Tuesday, October 06, 2015

.....first-ever Technicolor to showcase M&L.

Hey pallies, likes  we finally returnin' once 'gain earnestly eager to share some more powerful patter from the pen of Mr. John McElwee over at his self tagged blog  "John McElwee's GREENBRIAR Picture Shows." Likes today we have 'nother look at 'nother of the Martin and Lewis classic flicks from the venerable view of Mr. McElwee.  This time 'round John truly truly shows off his keen knowledge of Dino-flicks with his post "Wallis Fiddles While 3-D Burns."

Likes, while this post doesn't have much to say directly 'bout our most beloved Dino or Dino's most beloved partner, Mr. Jerry Lewis, McElwee's potent prose is chocked full of details 'bout the producin' of "Money From Home" the only Martin and Lewis epic to be filmed in 3-D and the first to be featured in Technicolor.  For those of us Dino-holics who can never ever get 'nough details of our Dino and his work, John's remarkable reflections are a fantastic feast to be energetically  enjoyed.

John shares incredible insights to all the behind the scenes activity of producer Hal Wallis had on this
1953 cool caper that didn't reach wide release until 1954.  Read John's wise words to find out why.
Once 'gain, Mr. John McElwee has crafted a well written and researched post that we for one have gleaned quite a number of Dino-details from.

We shouts out our heart-felt hurrah!  to Mr. John McElwee for helpin' all of us grow in learnin' more and more of the Dino-story.  To checks this out in it's original source, per usual, simply clicks on the tag of this Dino-message.   Dino-studyin', DMP


Wallis Fiddles While 3-D Burns

Wallis Fiddles While 3-D Burns

Memphis Plays Money From Home Flat for New Year's Eve ...

Patronage To Paramount: Lay Those Glasses Down!

... Then Goes With 3D For 2/54 Date
Hal Wallis produced Money From Home on 100% independent basis, then dangled result before an eager Paramount, that company having up to then part-financed and split profits with HW and partner Joseph Hazen. The pact had sustained from wartime sign-up through over a dozen features, but it was Wallis/Hazen that had Dean and Jerry's contract, notParamount. The latter having no stake in Money From Home meant they had to vie with other distribs to handle gold brick this one was reckoned to be. Martin and Lewis were meanwhile flying their own indie colors, The Caddy a break from Wallis oversee and done for the team's own York Productions.Money From Home had been finished on May 1, 1953, a peak period for 3-D enthusiasm, but Wallis would dawdle months for a best distribution deal based on twin lures of the process and first-ever Technicolor to showcase M&L. Bloom came off the 3-D rose during eight month interim between Money From Home's completion and belated release. Customers had meantime got sick to death of depth and were by fourth quarter '53 ducking it for fresher Cinemascope. Columbia had Miss Sadie Thompsonset for year end release and let theatres decide yea or nay on 3-D. RichmondVa. saw Sadie play depthand flat in venues split between the formats, whilePhiladelphia's Goldman Theatre dropped the 3-D after one day and polling among patrons that indicated "overwhelming reaction ... in favor of flat presentation" (Variety).

Producer Hal Wallis Turns Key On Money Machine That Was Martin and Lewis

Indianapolis Says Yes To 3D for MFH
To this conflicted market, then, came Money From HomeParamount, having done a deal with Wallis/Hazen, announced a nationwide Preview for New Year's Eve 1953 at 322 theatres. The strategy had been used twice before for new Martin-Lewis shows. Paraexpressed "hopes to have the complete print order working at the special midnight shows," but there was the rub, for Technicolor labs would have to generate 644 prints in total, a left and right for each of the 322 houses playingMoney From Home. 3-D aspect of the plan did not come off, due to Technicolor's inability to supply dual prints by December 31 deadline. The previews consequently played flat, with general release announced for February 4, 1954. Paramount distribution chief Al Schwalberg added that Money From Home, originally slated as 3-D only for key dates, would instead be available "in standard form" should showmen prefer it. Most would.

