August 10 marked the 50th anniversary of the release of the original Ocean's 11, the Rat Pack heist film that became a touchstone for classic Vegas and was successfully remade by Steven Soderbergh in 2001. Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop all appeared in the 1960 film as members of a group of World War II veterans who pull off an elaborate robbery of five Vegas casinos (the Sahara, Flamingo, Desert Inn, Sands and Riviera).
- Ocean's 11 50th anniversary
- August 13, 4 a.m., free
- Frankie's Tiki Room, 385-3110
Also making a brief appearance in the film was Edi Gomez, at the time a bandleader at the El Rancho, a popular Vegas hangout for the Rat Pack. "I had my group over there, and they said they'd pick me up for a part — a small part," says Gomez, now 88 and still living in Vegas. As the main characters prepare for their robbery at midnight on New Year's Eve, performers at all five casinos count down to the new year. Gomez filmed his part, in which he starts off the countdown, at the Sahara.
Ocean's 11 was shot primarily in the wee hours of the morning, following the nighttime performances of its stars at the Sands, so it's appropriate that its anniversary will be marked by a showing of both the original film and the remake as part of the Graveyard Double Features series at Frankie's Tiki Room, this Thursday night/Friday morning at 4 a.m. All that will be missing is a countdown from Edi Gomez.