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The Rat Trap

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Plenty has changed in the 41 years since Frank, Dino, and Sammy first knocked over five casinos in the fabled Rat Pack flick Ocean’s Eleven. As Steven Soderbergh’s A-list remake opens this week—starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Julia Roberts—Vegas is more theme park than swingin’ strip of style and sin. But old-school kicks can still be had in that coo-coo place Frank might call Websville, where you’ll even find crooner Buddy Greco, one of the few Rat Pack cronies with their own site (buddy-greco.com). ”Las Vegas 30, 40 years ago was nothing but fun. We were just like kids playing pranks on each other,” says Greco, who was performing at the Sands hotel while the original flick was filming. ”What’s happening now, everyone’s starving for the real people and styles that put this town on the map.” And there may be no better place to find the real deal than the Web. So hit it, pallies:

OCEAN’S ELEVEN (oceans11.warnerbros.com) Welcome to Slicksville, Charley. The new flick’s official showcase plays up its eclectic cast of con men (Scott Caan as the Getaway, Bernie Mac as the Inside Man). Lounge a while to soundtrack riffs by David Holmes as you fish for the site’s jackpot: interviews with genuine Vegas security experts explaining how people rip off casinos. B+

THRILLVILLE (http://www.thrillville.net) Site daddy Will ”the Thrill” Viharo drapes his slick digs with instructional rants about the Pack lifestyle—from Tikis to martinis and beyond. Now his pad’s the HQ for a boycott of the Eleven remake, which he calls a tasteless trashing of an important time capsule. ”I worship the holy trinity of Frank, Dino, and Sammy,” says Viharo, who hosts a weekly B-movie night at Oakland’s retro-chic Parkway Theater. ”Now these imposters come out usurping that identity, and it’s offensive. I mean, these new guys don’t even sing.” B

THE RAT PACK HOME PAGE (rat-pack.net) Surfing this sloppy, heartfelt homage is like finding a matchbook from the Sands in the pocket of your sharkskin suit. The kinetic collection of Rat Pack flotsam runs from countless Dino links to singing-Sammy sound clips. Groove on an animated tribute to atomic-age barn burner Angie Dickinson, much more than the Julia Roberts of her time. The site hasn’t been updated in a while but, heck, most of these guys are high rollers at the Big Casino, anyway. B

THE SAMMY DAVIS JR. ASSOCIATION (sammydavis-jr.com) Rat-packed with news and history, this fan-club site fits the Candyman like a monogrammed robe. Keep tabs on the upcoming Sammy-inspired musical Quincy Jones is producing, or just dig the goodies: music clips, Davis’ FBI files, and some of the Web’s best Pack-era pics. Plus, learn how not to talk like an original Major Bowes Amateur Hour loser with the Rat Pack lexicon. Ring-a-ding! What, that’s not enough? Say ta-ta to the era, then, with a video clip of the Sands being demolished in 1996. Dustville! A-

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