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"OCEAN'S ELEVEN" (1960)


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I've just revisited Ocean's Eleven after not having seen it for probably 10 or 15 years. It's always I nice movie to revisit, I guess. I actually had to think twice before deciding on whether or not the movie really belongs in the gangster genre.

 

Unlike a lot of other heist movies, the one in this movie is not being carried out by professional gangsters or hoodlums. However, there is at least one major character in the movie, Duke Santos (C?sar Romero) who is a gangster, or at least a former gangster gone legit.

 

But it is ultimately very much a crime movie, at its core, even though one can't have the sneaking suspicion that most of the participants are in it at least in part because they crave a little excitement and a reunion of sorts, as former members of the 82nd Airborne Division.

 

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Obviously it's the ultimate Rat Pack movie, and it's a blast to see Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, Peter Lawford, Joey Bishop, Henry Silva, etc. in such fine shape. Romero is great, too, although he doesn't have as many scenes as one might wish. And of course, Akim Tamiroff is great fun to watch, even though due to plot machinations, he has to stay behind when the action moves to Las Vegas.

 

And, of course, Richard Conte, a true icon of noir, manages to give the movie an unexpected dose of pathos, for reasons that are known to those who've watched it.

 

One might argue that the Rat Pack decided later on to make Robin and the 7 Hoods in part because they wanted to play real gangsters. But, for its time, this story of some rather laid back types plotting the ultimate hit on the Las Vegas casinos must have seemed like the epitome of cool.

 

I won't give away what happens at the end of the movie, for those who still haven't seen it, but I think I can safely say that the shot of these guys walking down the Strip on the day after the heist is almost guaranteed to remain burned in your brain for a long time after you have watched the film.

 

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