Friends, a landmark figure in the history of pop culture has passed on to the big casino in the sky, and I would be almost criminal in my neglect if I didn't take time to thrill and excite you with my observations about the great Dean Martin. Ahh, Dino....as smooth and dry as the dryest martini, and as suave and sophisticated as....well, Dean Martin!
Yes, he made some bad movies, like the Matt Helm blunders, but he also cranked out some great stuff. Take "Ocean's 11", for instance, easily the ultimate "Rat Pack" movie ever made. The gin flows in this little baby, as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Junior, Peter Lawford, Cesar Romero and Joey Bishop all wear those way-cool V-necked sweaters and act even cooler. You see, Frank calls up the boys and tells them he has the perfect plan to get rich, and quick!
Instead of working dead end jobs and struggling to live the opulent, dame-chasing lifestyle they deserve, why not rob a casino in Vegas on New Year's Eve? Heck, why not rob them all? So, the boys plan the heist, taking undercover jobs in the casinos to get the "inside poop". While some guys work as dealers or bartenders, Dino takes the ultimate job: lounge singer. Yes, the chicks just come a'runnin' as he belts out tune after tune, finishing with a doubly-dry, Bombay Gin swillin' rendition of that classic of all Vegas lounge act classics, "Ain't Love a Kick in the Head". Man, they just don't make movie moments like that anymore.
So, the heist is underway, the boys are cracking wise all over the place, Frank and Dean play off each other to perfection, and luscious Angie Dickinson makes her presence felt, and how! Man, Daddy-O, how could you not see a movie like "Ocean's 11"? Remember Dean the right way. Don't look at "Cannonball Run" in disgust. Take a trip into cooool, with "Ocean's 11".
Copyright 1996 John A. Lavin
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