Saturation in L.A. --- But Nix on 3D
England got "strong attraction" Money From Homeahead of the US for early January at the London Plaza, but trades did not indicate 3-D for that booking. February stateside dates tilted toward flat,Los Angeles and Chicago passing on the glasses, while Indianapolis and Memphis stayed with specs.Chicago, in fact, played Money From Home on a double-bill with Jivaro, another Paramount release (via the Pine-Thomas unit) that was made in 3-D, but shorn of the process for its Windy City play-off. Audiences didn't mind, the combo bringing "a sock $28,000" for opener week. Paramount by way of salvage dropped its surcharge on eyewear handed out to Money From Home customers, Film Bulletin(3/8/54) crediting the company for being first "to come to its senses on this subject." Para's lift of demand for percentage of 3-D glasses sales was a good will gesture coming too little/too late ... Money From Home ran 3-D in only 356 theatres, from which $357,910 returned in domestic rentals, while the flat version went out for 17,220 bookings, these earning $2.857 million. MFH has since played at several 3-D revivals, and there is a DVD (2-D and full frame) from Legend Films.

Monday, October 05, 2015

The ultimate menefreghista, as biographer Nick Tosches dubbed him: he didn’t care then and he certainly doesn’t on Nashville .

Hey pallies, likes we gotta 'fess up that likes we have been waitin' with bated breath  for more darin' 'n deep devotion to our Dino from our down under pallie Mr. Joshua Meggitt at his blog "...As Though The Shame Would Outlive Him."  Likes regular readers of ilovedinomartin will remember him as the awesome Aussie Dino-holic who coolly coolly celebrated the later years of our most beloved Dino's life, times, and teachin's with a  powerfully potent programme over Melbourne  Radio 3RRR FM's Max Headroom.

 Meggitt accented what he tags the "lacklustre Dino, playing choice filler from his later albums, with excerpts from such cinematic highlights as The Cannonball Run 2."  You can read all 'bout that  HERE as well as follow the link to be able to listen to the remarkable recordin' of Joshua hour homage of our main man.

Well likes we have been checkin' back and back to his primo pad just wantin' for more Dino-adulation from Mr. Meggitt.  And, likes recently we were rewarded for our efforts when we discovered the followin' post below tagged "Flat Champagne: The Last Albums of the Rat Pack."
As you will note our pallie Joshua scribed this prose "for Triple R's The Trip, a subscriber only magazine issued in August.  (Triple R bein' the radio station that aired Meggitt's trib to our Dino.)

As Joshua's title suggests, he takes an in-depth look at the last record al-b-ums released by our Dino and his pallies Mr. Sammy Davis Jr. and Mr. Frank Sinatra.  Of course, we are most purely partial to Meggitt's patter on our Dino's "Nashville Sessions" disc.  Likes we coulda tells you all 'bout it, but we wants you to reads Joshua's remarkable reflections first hand.  Likes we do have one quire for him in that he mentions our "suicide attempts."  Likes we have no recollection of ever readin' anythin' 'bout our Dino or his fam referencin' such thoughts.

Likes, we are deeply delighted to be able to feature more Dino-reflections from our pallie-in-Dino Mr. Joshua Meggitt and shouts out our thank you very much for your on-goin' efforts in liftin' up our King of Cool.  To read this in it's original source, simply clicks on the tag of this here Dino-report.
Dino-always, ever, and only, DMP

Monday, 14 September 2015

Flat Champagne: The Last Albums of the Rat Pack

I wrote this for Triple R's The Trip, a subscriber only magazine issued in August.

The Final Albums of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr

Between 1982-84, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr, the core members of the Rat Pack, all released their final solo studio albums. Strange, patchy affairs, with two recorded in Nashville and the other adding electronics, they are incongruous blots at the end of generally esteemed careers. By 1982, they were hardly in their prime (Sinatra 67, Martin 65 and Davis Jr 57), and their boozy crooning and misogynist humour was not in vogue. Even the lounge revival, itself a disrespectful satire of their Vegas showbiz style, was a decade away.

