When the temperatures are this cold, some of us would just like to be cool…real cool. In the 1960′s, Frank Sinatra and his Rat Pack were the ultimate in cool. They were known for their smooth, easy style along with long nights of carousing (Las Vegas was their playground). Frank, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop were key members while others, including Bing Crosby and Judy Garland, appeared from time to time.
When one had a nightclub act, any (or all) of the others might drop in. They also recorded music and made movies together. Although different combinations of the group made a number of movies over the years, only four are considered “Rat Pack” films.
Ocean’s 11 (1960)-Frank, Dean, Sammy, Peter, Joey and six others plan to rob five Las Vegas casinos on New Year’s eve. This film set the pattern for the group’s ultra-cool style. Most of the filming was squeezed in between nightclub performances. Check out the remake to see how much Vegas has changed.
Sergeants 3 (1962)-All five reunite for this western remake of Gunga Din (1939). Although not a great movie, it’s still fun watching these five interact.
4 for Texas (1963)-Frank and Dean are joined by Anita Ekberg and Ursula Andress in this comedy western about a shipment of gold. The other members of the group are notably missing, but The Three Stooges make an appearance.
Robin and the 7 Hoods (1964)-Frank, Dean and Sammy are joined by Bing Crosby in this version of the Robin Hood legend switched to 1930s Chicago. After Frank Sinatra and Peter Lawford had a falling out (they never spoke again), Bing Crosby was quickly cast.
Cannonball Run II (1984)-Although not really a Rat Pack film, this Burt Reynolds comedy features the final screen teaming of Frank, Dean and Sammy. The first film is better, but not by much.
The Rat Pack (1998)-This HBO movie stars Ray Liotta as Frank Sinatra, Joe Mantenga as Dean Martin and Don Cheadle as Sammy Davis, Jr. An interesting look at Sinatra’s relationship John F. Kennedy. A must for Rat Pack fans.