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Ocean's Eleven

George ClooneyBrad PittMatt Damon
Julia RobertsDon Cheadle • Andy Garcia
DIRECTOR: Steven Soderbergh
PRODUCER: Jerry Weintraub

Oceans' Eleven: Pitt and Clooney
December 7, 2001

A 're-imagining' of the 1960 movie Ocean's Eleven, which starred members of the 'Rat Pack,' : Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and Peter Lawford.

Set in Las Vegas, Danny Ocean (Clooney) gathers an eleven-man crew of specialists in an attempt to steal $150 million from three Vegas casinos, the Bellagio, the Mirage and the MGM Grand, all owned by Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia) – a ruthless entrepreneur who happens to be dating Danny's ex-wife, Tess (Julia Roberts).

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Film Review

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STEVEN SODERBERGH on what he liked about the original movie:
Steven Soderbergh "The obvious camaraderie amongst the members of the Rat Pack, along with the premise and the title. That was what I thought we should emulate, not in a literal sense because those people were all entertainers in addition to being actors, and that's a different type of performer. But their obvious generosity toward each other was really infectious, and so we tried to cast very carefully to make sure that that sense was there."
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"This movie came together because of George. We got the script done, sent it over to George and Steven, and it didn't take 24 hours before they both came back and said, 'We're going to do it.' George said to me, 'This has to be an ensemble piece. We have to get all big stars, and you're never going to be able to afford everybody, so I'll take a cut in pay and I won't ask for any kind of perks, and when George did that everybody else did it."
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CLOONEY on the Rat Pack: "I loved those guys, they're heroes of mine. They were the coolest guys ever. But this was a whole movie unto itself. As we start to sell the film, we all have to talk about the original movie again, and that's fine because it's a part of it, but we're never going to be as cool as those guys. That's why that movie was so successful. With this movie we have a better director, better writer, and we just went in and had a blast doing great parts."
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Roberts and ClooneyJULIA ROBERTS:
"Steven and George put together the most enticing cast and made me the only girl. But Tess is more than just a girl. There's intrigue and she has some difficult crosses to bear. All of the relationships in the film are so complicated. Tess and Terry are supposed to be boyfriend-girlfriend, but then Tess has to keep evaluating her relationship with her ex-husband. So nothing is as it seems really." Back to top

Don CheadleDON CHEADLE on his role as Basher Tarr, a Cockney munitions expert:
"The character was originally conceived as English, and we thought about going away from it, and then Steven and I talked about it and said, 'No, let's do it that way.' They hooked me up with a dialect coach who lived with me for the duration of the film. Basically, Basher's job is to take out the power in Las Vegas for a very exact period of time. He has to figure out a way in which to do it that's ingenious but at the same time undetectable."

BRAD PITT on his character, Rusty Ryan, Ocean's right hand man:
"The reason Rusty agrees to the caper is that he's flat-lined in his life. He's gone from the top of his game to running a poker school for teen heartthrobs. When Danny shows up with his plan to rob three casinos, Rusty's ready to jump in. Even if he does think it's impossible."
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MATT DAMON on being part of an ensemble cast:
"When I'm older, I want to look at movies that I did and be proud of them. This is one of those movies where the script was really structured well, and Steven Soderbergh was directing, and it didn't take a rocket scientist to say, 'Let's be a part of an ensemble. It's going to be a good movie, it's going to be fun and entertaining, and we're going to be proud of it when we're done.'"
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Text by Judy Sloane. More here: PAGE 2Back to top

Visit the official Ocean's Eleven site • Images above © Warner Bros.
Feature © Visual Imagination 2001. Not for reproduction

Film Review, March 2002 cover
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