Lured by money, contractual obligations, curiosity or boredom, all three returned to the studio, perhaps regrettably, for a last hurrah. For all their faults, each reflects – in a rather warped way - the history and personality of their star, and collectively they reveal a picture of the entertainment industry’s perception and treatment of faded glory. Let’s revisit these long forgotten (if ever considered) products and see if anything still sparkles.

Frank Sinatra: LA Is My Lady (Qwest, 1984)
Sinatra’s final solo album (not counting Duets of 1993, or indeed 94’s Duets II) is the most respectable of the three, with by far the biggest budget, and corresponding effort, and is consequently the least interesting. Hardly surprising as his career had fewer outright lowlights than Dean or Sammy, and Sinatra, the consummate professional, seemed unable to do anything half hearted, or use irony (his appearance in The Canonball Run 2 excepted – note his body double in scenes with Burt Reynolds). It’s telling too that, of the three, only Sinatra strives to remain relevant and update his sound for the eighties: recruiting Quincy Jones, at his peak in 1984, and a huge cast of crack players, from George Benson to the Brecker Brothers. He also adds synthesizers, and on the title track, disco rhythms. These kitsch moments are amusing, but for the most part it’s just a bigger big band and a tired Frank. This is especially so on “How to Keep the Music Playing”, another disco number, which asks the wrong question and truly drags. The joy of LA Is My Lady however is in watching money and talent squandered, producing something dazzling but flat, smoke and mirrors, more coal than diamond. It was also released on video and featured Frank’s latest pallies, Eddie Van Halen, Donna Summer and David Lee Roth, broadcast on the fledgling MTV Network. As a final insult, LA is my Lady was recorded in New York .

Dean Martin: The Nashville Sessions (Warner Brothers, 1983)
By 1983 Dino hadn’t released an album since 1978’s Once In A While, which was cobbled together from recordings from back in 1974. Like all of his seventies output, Once in a While was an ugly melange of 1930s Tin Pan Alley standards rendered in country-tinged pop-brass, with Dean swanning in at the last moment to overdub his vocal parts. The ultimate menefreghista, as biographer Nick Tosches dubbed him: he didn’t care then and he certainly doesn’t on Nashville . Dino had dabbled in country on a number of albums (Dino “Tex” Martin Rides Again, Country Style, Gentle On My Mind), not to mention dixieland (Way Out Yonder, Dino Goes Dixie, Southern Style); indeed, there was little he didn’t touch (French Style, Cha-Cha-Cha D’Amour, Sings Italian Love Songs, Dino Latino, countless Christmas albums). With The Nashville Sessions however, Dino dips more than a toe in the country pool: Merle Haggard joins him on “Everybody’s Had The Blues”, and Conway Twitty on “My First Country Song”.

At 65, and with a lifetime of booze, fags and indifference behind him, Dean’s voice has a weathered purr comparable to late Johnny Cash (Dino always, bafflingly, had a Southern drawl, despite being an Italian from Ohio), and few seem as comfortable fronting such studio froth (his TV career was sodden with canned laughter). Opener “Old Bones” is a highlight, a loping self-pitying ballad about ageing featuring the line “I love life I’d like to do it again”. This rings particularly hollow given Dino’s addiction to painkillers, suicide attempts and almost violent misanthropy. “Drinking Champagne ” is more accurate: “I’m drinking champagne, and feeling no pain, ‘til early morning”. The pace never quickens from slurred ballad crawl, with “Shoulder to Shoulder” and “In Love Up To My Heart” both particularly narcoleptic, cloaked in anodyne female backing (a Dino trademark). The Nashville Sessions also features Dean’s only music video, produced by his son Ricci, “Since I Met You Baby”: tuxedoed Dino, glassy eyed and lost amidst sequences of swimsuited eighties ladies, palm trees and cheap video effects. Prime fodder for sampling chill wave hypnagogues but, alas, The Nashville Sessions has so far eluded the modern hipster’s retro grasp.

