This morning, Ocean’s Eleven was on one of the movie channels… not the remake from a couple of years ago, but the original from 1960 with the Rat Pack, Mr. Roper, a Boss from the Godfather, and a couple other ppl, taking place in Vegas when the Vegas strip was just about five hotels long. Good movie, actually, if you understand the Rat Pack at the time.
I really didn’t put two and two together until I saw The Rat Pack movie that HBO put out a couple of years ago. Great movie in that it shows you what the boys were like all those years ago. Ya gotta remember that we (people 35 and under) didn’t know the Rat Pack. I mean sure, we knew that Frank was a singer with “mob ties” and we knew Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. were in the Cannonball Run together. Never heard of Joey Bishop, aside from sitcom jokes… hell, I don’t even remember the 5th guy! Anyway, the Rat Pack movie was a great look at how they were on stage together, while at the Sands. The whole Kennedy-Momo story line… *shrug* Might be Hollywood, might be real, how could I know? Made for a good movie regardless. And now it makes sense – in one scene from the Rat Pack, they are filming a movie – it was Ocean’s Eleven.
Between both movies (the real movie of OE and the “life of” the Rat Pack) you get a clear picture of who’s who out there. Frank was the leader in all things – how could he not be? That’s just the type of guy he was. Sammy was the comic relief – being one of the most talented actors I’ve ever “seen” – this too is a natural. The man could sing, dance, play most instruments, act, and, after his car accident, carry of the loss of one-eye without a problem. The fact that he also bags that tall blonde chick is just a testimony to him – and he never upstaged Frank while doing it. The other two guys were so forgettable that I’ll forget them now. They were useful in their one liners on stage… so yay. Then there’s Dean Martin. Dean-o was a classic guy in all ways. Always the dry sense of humor. Always a sharp answer. Could tell Frank to go to Hell and make it sound like he asked him for a drink – and he would get away with it. Frank has been known to have a quick and hot temper – Dean-o was never the target of it. Dean always looked like he was drunk so he was given a certain “freedom” by most people… if he’s bombed, how can you take what he says seriously? The fact is, that was part of his act – the man got to a point when he only drank to be social but he always had the glass in his hand and the glazed look to throw you off. He was the #2 guy of the Pack and was happy to be #2 – not everyone wants the #1 spot, given the headaches that usually come with it. Frank was a leader… passionate, quick tempered and always out for the best of everything for his friends and family. Dean-o was a solid character, also passionate but reserved, always honest and blunt with his comments and usually the guy to defuse a tense situation with a joke or three. Most people today so hungry to be #1 they forget to look at the scenery as they go… the #2 spot is a great place to be in most things and if you could find the temperament of Martin in you, you’ll find it’s usually the best place to be… me, I wanna be Dean-o.
The world needs more Dean-o’s…