< Return to Latter-day Saint Characters in Movies

Latter-day Saint (Mormon) Characters
in the movie

Ocean's Eleven (2001)

"Ocean's Eleven" (2001)
Directed by Steven Soderbergh
Screenplay by Ted Griffin
Based on the the 1960 movie screenwritten by Harry Brown and Charles Lederer, from a story by George Clayton Johnson and Jack Golden Russell

Starring: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia, Bernie Mac, Elliott Gould, Casey Affleck, Scott Caan, Shaobo Qin, Carl Reiner, Don Cheadle, Mycole Metcalf

MPAA Rating: PG-13
U.S. Box Office: $183,405,771
Production budget: $85,000,000

This light-hearted all-star crime caper is a remake of the laid back 1960 "Brat Pack" movie "Ocean's 11," which starred Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford and other major stars of the day.

In the 2001 movie "Ocean's Eleven," actors Scott Caan and Casey Affleck play "Turk and Virgil Malloy," two Latter-day Saints from Provo, Utah. The "Mormon brothers" (as they are referred to in the film) are hired to drive the getaway car and do other jobs for the heist at the center of the plot. Turk and Virgil are two of the "Eleven" referred to in the film's title.

Although Turk and Virgil are specifically called the "Mormon brothers" in the movie, their religious affiliation has no apparent relevance to the plot or to their characters.

The Malloy brothers are introduced in a scene that takes place in Provo, Utah (where over 90% of the population are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). But the majority of the movie takes place in Las Vegas, Nevada, a city founded by Latter-day Saints.

There are a number of possible reasons why this movie has Latter-day Saints as two of its major characters. Perhaps the most likely reason is that the Turk and Virgil Malloy characters were included because the original 1960 "Ocean's 11" had a Latter-day Saint character from Utah. In the 1960 movie, Actor Clem Harvey played "Louis Jackson" (known as "Louie"), a Latter-day Saint cowboy from Salt Lake City. For the most part, the 2001 Soderbergh version did not try to replicate the mix of characters from the 1960 film, but the Malloy brothers may have been one homage-like attempt to do so.

Also, both movies feature an eclectic mix of characters from various parts of the country. The writers of the updated "Ocean's Eleven" may simply have felt that Mormons would be an appropriately exotic and interesting addition to a group that also included a Chinese acrobat, a black pyrotechnician, a Chicago pickpocket, and others.

"Ocean's Eleven" was directed by Academy Award winner Steven Soderbergh. In addition to the two Mormon characters in "Ocean's Eleven," Soderbergh previously directed "The Limey" (which has a Latter-day Saint references in the original script and on the DVD), "Traffic" (which features two Latter-day Saint U.S. senators in cameo appearances) and "Erin Brockovich" (which starred Latter-day Saint actors Aaron Eckhart in the third-billed role as the title character's boyfriend). This is probably a coincidence, however, rather than an indication that Soderbergh has intentionally included Mormon elements in his movies.

Below is the dialogue from this scene, as it can be heard in the movie:

Character Name (actor name): Dialog

Character Name (actor name): Dialog

[NOTE: The dialogue above is an exact transcript from the film as it actually was released. Where there are discrepancies between our transcript and the optional English subtitles shown onscreen on the DVD, it is the transcript that is correct. Mistakes in the DVD subtitles are usually a result of presenting subtitles based on the shooting script rather than transcribing the audio track.]

   Turk and his brother were Mormons, peace-loving good boys.
    - Ocean's Eleven

Excerpts from Ocean's Eleven, the novelization of the movie

Source: Ocean's Eleven, written by Dewey Gram. Based closely on a screenplay by Ted Griffin, which was based loosely on the 1960 screenplay by Harry Brown and Charles Lederer. An Onyx Book (imprint), published 2001 by New American Library, a division of Penguin Putnam Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014. First printing.

Below are some excerpts from the Ocean's Eleven novelization featuring scenes with Virgil and Turk Malloy. These excerpts deal primarily with the characters being Latter-day Saints from Utah. Most excerpts simply describing their part in the elaborate casino heist are not included below.

Pages 45-47:
As they spoke, Frank was deplaning at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. He strode into the baggage area, grabbed his suitcase and garment bag from the carousel, and exited into the salubrious Vegas sun.

Under a WELCOME TO LAS VEGAS banner, he stopped, put his bags down, and lit a cigarette. He inhaled with deep satisfaction, his apparent bronchitis miraculously cured.

He moved on toward the taxi bay.

"What about drivers?" Danny said, watching the in-line skaters in their sway-top bikinis roll by on the Venice bike path.

Rusty was tracking a pair of blondes with X-rated bodies receding in a southerly direction. "I talked to the Malloys yesterday," he said.

"The Mormon twins?" Danny said, his attention wandering in the same direction.

"They're both in Salt Lake City," Rusty said.

At a vacant, weedy drag racetrack in Salt Lake City, two souped-up tractor-wheeled monster trucks, their engines roaring before a starting line, were itching to leap across it and go.

The first monster truck, its engine revving loudly, howled and trembled and made little reflexive jerks toward the line.

Next to this was an infinitely larger, souped up, belching monster truck -- an actual, life-size truck. The first one, sprouting an antenna from its back bumper, was a micromonster -- a remote-control toy standing just a foot and a half off the ground.

The engines roared, each one at a pitch appropriate to its size, both vibrating vehicles aimed down the track at the same finish line a hundred yards away. This was a genuine, side-by-side race.

The drivers stared each other down: Turk Malloy, six feet up in the cab of the real truck; and Virgil Malloy, feet on the ground trackside, remote control in his hands.

"They're nice boys, the Malloys," Danny said. "Really."

"They're six months off the job," Rusty said.

