We all know that the George Clooney/Brad Pitt version of Ocean’s Eleven was a great hit. I love that film. Some of you might not know that it was a remake of the original from 1960 starring many of the members of the Rat Pack!
Here is some information about the film, some photos from it, and some shots of vintage Vegas. Enjoy your Tuesday friends.
–Sammy Davis Jr., required wooden blocks attached to the pedals on the garbage truck he drove in the film so that he could reach them.
–In a scene between Danny (Frank Sinatra) and Adele (Patrice Wymore), Adele throws a dish of candy at Danny. The throwing of the dish was ad-libbed, which accounts for the genuine look of surprise on Sinatra’s face and the faces of his co-stars.
–Most filming was accomplished early in the morning, before sunrise, since most of the actors also had shows in Las Vegas that they performed nightly during the shooting. The actors would wake up in the afternoon, do one or two shows in the evening, then go through make-up and arrive at the shooting locations for principal photography. Each shooting location was fully set up in advance so that minimal time would be wasted once the actors arrived.
–In the final shot of the film, the eleven walk past the famous sign in front of the Sands hotel. The five members of the Rat Pack (Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop, and Peter Lawford) are billed on the sign.
–One of the most difficult tasks facing the film’s production team, was actually convincing Nevada’s Clark County officials to let them use one of their garbage trucks.
–Shirley MacLaine’s tipsy uncredited cameo was ad-libbed by the actress, for which she reportedly received a brand new car from Warner Bros. as compensation. Her line, “I’m so drunk I don’t think I could lie down without holding on,” was a rehash of a classic Dean Martin line.
–As Peter Lawford, Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra attempt to disguise themselves by blackening their faces in the garbage truck near the end of the movie, ‘Sammy Davis, Jr.’ says, “I knew this color would come in handy some day.” Martin and Sinatra teased Davis about that scene for as long as they knew each other thereafter.
–According to Frank Sinatra Jr. on the DVD Commentary, Sammy Davis Jr. was forced to stay at a “colored only” hotel during the filming because Las Vega would not allow blacks to stay at the major hotels despite his appearing with Sinatra, Martin, and the others at the Sands Hotel. He was only allowed to stay at the major hotels, therefore breaking Vegas’ unofficial color barrier after Frank Sinatra confronted the casino owners on his behalf.