Sammy Davis Jr: The Closest of Friends (Applause, 1982)
Recorded in Nashville, hardly the logical musical resting place of Sammy Davis Jr, The Closest of Friends (also known as Sings Country Classics) is among the most strangely poignant of final albums. With material penned by the city’s country finest (Don Gibson, Kris Kristofferson, Merle Travis), yet cheaply recorded with plastic keyboards and hokey arrangements, it pits Sammy’s still impressive croon (he was the youngest of the three) against cold industry indifference and musical mediocrity. This was a context Dino seemed drawn to, even thrive in, but Sammy comes off second best. “Smoke Smoke Smoke That Cigarette” is pleasingly macabre, opening to Sammy’s wheeze before he boasts “I’ve smoked all my life and I ‘aint dead yet” (he would be, by throat cancer, in 1990). Sammy is on decent form throughout, but it’s a struggle: through ill-fitting flange guitar gospel (“Come Sundown”), wayward Casio runs (“Mention a Mansion) and awkward lyrics ("Hey, Won't You Play (Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song)". The standout however goes to “(We Could Have Been) The Closest of Friends”, which reads like a heartfelt plea to his more famous and accepted white Rat Packers, his musical colleagues in Nashville, and even his audience. As with Martin’s late work, there is something perversely endearing in the loveless product that is The Closest of Friends, but this scrapes a barrel lower than Dean ever did, with Sammy reluctantly forced to eat what he’s served. As testament to the industry’s enduring disrespect for Sammy Davis Jr, The Closest of Friends is among his most frequently reissued albums, generally with misleading album title and artwork.

Sammy was the first to go, aged 64 (damned cigarettes!), with Dean following in 1995 (fittingly on Christmas Day, aged 78) and Frank making it to 82 in 1998. All joined forces, briefly, in 1988 for a railroad-stadium reunion tour, but Martin bailed early, to be replaced by Liza Minelli. Aside from Frank’s stocking filler Duets albums they recorded nothing more. Out with a whimper, like flat champagne, but one with a strange, lingering aftertaste that may just grow on you.


Sunday, October 04, 2015

Danny G's Sunday Serenade with Dino: "It's A Good Day"

Wow! What a mood I'm in today, pals!
Youse ever feel like youse can take on the world?!

Well...that's how I'm feelin' today, mi amici!
Crazy what a difference a day makes...well...& a bunch of Dino too! Haha!!
A week ago I'd probably be moanin' & groanin' & playin' the blues for our Serenade.
Lets me explain.
On Monday, I decided to get a jump on Fall clean-up & start packin' away the patio stuff I won't be usin' 'til Spring.
 So, long story short...I zigged when I shoulda zagged...didn't watch where I was walkin'...fell off my little patio wall...& BAM!...life was not so good.

Now...24 wee inches may not be very high off the ground, but...landin' the wrong way... can be DE TRI MEN TAL to your day!
Or the next two months...as I found out.
Yup...foot in a cast with some shattered bones. Ugh.

Couldn't walk. Couldn't drive. Couldn't sleep. I basically had to sit in a chair... with my leg up...for what seemed like the rest of eternity!
Well, pallies...NO WAY I was doin' this for long!
 Needed some motivation!
Some inner strength!
Someone to slap some life back into me!
Bet youse can guess who that someone was.
 I hopped...& crawled...up to my room.
Threw the Dino-jams on.
Somehow got dressed.
& out the door!
Wasn't easy, pals.
 Gotta takes it slow for a while....but....I'm BACK!
Thanks to our Numero Uno Paisano...& ESPECIALLY one certain tune...I'm back!

 Couldn't wait to share this GREAT GREAT Dino-jam with all youse GREAT GREAT Dino-holics, today!
Maybe this tune will be your ROCK someday when youse is hurtin' too, pallies! Someday when youse need a little extra push!
The power of Dean NEVER ceases to amaze me, my friends.
Check it out & remember...with Dino..."It's A Good Day"!

