Ocean?s Eleven, a showcase for the tough-guy shenanigans of that glitzy showbiz gang known as the Rat Pack–Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford, Joey Bishop, and, of course, Frank Sinatra. Booze flows and wisecracks fly when eleven army buddies are reunited; only this time they’re not trading war stories. They’re planning to rob five Las Vegas casinos of several million dollars–assuming they can steer clear of the big-time racketeer who’s gotten wind of their scheme (Videoflicks.com).
This film is a standard example of classical cinema, a style of mainstream fiction films produced in America, which is strong in story, star and production value. Classical cinema, or classical paradigm, is structured narratively, with a clearly defined conflict, complications that intensify to a rising climax and a resolution that emphasizes formal closure (Giannetti, 533).
The film?s protagonist, Danny Ocean, was chosen by a wealthy millionaire to rob several Las Vegas casinos on New Year?s Eve with the help of ten of his former WWII veteran friends. Each one of the eleven men had a specific job, whether it was to get the keys that open the designated doors, blow-up the power line tower, drive the getaway garbage truck or actually steal the money.
The climax of the movie was when Duke Santos, the antagonist, discovered the plan. Mrs. Reste, Jimmy?s mother, uncovered them accidentally. She was on vacation in Las Vegas with her fianc?, Duke Santos who was working for one of the casinos? owners, Jack Strager, to help expose the men responsible for the heist. Mr. Santos confronts Danny Ocean and several of his men and they try to then avoid him by attempting to send the money home in one of the coffin of Tony Bergdorf, who died from a heart attack immediately after the robbery was completed.
The resolution of the story was when the money was destroyed in the coffin along with Mr. Bergdorf, who was cremated. The movie ends with the disappointed Rat Pack walking down the street back to their hotel rooms.
The original Oceans Eleven depicts the typical 1960?s martini drinking, womanizing, casino-going soft gangster. Nelson Riddle and James Van Heusen, two popular musicians of the time, performed the music in the film. There were several almost musical-like scenes where some of the characters actually sang songs. This type of musical incorporation would rarely occur in modern movies.
Overall I thought that this was an excellent movie. The Rat Pack showed stars of any generation how to carouse, setting an amoral standard others died trying to live up to. However, I am used to watching more modern and faster-moving films, and at times I felt that the film was boring, especially towards the beginning. I give it four stars