Ocean’s 11 (1960) – DVD Review

Ocean

Film:
DVD:

Written by: Lewis Milestone
Directed by: George Clayton Johnson & Jack Golden Russell
Starring: Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford, Angie Dickinson

Features:

  • Commentary by Frank Sinatra Jr. and Angie Dickinson
  • Interactive “Then and Now” Las Vegas map casino vignettes
  • Excerpt from The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson featuring guest host Frank Sinatra and guest Angie Dickinson
  • Theatrical Trailers

Released by: Warner Home Video
Region: 1
Rating: NR
Anamorphic: Yup.

My Advice: Rent It.

Danny Ocean (Sinatra) is a man with a plan. The objective is to rob five Las Vegas casinos at once on New Year’s Eve. Ocean has his old commando buddies from the 82nd Airborne to help him pull this caper. What else are friends for? But as Murphy states, no battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy. Will Ocean’s?

For a heist movie, the pace is very leisurely. Even during the actual crime, there is very little tension. But the plot isn’t the central purpose of the movie. Ocean’s 11 is just an excuse for the Rat Pack to goof around and have a good time. And their goofing around can be very entertaining. Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and the rest are all top-notch performers effortlessly giving off style. And they’re all so young. When you’ve seen only seen actors Angie Dickenson, Shirley MacLaine and Norman Fell (Mr. Roper from Three’s Company) in middle age, it’s a little disconcerting to see their youthful appearance, but in a good way. Even that can’t hide the many loose threads in the plot, the non-existent acting, and the too hasty ending. Ocean’s 11 is a fun nostalgia trip, but not a very good movie.

Nostalgia is the theme of the special features too. The vignettes featuring the five casinos in the movie, then and now, also verge into maudlin reminiscing, but also acknowledges that the clientèle of Las Vegas has changed, from a select jet set to the tourist masses. So the casinos changed with them. The commentary, done by Frank Sinatra Jr. and Angie Dickenson, talks about this bygone age where most of the locations featured in the movie are either gone or been remodeled to be unrecognizable. Another theme is how this movie, according to Sinatra Jr., never got the recognition it deserved with its underrated score and underrated actors, such and Richard Conte and Cesar Romero. While he does have a point, his constant remarks about this “injustice” begin to sound insincere. Sinatra Jr.’s commentary is interesting because unlike a director or producer, Sinatra’s own son has more personal insight into Ocean’s 11 and the actors involved, for obvious reasons. I have no clue why they included the clip of The Chairman of the Board guest hosting The Tonight Show strolling down memory lane with Angie Dickenson. It suffers from bad video quality and Sinatra’s bad interviewing skills. He’s on par with Chevy Chase. The movie does look and sound great, clear and vibrant. This is a very stylish movie. But style can never compensate completely for a lack of substance.

Ocean's 11 (1960) screen capture

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By | 2011-12-01T00:49:44+00:00 June 30th, 2002|Reviews|0 Comments

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