Oceans of post-war anxiety

Rating: NNNNNOCEAN'S ELEVEN(Lewis Milestone, 1960) defined Rat Pack cool and set the standard for all the swinging martini men of.


Rating: NNNNN


OCEAN’S ELEVEN(Lewis Milestone, 1960) defined Rat Pack cool and set the standard for all the swinging martini men of the early 60s. Frank Sinatra slides through Las Vegas leading his crew – including Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and Peter Lawford – in a New Year’s Eve casino heist. These days this movie can’t help but tap Sinatra nostalgia and cocktail chic, but it has a darker heart. These 11 swingers are all war veterans, and the movie constantly underlines the slip from army discipline to swinger decadence. Hard-drinking and reckless, the swinger ethos was an instruction manual for how to live post-war luxury. It taught men what to do with the fear and rage built up in combat. And in the style of a male melodrama, Ocean’s Eleven’s hepcats are motivated by fears about their performance as fathers, sons, husbands and lovers. Which explains all those martinis. NNN (July 19, Revue)

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