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The Rat Pack (1998)

TV Movie  |  R  |   |  Drama  |  22 August 1998 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 2,312 users  
Reviews: 37 user | 5 critic

A look at the famous "Rat Pack" of the '60s, and how their glamorous alliances and carefree sophistication created a mythical lifestyle.

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Title: The Rat Pack (TV Movie 1998)

The Rat Pack (TV Movie 1998) on IMDb 6.8/10

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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 7 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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Rocky Cooper
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Judy Campbell
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Storyline

In the 1950's and 1960's Frank Sinatra was the head of the infamous "Rat Pack". He, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop worked and played together. This film dramatizes their volatile relationships with each other and the Kennedys, Marilyn Monroe, mobster Sam Giancano, Judith Cambell and the FBI. Sinatra helps John Kennedy get elected in 1960 with a little help from Giancano. Lawford, married to a Kennedy, is an unhappy go-between. Davis is fighting racism and insecurity. Cambell is sleeping with both Giancano and JFK who is also sleeping with Monroe. Written by Jim Sadur <jsadur@keyflux.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They never let the rules get in the way of having fun. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality and strong language | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

22 August 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El clan Sinatra  »

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1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Don Cheadle was uncomfortable with the scenes in which Sammy Davis Jr. laughs at racial jokes made at his expense. Cheadle asked Salem to include the scene in which Davis explains to May Britt that he endures the jokes so that future black entertainers will not have to do so. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where Sinatra goes crazy upon learning that JFK will not be staying at his house, he begins pounding on a plaque which says "John F. Kennedy slept here November 6th and 7th 1960" JFK did not become president until January of 1961 yet we've already seen him in the White House and being referred to as Mr. President. Sinatra was even talking about building bungalows for the Secret Service which would not have been protecting him at that time. In reality JFK's visit to Sinatra's house was set for 1963 not 1960. See more »

Quotes

Frank Sinatra: How tall are you, Peter?
Peter Lawford: About six foot one.
Frank Sinatra: Don't cut yourself off at the knees.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Justice League: The New Frontier (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

All the Way
Written by Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen (as James Van Heusen)
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User Reviews

Exploring Sinatra's associations with his musical friends and the Kennedy family
25 September 2002 | by (London England) – See all my reviews

I missed this on HBO and was delighted to pick it up recently. With the possible exception of Ray Liotta, the physical casting was truly well done. Liotta plays Sinatra reminiscing towards the end of his life about his golden years, his old friends in the 'Rat Pack' and his aspirations to be loved universally by helping John F Kennedy into power.

What made this stand out for me is not only the wonderful recreations of the legendary on stage horseplay the Rat Pack indulged in, but also some of the private agonies, particularly those of Sammy Davies Junior, in another superb performance by Don Cheadle, who is given his own solo spectacular scene in a face off against the Ku Klux Klan.

The Kennedy and Lawford association is also covered in some depth, and the Sinatra character is well rounded - we feel for him much of the time, but his personality is far from sugar coated. As a film character, he is compelling, although Ray Liotta makes little attempt to emulate Sinatra in voice or mannerisms.

Joe Mantegna IS Dean Martin physically, and this helps the authenticity of the piece, but he is sadly underwritten, Gone is the hell raiser and womaniser of legend. In his place is a laconic 'Fonz', smooth with the ladies, but sleeping alone.

William Petersen nails Kennedy in spite of physical differences, and the scenes with him and Sinatra seem consistent with their characters. Angus McFadyen plays a nervous Lawford, caught between using his Kennedy connections to become part of the Rat Pack and keeping Frank out of the White House. Ava Gardner also makes a brief appearance in the form of Debra Kara Unger. Aside from the unusual casting of it's lead (Aidan Quinn would have been a much more realistic choice), my only real gripe is how suddenly it all ends, while you wait for a proper conclusion. This is a wonderful glimpse into the intertwined lives of some of the highest profile people on the planet.


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