Yeah it's a good day for singin' a song
And it's a good good day for movin' along
Yeah it's a good day how could anything go wrong
A good day from morning till night

Yes it's a good day for shinin' your shoes
And it's a good good day for losin' the blues
Everything to gain and nothing to lose
Cause it's a good day from morning till night

I said to the sun good morning sun rise and shine today
You know you've got to get goin' if you're gonna make a showin'
And you know you've got to get the right of way

Cause it's a good day for payin' your bills
And it's a fine fine day for curin' your ills
So take a deep breath and throw away your pills
Cause it's a good day from morning till night

(I said to the sun good morning sun rise and shine today
You know you've got to get goin' if you're gonna make a showin'
And you know you've got the right of way)

Cause it's a good day for payin' your bills...
Good day from morning till night yeah
(Good good day from morning till night)

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Scotty's Sharin': 'Rat Pack' Members Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and Frank Sinatra at a Fundraiser in Santa Monica, California May 22, 1978

My Photo
Hey pallies, likes today we will stretch our little break from all the awesome action a la Dino from our pallie Mr. John McElwee over at his bountiful self tagged blog, "John McElwee's GREENBRIAR Picture Shows" to brings all youse Dino-holics the latest 'n greatest Dino-action from our Dino-delighted Dino-bro Scotty over at his beau-ti-ful blog "BlueisKewl."

Likes in honor of the news that our most beloved Dino's fellow Rat Packer Mr. Sammy Davis Jr has just had a street named in his honor in 'Vegas baby 'Vegas....Sammy Davis Jr. Drive which accordin' to the patter that our dude Scotty-o has shared below will "intersect with existing roadways that are named after Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin."  Now, likes how cool is that all youse Dino-philes?!?!?!?!

And, likes our most Dino-honorin' pallie Scotty also shares with his readership a powerfully primo pose of our Dino, Mr. Davis Jr. and Mr. Sinatra at a fundraiser in Santa Monica, Cali on May 22, 1978.  Don't the pack looks likes there are havin' mucho fun as they raise funds?!?!?!?!?!

Once 'gain we thanks our pallie of pallies Scotty for hugely homagin' our Dino at his potent personal pad and for helpin' more and more folks into the Dino-know and to offer awesome affection for our main man.  To checks this out in it's original format, simply clicks on the tag of this here Dino-report.
Dino, always, Dino, DMP

'Rat Pack' Members Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and Frank Sinatra at a Fundraiser in Santa Monica, California May 22, 1978

Rat Pack to be reunited when Industrial renamed Sammy Davis Jr. Drive

Written by Matt Guillermo.

LAS VEGAS - Clark County is preparing to reunite the Rat Pack as a planned street renaming takes place on Tuesday.

In July, the county's Board of Commissioners approved to fund the remaining proceeds needed to rename a 1.8-mile stretch of Industrial Road after Sammy Davis Jr.

According to the county, street signs on Industrial Road south of Sahara Avenue will be replaced with the Rat Packers' name. Industrial is located just west of the Las Vegas Strip.

The renaming was already approved several years ago, the county said. At the time, though, the party pushing for the renaming could not raise sufficient private funds to change out the signs.

Sammy Davis Jr. Drive will intersect with existing roadways that are named after Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.

A dedication ceremony is set for Tuesday at 10 a.m. at the point where all three Rat Pack streets intersect. Davis' family, county commissioners and Josh Elliott, who advocated the change, will be on hand.

"I am so happy to see my father reunited in the town we have loved with his best friends," said Tracey Davis, the performer's daughter. "I am sure Uncles Frank and Dean along with my legendary father are smiling right now."

In all, 11 signs will be replaced with a majority to be changed within a day of the dedication.

Copyright 2015 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


Friday, October 02, 2015

On This Day In Dino-history: October 2, 1941

Hey pallies, likes we gotta 'fess up that likes we have been likes real slackers in sharin' this significant day in Dino-history.  Likes it's been a number of years since ilovedinomartin shared some patter on this day, October 2 in the year of our Dino 1941 when our most beloved Dino said "I Do" for the first time as he married  Elizabeth Anne "Betty" McDonald marry at St. Ann's Church in Cleveland Heights.

