Robin and the 7 Hoods (1964)
In its never-ending quest to mine distinctive old movies (even silly ones) for current box-office gold, Hollywood has, with the signing of Brad Pitt and George Clooney to the project, finally firmed up plans to remake Ocean's 11, the 1960 Vegas heist flick that starred Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford, and tangential members of the Rat Pack. But it's a good bet no one will ever try to remake this later entry in the Pack's ouevre, 1964's Robin and the 7 Hoods, whose very plot sounds like something Sinatra and pals conjured up in the Sands Hotel at 4 a.m. after 12 Jack Daniels too many. It's a musical retelling of the Robin Hood legend, relocated to 1920s Prohibition Chicago! Sinatra is Robbo, a valiant little-guy speakeasy owner, who's locked in battle with Gisbourne (Peter Falk), a more powerful, more ruthless gangster, who's allied with corrupt lawmen, personified by Victor Buono. Martin gets to play the Little John analogue, while Davis sports the unlikely name of Will Scarlet. Bing Crosby duets with Sinatra, and the production is filled with tunes never performed since, such as "Mr. Booze" and "Don't Be a Do-Badder." (Since the setting is The City of the Big Shoulders, Frank does croon "My Kind of Town," which certainly helps.) This is the kind of movie they don't make any more--utterly synthetic escapist entertainment featuring world-class perfomers who obviously don't believe a thing they are doing, but are having a ball doing it.