Saturday, May 12, 2018

Movie Review: "Ocean's 11" (1960)

Director: Lewis Milestone
Year: 1960
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 2 hours, 7 minutes

A man with mob connections named Spyros Acebos rounds up a group of former members of the 82nd Airborne Division to rob five Las Vegas casinos on New Year's Eve.
"Fifty percent of something is better than one hundred percent of nothing." (Image Source)
"Hi, it's me, your old Army buddy from the 82nd Airborne. How would you feel about committing a federal crime in a city run by the mafia? I swear it's a zero risk job!"

"Ocean's 11" is directed by Lewis Milestone, who is known for directing films like "All Quiet on the Western Front," "Pork Chop Hill," and 1962's "Mutiny on the Bounty." The movie stars members of The Rat Pack, including Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford, and Joey Bishop. These five men are joined by Henry Silva, Richard Conte, Richard Benedict, Buddy Lester, Norman Fell, and Clem Harvey. Together, they all make up the "Ocean's 11," a group of old army buddies who served in the 82nd Airborne together. A man with connections to organized crime named Spyros Acebos (Akim Tamiroff) has come up with a plan to rob five Las Vegas casinos on New Year's Eve and has enlisted the help of Danny Ocean (Sinatra) and 10 of his former service buddies to help pull off the job. Some of the members are a bit reluctant to commit a federal crime and steal from casinos that, at the time, were likely run by the mafia. According to Ocean, the plan is fool-proof. It can't possibly fail and there is zero chance they will get caught, which helps ease their minds. Plus, the promise of a giant payday doesn't hurt.
"If you're not careful, buddy boy, she'll rub you out." (Image Source)
We enjoy a good heist movie. We like watching the plan unfold, seeing all the preparation that goes into a big job, following how they cope with unexpected problems, and then finally seeing the big payoff from all the work. "Ocean's 11" has those heist film elements sometimes, but much of the first portion of the film is spent introducing characters. Frank Sinatra as Danny Ocean gathers up his friends, and they just kind of fart around cracking misogynistic and sometimes racist jokes (as was common in that era). Much of the first half of the movie basically consists of, "Hey, look at Frank Sinatra and his Rat Pack! Look and see how cool they are and how much fun they're having, which must mean you're having fun as an audience member! Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin will even sing the occasional song for you! How cool and hep!" Honestly, we found the first portion to be quite boring since it just seemed to drag on and on. About midway through its runtime, we finally get some details on the heist and start to see the preparation work that goes into their scheme. The actual heist is super simple and relies on a few convenient plot points. The guys figure out a way to open the counting room itself, but they have to hope that the actual safe inside the counting room won't be shut once they get inside of it. Once the heist is finished, the movie keeps going and has far too much time left beyond that point.
"There's only one thing you love, Danny: that's danger.(Image Source)
By the end of it all, we were very underwhelmed with the final product of "Ocean's 11." There is the occasional laugh here and there, and The Rat Pack members at least look like they are having a lot of fun, but we were not left sharing in their good times. Instead, we just counted the minutes to its final conclusion.

My Rating: 4/10
BigJ's Rating: 5/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.6/10
RT Rating: 50%
Do we recommend this movie: Meh.

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