In Ocean's Eleven (2001), Rusty and Danny are discussing possible crew members:

DANNY: Basher's in town.

RUSTY: There might be an issue with availability.

In the next scene, we see Basher's bank heist, which fails because someone on his crew forgot about the alarm system.

BASHER: Oh, leave it out... You tossers! You had one job to do!

As the police are questioning Basher (on scene, just after the heist), Rusty walks up dressed as a detective, and cons the policeman into letting him take Basher.

How did Rusty know he'd need to rescue Basher from the police? Why was he dressed as a detective? Did he know the heist would fail? If so, how?

(secondary question: If they didn't need Badger until after his bank heist was finished anyway, why was there any "issue with availability"?)

  • 3
    The secondary question seems easy: if they knew he was going to screw it up, then he would have been in police custody/jail for quite a while. That's why they had to interfere.
    – Erik
    Dec 26, 2017 at 8:24
  • 1
    it could be a timeline jump - in that, when Danny and Rusty are having their conversation, the heist has already occurred and Rusty knows it failed.
    – NKCampbell
    Dec 26, 2017 at 16:50

3 Answers 3


They're just planning ahead..it's what they do.

The quote is...

"There might be an issue with availability."

My emphasis

It's not that there WILL be an issue...just the possibility of one.

In other words, it's clear that they know that Basher is involved in the proposed bank robbery and that there is the potential for something to go wrong.

So, they plan ahead and are ready to step in to retrieve Basher IF it goes wrong, which it does. If it doesn't..no harm done and they can move on.

If they didn't need Basher until after his bank heist was finished anyway, why was there any "issue with availability"?

Because if they don't step in if something does go wrong then Basher would be unavailable as he would be either in jail or prison...so "unavailable".

  • 2
    As what I see, There might be an issue with availability was said because they knew if Basher is in town, its because he is on some job(heist,B&E anything), So that's what Rusty implied. I don't think they knew basher's heist would fail or not, but I think Rusty knew about the job, he waits until basher comes out and talk him into their heist. Why he dresses and have a detective badge could be the reason you mentioned. Ready for anything. if Basher's heist was successful, then okay, but of it fails, then they already have a good advantage
    – Vishwa
    Dec 26, 2017 at 10:02
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    Makes complete sense. I totally mis-interpreted the "might be" as Rusty breaking the news gently to Danny. But it's obvious now that he literally wasn't sure - but was concerned enough to be ready with a con to save him (if necessary).
    – LevenTrek
    Dec 26, 2017 at 10:35
  • Better be ready than sorry
    – Vishwa
    Dec 26, 2017 at 13:33

Basher has a tendency to work with "tossers"; unskilled criminals who are prone to mistakes. You might recall that he even referred to Rusty and Danny as "proper criminals"; criminals who plan to the Nth degree for any possible hiccup that may occur. As such, when Rusty mentions a possible issue with availability, he's referring to the fact that Basher is working with a team that doesn't plan jobs as thoroughly, and thus have a higher probability of getting caught.

Rusty didn't know the heist would fail, but he knew they had a good chance of getting caught. Enough so that it was worth being on the scene in disguise in case it went south.

  • Yeah, I was left with the impression that the venture was doomed to fail because of the stooges Basher had working for him. Dec 26, 2017 at 15:24

I think you're making a false assumption, namely that when Rusty and Danny were having the conversation in question that he knew that Basher was planning on participating in a particular bank heist. He may have, but there's no specific evidence from the movie. I believe that it's possible that he simply knew that Basher was actively working with other criminals, which could limit his availability.

As for his impersonation of a detective, it is likely that Rusty, as a professional criminal, would have access to several different disguises and identities, as evidenced by the doctor impersonation later in 11 and the earthquake expert he pretends to be in 13. Having a law enforcement persona at the ready is only logical. From that point, obviously he found out about the bank heist at some point (otherwise, why would he be there at all?), and went to meet Basher upon his exit. Some time would have passed between the tripping of the alarm and the arrival of the police, so Rusty may have arrived after the squad cars. Seeing the ensuing police activity, he would reasonably assume that the heist went south, get together some ingredients for a small explosive, and wait until he had his opening.

  • Reason for downvote?
    – John Doe
    Dec 27, 2017 at 19:13

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