Excerpt from The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson featuring guest host; Frank Sinatra and guest Angie Dickinson; Theatrical Trailers (2); Animated Menus ; Scene Selection
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Warner Home Video
DVD RELEASE: April 17, 2002