Trompé Setsuled (setsuled) wrote,
Trompé Setsuled

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Scotch, Safes, and Cigarettes

What a beautiful town to pull a heist in. Las Vegas looks improbably inviting in 1960's Ocean's 11, a Rat Pack showcase in which Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Peter Lawford come off even cooler than the town.

Maybe this was the real nail in the Hays code's coffin that an unabashed group of gangsters should be allowed to be so charming. The movie is spoiled a bit by a compulsory moral ending but the actual subplots that make up the film aren't especially interesting anyway, mostly just excuses to have the actors lounging about or singing. Only Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr. actually sing, though, Sinatra not joining them for some inexplicable, frustrating reason. Of the two that do sing, Davis, Jr. is by far the better.

He plays the only working class character, probably because he's black. We don't get much story from him. Sinatra has some minor issues with his wife played with some repressed steel by Angie Dickinson--it's a shame she's not allowed to play with the boys. Far more memorable is a drunken Shirley MacLaine who appears in cameo where she gets fresh with Dean Martin.

Standing nearby is another member of the gang, Richard Conte, who has a melodrama plot about a heart condition and a family to support. He's the most veteran star in the film, having starred in films noir like House of Strangers and Whirlpool in the 1940s, except there's a cameo by George Raft, the real life gangster who played movie gangsters since the 1930s. Just another way the movie wasn't hiding what it was.

Maybe Peter Lawford's story about a kid born with a silver spoon trying to get his independence with the job is the most interesting story but the film leaves this thread dangling in favour of its obligatory moral ending.

Lots of great suits in this movie.
Tags: angie dickinson, crime, dean martin, frank sinatra, gangster, george raft, movies, ocean's 11, peter lawford, rat pack, richard conte, sammy davis jr, shirley maclaine
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