George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Ocean's Eleven

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Why does everyone think George Clooney and Brad Pitt are such great pals again?

It's not because they rose up through the Hollywood ranks together, starting with Handsome Preschool. Rather, it's because of the bonhomie on display in the marvelous romp that are the Ocean's movies—star-studded ensemble films that grew bigger with every sequel; all three directed by Steven Soderbergh; and all three full of fancy rogues having way more fun than your average law-abiding citizen.

Ocean's Eleven, introducing Clooney as ringleader Danny Ocean and Pitt as his junk food-munching, right-hand guy Rusty, just turned 19, and the very hyped Roman holiday of a follow-up, Ocean's Twelve, came out 15 years ago.

Ocean's Twelve wasn't as good as the original thanks to that let's-cram-in-all-the-ideas approach that left much of the irreverence and the Rusty-Danny bond that made the first slick film so re-watchable by the wayside.

But it's packed with even more stars, as is 2007's Ocean's Thirteen, and when you get that many A-listers onboard, interesting stuff is bound to happen.

So without further adieu, a little less conversation, and 19 things to know about the Ocean's franchise:

Ocean's Eleven Franchise - Ocean's Eleven - 1960

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Ocean's Eleven Franchise -  Steven Soderberg

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Ocean's Eleven Franchise - Ocean's 11, Andy Garcia, Julia Roberts

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Bellagio

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Ocean's Eleven Franchise - Oceans Eleven - 2001

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Ocean's Eleven Franchise - Ocean's 11, Scott Caan & Casey Affleck

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Ocean's Eleven, Brad Pitt Eating

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Ocean's Eleven, Pinch

Ocean's Eleven, Julia Roberts, George Clooney

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Ocean's Twelve

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Matt Damon, Jennifer Aniston, Brad Pitt, 2004

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Ocean's Twelve, Julia Roberts, Bruce Willis

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Ocean's Twelve, Brad Pitt, Catherine Zeta-Jones

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Ocean's Eleven Franchise - Ocean's 12 (Ocean Twelve), Brad Pitt, Catherine Zeta-jones

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Ocean's Eleven Franchise - Ocean's Thirteen - 2007, George Clooney, Al Pacino

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Ocean's Eleven Franchise - Ocean's 13, Ellen Barkin, Matt Damon

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George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Ocean's Eleven

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Ocean's Eleven Franchise - Ocean's Eleven - 2001, Bellagio Fountain scene

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Ocean's Eleven Franchise - Ocean's 12, 2004

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"We didn't really have to wrestle anybody," said Jerry Weintraub, the late Hollywood power player who produced all three films and in 2007 was the first non-movie-star to have his hands and feet cast in cement outside Grauman's Chinese Theatre alongside Clooney, Pitt and Damon"They wanted to come. When you have a great project, with a great director—you can get all the stars you want."

"It seemed to me," Soderbergh said, "that this was one film that could withstand having a lot of stars in it because it really is an ensemble piece. But we'd have to make sure to get the right stars, the right cast, because they're supposed to have camaraderie, which is very hard to fake. It had to feel like they enjoyed each other's company without having it look like they were having more fun making the movie than you are watching it."

They came close to out-larking the audience, but ultimately everyone had a great time.

Ocean's Eleven Franchise - Ocean's 13 (2007)

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And George and Brad, who also starred in the Coen brothers' Burn After Reading together, are still friends to this day, if not forever-linked in that Danny-Rusty way.

"When we went to Las Vegas to start shooting, we made a conscious effort on a production level to have the 11 guys hang out together," Weintraub said after Ocean's Eleven. "It wasn't hard to do because they all liked each other and as soon as they started spending time together away from the set, real friendships developed.

"You can't buy that. When you have actors who can't wait to go to work and work with one another other and be with each other, that's exciting. In all my years in show business, I don't think I've ever had as much fun as I've had on this movie."

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