Four offsprings were born to our Dino and Betty....one boypallie and three girlpallies : Stephen (Craig), Claudia, Barbara (Gail), and Deana.  Our information for this comes from a source that we haven't shared for a long, long time.....Mr.Mark R. over at his all thin's Capitol Records blog, "popculturefanboy." In checkin' at his blog, we discovered that at present it doesn't look like it is currently active with Mark's last post on November 22, 2014.

ilovedinomartin sends out our appreciato for how on top of Dino-history our pallie Mark R. has been.... helpin' all us Dino-holics to grow in knowin' the life and times of our most beloved Dino. To view this in it's original format, likes clicks on the tag of this here Dino-gram. Dino-learnin', DMP

1941 - Future Capitol Records artist Dean Martin marries his first wife Elizabeth (Betty) Anne McDonald who will become mother of their children Stephen (Craig), born June 29, 1942; Claudia, born March 16, 1944; Barbara (Gail), born April 11, 1945; and Deana (Dina), born August 19, 1948

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Dean plays parts of The Stoogelike a noir anti-hero.

Hey pallies, likes today we are powerfully pleased to return once 'gain to our new pallie Mr. John McElwee's self tagged blog "John McElwee's GREENBRIAR Picture Shows."  McElwee always always superbly scribes his prose entries at his beau-ti-ful blog devoted to the big screen, and likes when it comes to accentin' our most beloved Dino's actin' credits, John's deep devotion and awesome appreciation for our main man supremely shines brighter then bright!

Today we share with all youse Dino-holics McElwee's touchin' thoughts on the Martin and Lewis classic, "The Stooge."  Likes, we couldn't 'gree more with how John tags his remarkable review, "Dean and Jerry Being Themselves in The Stooge (1952)."  One of the thin's we so so appreciate 'bout McElwee's wonderful work is that we always always seem to learn a new-to-us Dino-fact or two.  Likes, we don't ever remember knowin' that filmed "almost two years before its release."

John uses that pertinent point to reflect in how much   all use Dino-philes know "The Stooge' storyline reflected more and more the tensions between our Dino and Mr. Lewis.   We coulda shares more of Mr. McElwee's wise and wonderful words of this remarkable reflection, but we wanna leaves that for your Dino-discovery.

Once 'gain Mr. John McElwee has offered his readership the opportunity to powerfully ponder  the deeper and perhaps even darker side of our Dino and Mr. Lewis in "The Stooge."  To checks this out in it's original source, simply clicks on the tag of this here Dino-sharin'  Always, Dino, Always, DMP


Was It The Martin and Lewis Story?

Dean and Jerry Being Themselves in The Stooge (1952)

A Martin and Lewis done almost two years before its release, a delay caused by --- what? There's been suggestion that producer Hal Wallis was discomfited by subject matter, Dean being a heel to doormat Jerry and far less laughs than had been case with initial M&L's. If The Stooge got under skin, it might have been Jerry's, his title character desperate throughout to please an indifferent Dean. Was this by most accounts, including Lewis' own, how things were offscreen? Dean plays parts of The Stoogelike a noir anti-hero. I wonder if he ever passed Burt Lancaster or Charlton Heston in Wallis hallways and wondered why he couldn't do the straight and rugged stuff. Anything off-formula was figured to shake limbs, and Wallis had overseen enough series to know folly in that. What was difference to his mind between Dean/Jerry and Joe E. Browns turned out wholesale at Warner Bros. while Wallis ran production there in the 30's? Martin and Lewis would have looked to be a fad with four or maybe five years to maximize output, never mind merit, and harvest whatever there'd be of coin before novelty and interest flagged.

