Directed by Lewis Milestone
Written by Harry Brown and Charles Lederer; story by George Clayton Johnson and Jack Golden Russell
First viewing/Netflix rental
A bunch of friends got together to make a movie and it’s not half bad.
Danny Ocean (Frank Sinatra) is addicted to risk taking, so much so that his marriage to Bea (Angie Dickinson) has broken down. Ocean’s latest adventure is to execute a plan developed by mastermind Spyros Acebos (Akim Tamiroff who mugs and wrings his hands throughout) to simultaneously rob five casinos on The Strip in Las Vegas.
Danny gathers together WWII buddies that served together in a paratroop unit under his command. These include: spoiled rich boy Jimmy Foster (Peter Lawford); Lounge singer Sam Harmon (Dean Martin); and Josh Howard (Sammy Davis Jr.).
As in the typical heist movie, most of the story is devoted to the planning, execution and aftermath. These guys are also quick with the one-liners. With Richard Conte, Henry Silva, and Joey Bishop as others of the eleven; Caesar Romero as their nemisis; and George Raft, Red Skelton, and Shirley MacLaine in cameos.
This is pretty entertaining. You can tell that the actors had a blast making it. Lots of the dialogue is improvised. It doesn’t suffer in comparison to the scripted parts. My favorite thing about the movie though was seeing the “old Las Vegas” with its lounge shows and mechanical one-armed bandits. I didn’t start going there until the early seventies but the vibe was nearly the same then.
Davis and Martin sing. Sinatra does not. The DVD contained a nostalgic commentary from Frank Sinatra Jr. and Angie Dickenson