Ocean's Eleven criminal slang

Brad Pitt’s character reels off the criminal types needed for the heist with the following line:
"I say, looking at a Boesky, a Jim Brown, two Jethros and a Leon Spinx, not to mention the biggest Ella Fitzgerald…ever! "

Okay, I presume “Boesky” is a reference to Ivan Boesky for Elliot Gould’s character who finances the job but the rest are a little more fuzzy. The “Jethros” might mean the drivers but that’s weak. “Jim Brown?” A big running back to toss grenades down vents onto nazis and their girlfriends while sprinting for the getaway car? Okay, maybe the little chinese acrobat guy but I’m not so sure.

Do a search on “Ocean” in Cafe Society threads. I’m pretty sure this has been asked a handful of times before.

It’s deja vu all over again.

Here’s the last thread that discussed this.

Thanks, I did do a search but got nothing

And after skimming through the other thread another explanation for “the biggest Ella Fitzgerald ever” occurred to me. Ella Fitzgerald’s “Is it live…or is it Memorex?” commercials were based on the premise that Memorex tapes reproduced sound so accurately that it was indistinguishable from the original.Going on the assumption that the names refer to con jobs rather than actual members of the gang, an “Ella Fitzgerald” could refer to a con dependant on making something appear to be the real thing when it’s actually a copy. In this case, the fake vault and the videos which were made from it.

After reading all the related threads and theories, I think Steven Soderbergh sat down and said “I think we need a whole bunch of McGuffins to pull this movie together.”

Regarding the search:

At first I didn’t find anything, because I didn’t want to include an apostrophe in the search (didn’t know what it would do). I imagine that the same happened to you (either that, or you forgot to switch it from ‘yesterday’ to ‘last year’ - my other common mistake).

To get the apostrophe, do a search on “ocean*” - the asterisk acts as a wild card, and would come up with:


Well, when I decided to search for the thread I figured that any search for ocean, ocean’s, etc would give me a lot of threads where either the movie was mentioned in passing, or someone was talking about the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans. So I asked the search engine to look for any thread containing the two words “Boesky” and “Fitzgerald” on the assumption that any thread containing both those words would probably be discussing the movie quote. I also set the search period for the past year, since I was fairly certain the thread was less than year old. If I hadn’t gotten a response, I would have tried again without any time limitation.