Jerry Lewis complained that Wallis had no head for comedy and I can imagine Hal wondering what point theperformer was trying to make. Here was rush on a finite vein of gold, as Dean Martin might also have sensed. Could that be why he took money and ran to golf courses? Lewis had Chaplinesque designs and would eventually upset a golden apple cart. I wish an alternate history could tell us how much longer M&L might have lasted as a team had the 1956 break-up not occurred. The Stooge came at peak of a public's engagement. For young folk, especially boys, Martin and Lewis were a happier discovery than even Abbott and Costello had been. What is laborious inThe Stooge are routines Jerry does sans Dean, like a lunch counter exchange or business with a  squirting sink in a train compartment. Lewis relied mostly on two expressions: manic and pouty. He's likeable with neither to my thinking. At least there's curiosity for Lewis pics with Martin; when Jerry became the whole show, it was every viewer for him/herself.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

(at one point during filming, Dino asked Frank if he might finally look at a script)

Hey pallies, likes here is part numero duo from Mr. John McElvee's fabulous collection of Dino-hearted offerings at his self tagged blog, "John McElwee's GREENBRIAR Picture Shows."  To us, this "The Rat Pack and Ocean's 11 --- Part Two" shows off McElwee's huge knowledge of cinema and the English language...stunnin'ly scribed and fabulously focused.  McElwee continues his great case for his deep desire that the Rat Pack woulda taken this heist flick much more seriously.

This provocative prose from John, of course, captured our Dino-attentionado....."In probably the film's best exchange, Dean Martin points up futility of O11's scheme and the group's lack of fitness to carryoff same, this rare occasion of DM reading Ocean's dialogue with something like conviction. Was he speaking more to futility of having made this movie? (at one point during filming, Dino asked Frank if he might finally look at a script)"

First we are pleased as punch that John  kudos our Dino with "probably the film's best exchange."   Second, we never ever remember hearin' the story 'bout our most beloved Dino askin' Mr. Sinatra to see the script"....a very very cool Dino-detail for sure.  Truly McElvee offers convincin' evidence for his cool case of desirin' much more from the Pack's efforts in O11.  We have to 'fess up that even with all the wondrous words and tremendous thoughts that our new pallie John offers, we loves the flick just as it is....probably 'cause, likes of course, we loves everythin' that our delightful Dino does just as it is!

Likes, 'gin John offers a stunnin' set of images from the film.  We are particularly fond of the one we share below....loves the evocative expression on our Dino's fabulous face; loves the tag line that McElvee coolly 'n cleverly adds..."Watch Out, Dean!  There's A Real Actor Behind You."

Once 'gin our Dino-diggin' pallie Mr. John McElvee has effusively expressed his pure pure passion for our one and only Dino and we are thrilled to find 'nother dude who is likes totally totally sold out to our main man.  To checks this out in it's original format, simply click on the tag of this here Dino-gram.  More from our Dino-holic pallie John tomorrow, right here at ilovedinomartin.  Dino-always, ever, and only, DMP


The Rat Pack and Ocean's 11 --- Part Two

The caper itself was so outlandish as to discourage imitation. That much was probably agreed upon going in. Robbing Las Vegas in 1960 would have been another name for suicide. Not for a moment does this plan seem a serious one, Ocean's 11 tempering the Pack's lunatic notion with comedy and what amounts to a town's own Surgeon General's warning: Never, ever try this for real. That undercuts suspense, of course. We don't sense a Mafia's heavy hand toward protecting its own, but surely membership issued Frank a Do Not list prior to shooting. You Wouldn't Call It a Gang, said Warner ads. Well, no you wouldn't, except maybe Our Gang for childish means by which this heist is executed. Did rivalMob families ever consider a for-real knock over of Vegas casinos? Surely if they did, Ocean's 11 would be no model for planning. Guess the town was sewn up too tight for anyone to ponder such a thing. In probably the film's best exchange, Dean Martin points up futility of O11's scheme and the group's lack of fitness to carryoff same, this rare occasion of DM reading Ocean's dialogue with something like conviction. Was he speaking more to futility of having made this movie? (at one point during filming, Dino asked Frank if he might finally look at a script)

