Tagged: Sam Harmon

Sammy Davis Jr.’s Gray Jacket in Ocean’s 11

Sammy Davis Jr. and his Ocean's Eleven (1960) cast mates Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Peter Lawford, and Joey Bishop.

Sammy Davis Jr. and his Ocean’s Eleven (1960) cast mates Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Peter Lawford, and Joey Bishop. (Photo by Sid Avery)

Vitals

Sammy Davis Jr. as Josh Howard, sanitation worker and World War II veteran

Beverly Hills, December 1959

Film: Ocean’s Eleven
Release Date: August 10, 1960
Director: Lewis Milestone
Costume Designer: Howard Shoup
Tailor: Sy Devore

Background

The days between Christmas and New Year’s Eve are an ideal week for reunions. In the Rat Pack’s arguably most famous film, Danny Ocean (Frank Sinatra) organizes a reunion of eleven men from his 82nd Airborne unit for a heist to ring in the new year.

After deciding not to attempt the life of “a one-eyed third baseman in Mobile,” former paratrooper Josh Howard (Sammy Davis Jr.) took a job in sanitation. “Trash is where you find it,” Josh explains. “You gotta follow the fleet!” Continue reading

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Dean Martin’s Gray Suit in Ocean’s Eleven

Dean Martin as Sam Harmon in Ocean's Eleven (1960).

Dean Martin as Sam Harmon in Ocean’s Eleven (1960).

Vitals

Dean Martin as Sam Harmon, lounge singer, war veteran, and casino heister

Beverly Hills to Las Vegas, December 1959 through January 1960

Film: Ocean’s Eleven
Release Date: August 10, 1960
Director: Lewis Milestone
Costume Designer: Howard Shoup
Tailor: Sy Devore

Background

The height of the Rat Pack’s heyday was 1960. Frank’s buddy Jack was elected into the White House, Marilyn was still alive, and the whole gang was living it up in Vegas while filming Ocean’s Eleven. The movie began after Peter Lawford heard the story from Gilbert Kay, who had heard it from a gas station attendant. Once Frank Sinatra was on board, there was no doubt that his famous pals Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. would fill out the rest of the top billing.

It was while filming the movie’s finale, an irony-laden funereal march in front of The Sands, that one of the most iconic of Rat Pack images was captured: the five main performers – Sinatra, Dino, Sammy, Lawford, and Joey Bishop – in front of their names on the Sands’ marquee. Suited up by the legendary Sy Devore, the five men look like they could run the world. And in Las Vegas, they did. Continue reading

Dean Martin’s Blue Striped Sport Coat in Ocean’s Eleven

Dean Martin as Sam Harmon in Ocean's Eleven (1960).

Dean Martin as Sam Harmon in Ocean’s Eleven (1960).

Vitals

Dean Martin as Sam Harmon, lounge singer and part-time casino heister

Las Vegas, January 1960

Film: Ocean’s Eleven
Release Date: August 10, 1960
Director: Lewis Milestone
Costume Designer: Howard Shoup
Tailor: Sy Devore

Background

Tomorrow would’ve been the 97th birthday of a true icon from a past era… Dean Martin.

In the film that helped cement the Rat Pack’s place in history, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin play two old army pals who team up with nine fellow ex-commandos to take down five Las Vegas casinos on New Year’s Eve. Ocean’s Eleven is mostly an excuse for these actors to get together to drink, smoke, chase dames, and sing, but that’s all we really want to see them do anyway. Continue reading

Dean Martin’s Classic Brown Striped Sport Coat

Dean Martin and co-star Angie Dickinson in 1960's Ocean's Eleven.

Dean Martin and co-star Angie Dickinson in 1960’s Ocean’s Eleven.

Today would have been the 96th birthday of Dean Martin, the King of Cool.

Vitals

Dean Martin as Sam Harmon, lounge singer and part-time casino heister

Beverly Hills, December 1959

Film: Ocean’s Eleven
Release Date: August 10, 1960
Director: Lewis Milestone
Costume Designer: Howard Shoup
Tailor: Sy Devore

Background

Although Sinatra’s vision may have been for a more serious heist film, the presence of Dean Martin ensures that this time capsule of lounge-era cool kept things fun and lighthearted. After his brief introduction earlier in the film (where he sports a very sharp gray suit at the airport to be covered later), our true introduction to the Sam Harmon character begins at the Beverly Hills hotel as Sam provides a piano accompaniment to his own vocal rendition of Dino’s too-racy-for-radio hit “Ain’t That a Kick in the Head”. Continue reading