Lights flashed red to yellow to green at the drag racetrack, and the big truck coated the asphalt with rubber, gained traction, and grabbed the early lead.

Virgil's toy spun its wheels, fishtailed, and got off to an agonizingly slow start.

But as the big truck bellowed down the track, the little truck came zipping up fast, headed for the front and a sure win. It was looking to be an embarrassment for Turk, until he jerked his wheel a little and--ka-thunk!--flattened his brother's radio-controlled vehicle.

Virgil pouted as he plucked the smoking wreckage of his entry off the track.

"I got the sense," Rusty said, "they're having trouble filling the hours."

Pages 70-71:
The bar was fully stocked. The buffet table was overflowing. The help had done their thing and been sent home.

Frank Catton was already there, mixing himself a drink.


Unaccustomed as he was to responding personally to the doorbell chimes, Tishkoff heaved himself up from a lounge chair and shuffled toward the front. He opened his door to find a street gang.

"Trick or treat," Livingston said.

Livingston, Basher, Yen, the Malloys, Saul, and Linus crowded his doormat. A taxi van pulled away behind them.

"What?" Tishkoff said. "You guys get a group rate?"

It was a munificent setting and a magnificent party. Wine and booze loosened lips and stories of great hilarity were told of heroic feats by men absent and present. And all of the stories were absolutely true, except the ones that were lies.

At the buffet table along one wall of Tishkoff's, living room, Virgil and Turk piled shrimp onto plates as Saul pocketed a couple of oranges for later.

"You make it out to Utah much, Saul?" Turk said. Turk and his brother were Mormons, peace-loving good boys.

"Not as much as I'd like," said Saul, the last man you'd ever see in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

"You should," Turk said. "You'd like it. You'd like Provo."

"Anybody see the salsa goes with this?" Virgil said, scarfing down a jumbo shrimp. He was the shyer brother; he left the social small talk to Turk.

Pages 86-87:
Turk and Virgil Malloy clomped into the Mirage and gawked like schoolboys. Apart from the fifty-foot-high erupting volvano outside, the place had animals! It was a tropical palace with its own indoor rain forest. It had a white-tiger habitat, a shark aquarium, a dolphin house, and a secret garden. The Malloy boys were in heaven. Only a cell-phone call from Rusty got them back to work.

With pockets full of quarters they lumbered in to play the slots and found that many of the slots were now completely electronic. Slip in your credit card or bank debit card and play; pour your hard-earned money down the rat hole the easy way. The Malloys stuck with the blue-haired ladies playing the hard-currency coin slots. Feet-on-the-ground kind of boys, they needed to feel the physical weight of their losses--and occasional gains--as they experienced them.

The whole time they were at the slots or the roulette wheel or the Keno lounge, of course, they were working.

They picked out one front-entrance guard and shadowed him on his shift change. They watched him approach an employees-only area and swipe a keycard through a keypad--a keycard identical to the one Frank was scoping out at the Bellagio. Lights on the keypad flashedred to green, admitting the guard into the employees-only doorway.

The keycard system wasn't so bad--keycards could be lifted or duplicated. But there was also, standing by the door, a uniformed sentry. And there was also, above the door, a security camera embedded in the ceiling. No one walked through that portal unchecked and unapproved.

Their job done, the Malloys started toward the casino's exit in different directions. They began to argue. The shortest way out was this way. No, it was that way.

Two weeks they had to solve the casinos. Two weeks began to look like barely time enough to get started, for all the ins and outs the Danny Ocean Irregulars had to master.

"Second task: power," Danny had said. As Basher Tarr waited for the light to turn green on Las Vegas Boulevard outside the three casinos with dozens of other tourists, Danny's charge echoed in his head. "On the night of the fight, we're gonna throw the switch on Sin City. Basher, ifs your show."

The Strip shimmered now in the scalding sun, teeming with families--hardly like the Sin City they all knew and loved. Instead it was Dad and Mom and biblical multitudes of kids. Overheated, whining, screaming, power-loading sugar drinks and carbo indigestibles.

Mom and Dad were not there, as of yore, for the big-ticket lounge acts and glamorous, bare-red to green, admitting the guard into the employees-only doorway.

The keycard system wasn't so bad--keycards could be lifted or duplicated. But there was also, standing by the door, a uniformed sentry. And there was also, above the door, a security camera embedded in the ceiling. No one walked through that portal unchecked and unapproved.

Their job done, the Malloys started toward the casino's exit in different directions. They began to argue. The shortest way out was this way. No, it was that way.

Pages 233-234:
The head goon cautiously approached the van, reached for the driver's door, and yanked it open.

As he ducked back, the rest could see into the cab. There was no driver.

Where there should have been a driver, there was a videocamera mounted at eye level.

The head goon craned back his head, looking the van over, completely befuddled. Only then did he notice, for the first time, an enormous antenna sprouting from the van's rear bumper. "The van suddenly lurched.

A distance away, on line of sight but inconspicuously positioned, was the Rolls Royce.

Inside the Rolls, seated next to Reuben Tishkoff, was Virgil Malloy. In his hands was a remote control, complete with a tiny video monitor displaying the van driver's point of view. It had a steering mechanism, and it was a near-replica of the one Virgil used in the monster-truck drag race against his brother back in Utah.

Virgil used it now as he watched the goons scramble back from the lurching flat-tired van.

"Enough monkey business," Reuben said.

Virgil brought the van to a stop, then primed a distinctive red button on his remote.

As the head goon reached for the rear door, his hand inches away ...


The door exploded open and, knocked on his ass, the head goon watched as the canvas X bags within burned to cinders.

The goons stood there stupidly, watching the flames.

Webpage created 25 October 2004.