There were cameos to pass dull parts easier.Red Skeltondid a funny to Frank's deadpan reaction and was off within a minute,same with Shirley MacLaine and what looks like an ad-libbed drunk scene opposite Dean. More effective were drop-ins by faded names tossed a day's work for reasons lost to time. I'd guess George Raft and Hoot Gibson were greeting at some lounge/casino in town. Both had filled such position at one time or other. Raft was not long back from shaking hands at Cuban tables before lights went out there. He lends gravitas to a post-robbery boardroom scene that's reasonably close, I suppose, to what might have gone on among Mafia chieftains should a real Vegas raid have taken place. Was gang-connected Raft too close to actuality of casino ownership for comfort? Guess Mobsters figured George for a late show relic too far past prime to suggest true crime, not unlike his back to the 20's racketeer in Some Like It Hot. Hoot was something else, a face dating to when Vegas was all sand. Who knows ... maybe he'd chased indians across that desert once. Anyway, he was there for viewers ancient enough to recognize him, up to and including Frank and Dino ... both may have sat in as boys on Hooter's silent shoot-em-ups. I'd love knowing just whose idea it was to give him a break on Ocean's 11.

The guy what steals Ocean's 11 is Caesar Romero. He pretty much takes charge of the third act. Did Frank and company know or care about this Joker's heist? A group of five to whom I ranOcean's 11 last week all agreed it was Romero's show from the robbery's finish on in. 1960 observers thought so too. Several polls place him in supporting Oscar nominee contention forOcean's 11, observed Variety in December of that year. Caesar himself got out a trade ad to spread word of critic's approval (above). For my money, he's the cool cat in this show --- suave, unflappable and making most of scenes via commitment several times that of blasé Rat Packers. One scene Sinatra would undoubtedly have ordered reshot, had he noticed, shows CR entering a room and towering over the diminutive star. Did Romero get his lion's share of Ocean's 11 for showing up to work as opposed to oft-truant principal players? My viewing group came away from Ocean's 11 wishing he'd framed the caper ... maybe in that event it would have come off successfully.

Some reshooting might have helped. Peter Lawford prevailed upon Warners to fill in obvious holes, but they attended more to splashy premiere plans than squaring away a better movie. Power-less player Lawford would go along to get along, a sad fate for anyone in Sinatra's razzmatazz orbit. To his credit, though, Frank kicked in on selling side of O11, attending a June New York meet with director Lewis Milestone and WB execs to round out plans for an August grand open in Vegas. Sinatra liked the pic well enough to private preview it for John and Jackie Kennedy at his Palm Springs home. Spencer Tracy was also there ... wonder if Spence gave Frank an honest answer when asked how he liked the show. World Premiering at LV's Fremont Theatre was sure enough a blowout. Streets jammed, a parade up the Strip, celebrities near outnumbering civilians. Some of revels would turn up on Jack Parr's vid show later. A "summit meet" at the Sands preceding the open reunited the Pack and fired up WB's Steve Trilling to propose filming the act to send out as a follow-up concert feature. But where could it be shown?, asked Army Archerd: The boys rehearsed the material in the locker room, an indication of the tenor of the entertainment offered by the jolly boy's club.

Lewis Milestone was ringside for the Sands party and premiering that followed. He'd afterward go on a twelve-city US tour to promote Ocean's 11. Whatever this director earned over a long career was doubtless dwarfed by percentage payday realized here. He'd later speak well of the film and Sinatra to historians. 1960 showmen in for less loot felt Warners was working a caper of its own, as even neighborhood sub-runs were being hit up for 50% of receipts, a distributor grab in excess of Paramount's 35% demand for the same summer's Psycho. Erstwhile co-producer Peter Lawford, rich off those terms, shopped a biopic around on champ jockey Johnny Longden he'd worked on for several seasons, but ... no takers. His Thin Man TV series had wrapped and expulsion from the Pack would come later, thanks to contretemps with Frank that were in no way Peter's fault. The Chairman himself looked back on Ocean's 11 as a "fun" movie and little more. He'd live long enough to see Rat Pack (a term he always despised) high-life celebrated anew by hipsters not yet born when the pic played new. Just the fact it moved up Warners' Blu-Ray release schedule makes clear O11's continuing hold on fans wishing its ring-a-ding world could live again as their own.