Monday, November 05, 2007

Movies: Ocean's Eleven, Born Yesterday

I finally saw the original Ocean's Eleven (1960, Rat Pack, y'know) and I hate to say it, but I didn't find that it was as amazing as I had hoped it would be. It was more serious than I anticipated, for one, and I feel that the last half hour after the caper could have been cut. I'm trying to figure out it if was put in for moral reasons. Angie Dickinson was completely dropped from the plot after she verbally bitch-slapped The Other Woman; this was disappointing because I had hoped to see a lot more of her. I hate to say it (again), but I think the remake improves on the original by streamlining it and ending right after the heist (I think that was my big sticking point.) The high point of the film was Shirley MacLaine as the spunky "tipsy girl," who gets a quick scene with Dean Martin, who in the following youtube clip, pretends to work at the Sahara in preparation for the heist.

Watched Born Yesterday (1950) after Ocean's Eleven, which I want to enthusiastically recommend. Fabulous cast-- William Holden, Judy Holliday, Broderick Crawford-- a lot of it carried by Holliday. Hilarious. (If you've ever wondered where Lina of Singin' in the Rain got her voice, it was from Jean Hagen's time as understudy to Judy Holliday during the Broadway run.) Here's the gin game from the movie; Judy Holliday adds a comedy to every move, from the handling of the cards to her focus on each of Billie's activities (stubbing out the cigarette). Broderick Crawford is excellent, too, growling and scowling.

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