Ocean's 11 (1960) is one of my favorite movies. In fact, it's in battle with Bachelor Mother for the #1 spot right now. I have at least 10 posts I could write about this darling film but today I'll stick with the New Year's theme. I apologize in advance that I do not have any screen caps for this post other than ones I stole from YouTube. My DVD copy went AWOL and my Blu-Ray is pretty useless on my Mac.
This is Ocean's 11 plus one. Danny Ocean (Frank Sinatra) has brought all his World War II buddies from the 82nd Airborne to Las Vegas for a well-orchestrated casino heist of Biblical proportions. Funded and originated by professional conman Acebos (Akim Tamiroff), the eleven men from the 82nd Airborne are going to rob millions of dollars from the five big casinos in Las Vegas. And they are going to do it at the stroke of midnight on New Year's.
The men involved in the New Year's Casino heist are Danny Ocean (Frank Sinatra), Jimmy Foster (Peter Lawford), Sam Harmon (Dean Martin), Josh Howard (Sammy Davis Jr.), Mushy O'Connors (Joey Bishop), Anthony Bergdorf (Richard Conte), Roger Corneal (Henry Silva), Vince Massier (Buddy Lester), Curly Steffans (Richard Benedict), Peter Rheimer (Norman Fell) and Louis Jackson (Clem Harvey).
The casinos they are going to hit are the Flamingo, Sahara, Desert Inn, Riviera and the Sands.
Here's the plan. At the stroke of midnight, people at the different casinos will have countdown to the New Year and will begin singing Auld Lang Syne. Danny Ocean has calculated that the song takes about a minute and 38 seconds to sing. While they are singing, there will be an explosion at one of the local electrical towers bringing it down. It will black out all the casinos temporarily and the way Anthony Bergdorf (Richard Conte) has it set up, all the casino security doors will automatically open. During the blackout, the men will steal the money from the casinos, put it into garbage cans and Josh (Sammy Davis Jr) will pick up all the bags and bring them to the local trash dump for hiding.
The plan can't go wrong. Right?
Ocean's Eleven and Acebos chose New Year's as the perfect moment for their heist because it's a time of vulnerability for the casinos. Each casino will be packed with people drunkenly celebrating New Year's, singing Auld Lang Syne and without a care in the world. Their celebration is the perfect distraction for a quiet robbery. When the men do rob the casinos, it's in the dark so their identities are disguised and they hold the casino vault workers hostage and have them sing Auld Lang Syne while they are being robbed.
I love the New Year's in Las Vegas circa 1960. It's full of glamour with all the women dressed in their finest gowns and accessories and all the men in well-fitted suits and skinny ties. There are showgirls, singers and so much fun! There is so much wonderful 1960 kitsch with New Year's party favors, streamers, hats, noisemakers, balloons and more. Everyone is carefree, smoking and drinking to their hearts contents and ringing in the New Year with a kiss with their date or a perfect stranger.
A feathered showgirl pony carousel? WHY NOT?!
Now I leave you with Dean Martin singing one of the movie's main songs "Ain't That a Kick in the Head". Happy New Year!