More Than 20 Years After, the Ocean’s Eleven Casino Movie Has New Facts to Reveal

More Than 20 Years After, the Ocean’s Eleven Casino Movie Has New Facts to Reveal

When it comes to heist movies, “Ocean’s Eleven” stands out as one of the greatest examples of the genre. But the movie is also very famous for its amazing casino decor. Directed by Academy Award winner Steven Soderbergh and starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and Julia Roberts, it’s an ambitious and cleverly-executed film that exemplifies masterful storytelling and acting. 

The casino world has always been depicted as glamorous, shamefully luxurious, gloomy and criminal. There was always a dramatic story behind the bling-bling set of casinos and the gambling world. In Ocean’s Eleven, you’ll find all that but with vivid colors and tons of humor, which makes the casino world less intimidating than it really is. It was a big hit in theaters and more than 20 years later, it remains a fresh movie. We collected some facts about the movie that you may not know to spark interest to watch it if you haven’t yet or to re-watch it if you don’t know what to choose on Netflix. 

1.The original Ocean’s Eleven movie, which was made in 1960, was a Rat Pack movie starring Frank Sinatra and was famously shot on a very tight budget. Steven Soderbergh’s version was made for a much bigger budget (of course).  

2. The original 1960 movie was about a group of World War II veterans who conspire to rob five Vegas casinos simultaneously. It didn’t feature any of the complex plotting and twist endings that the 2001 version boasts. 

3. Steven Soderbergh insisted on shooting the remake in Las Vegas as opposed to any other location. He believed that only Las Vegas could provide the proper backdrop for a heist movie. And he was obviously right.

4. The iconic character of Linus Caldwell (played by Matt Damon) was originally written with Leonardo DiCaprio in mind. But Steven Soderbergh felt that Matt Damon had a special quality that would lend something unique to the role. 

5. The exterior of the Bellagio hotel in the movie is actually a different hotel called the historic Riviera which is located on the Vegas Strip.

6. Not only did George Clooney star in the film, but he was also the producer of the movie and was instrumental in the idea of remaking the original classic film. He even admitted during an interview that he didn’t like the original movie, featuring Frank Sinatra and thought that in essence, it’s the very famous cast that brought such a huge popularity back then, not the movie in itself.

7. The character of Rusty Ryan (played by Brad Pitt) is actually based on the real-life mobster Bugsy Siegel, who was instrumental in making Vegas what it is today. 

8. “Danny Ocean’s Eleven” was released as a novel before the movie was made. The novel was written by Harry Brown in 1960 and was later adapted for the screen. 

9. Stuntman Fred Nicholson played all of the poker playing stuntmen in the film and never revealed who his character was — this added yet another layer of intrigue to the movie. 

10. In the making-of documentary, Steven Soderbergh told that the most intimidating aspect of directing the movie was shooting inside the casinos. He said that it was during the pre-production that he realized the huge amount of sets that would take place behind the casinos doors. Lucky enough, or maybe because of very acute negotiations, the production was given a lot of access with the casino blocking off huge areas to accommodate the filming. An exclusivity in Las Vegas. 

Ocean’s Eleven is a reference that never gets old. More than twenty years later, it continues to be one of the most enjoyable and entertaining heist and casino movies of all time.


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