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The Rat Pack (1998)

TV Movie  -   -  Drama  -  22 August 1998 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 2,215 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 6 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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Bobby Slayton ...
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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

Plot Keywords:

rat pack | president | 1960s | racism | 1950s | See more »

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 »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

22 August 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El clan Sinatra  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

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

On election night, Frank Sinatra is talking on a phone. The receiver is clearly connected to the phone wire with an RJ-11 jack. That kind of connection is common now but did not exist in 1960. See more »

Quotes

Frank Sinatra: There's a reason why we're all here tonight...
Dean Martin: You threatened us.
[laughter]
Dean Martin: Did he threaten you too Sammy?
Sammy Davis, Jr.: Um, I refuse to answer that on the grounds that it might incinerate me baby.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sex at 24 Frames Per Second (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Hey There
Written by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross
Performed by Joe Mantegna, Don Cheadle, Ray Liotta, Angus Macfadyen and Bobby Slayton
See more »

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User Reviews

Elaborate Biopic Is Enjoyable Trip Back to JFK's 'Camelot'...
14 May 2004 | by (Las Vegas, Nevada) – See all my reviews

There is a lot to like about "The Rat Pack", the HBO production of Frank Sinatra and his legendary cohorts during the wildly glamorous 'Camelot' days of the Kennedy administration. They were gifted, rich, and idolized, could have anything or anyone they wanted, ruled Las Vegas as demigods, and for a brief moment in history, they shared, with John Kennedy, a pinnacle that no one, before or since, has achieved.

Each performer had a clearly defined role in the 'Pack', in 1960; Joey Bishop, 42, was the 'Jester', heralding arrivals, and content with the reflected glory of the 'Pack'; Peter Lawford, 37, was the 'Ambassador', official 'go-between' for Sinatra and the Kennedys (who would swallow his pride, and accept often being little more than a glorified 'pimp' for his more successful friends); Sammy Davis Jr., 35, was the 'Pet', tiny and extraordinarily talented as a singer and dancer, yet still treated as a 'less than equal' novelty act, even by the enlightened Sinatra; and Dean Martin, 43, was the 'Crown Prince', tall, handsome and charismatic, possessing all the qualities Sinatra lacked, and completely hiding a deep-set aloofness by a quick wit and 'way cool' persona. Sinatra, 45, was, of course, the 'King', undisputed leader of the 'Pack'. Short, skinny, and balding, the middle-class kid from Hoboken, N.J. had never truly grown up; while his voice would revolutionize the music industry and make him legendary, his personal life was a continuous elevator ride of highs and lows, with an Oscar, two broken marriages, three children, and a never-ending supply of "booze and broads" masking a child-like need to be liked and accepted.

The success of the actors in 'capturing' these legends is a mixed bag. Bobby Slayton, as Bishop, is forgettable in little more than a cameo; Angus MacFadyen's Lawford is, however, very good, capturing the spirit of a man who had 'sold his soul' to both Sinatra and the Kennedys; best of all is Don Cheadle, as Sammy Davis, acutely aware of the patronizing attitude Sinatra demonstrates towards him, but too happy having his friendship to speak up.

As for Joe Mantegna and Ray Liotta...Besides sharing wavy black hair, a Roman nose, and oval head, the short, stocky Mantegna barely resembles 'Dino', but he captures the Martin 'attitude' and double life extremely well; Liotta looks even less like Sinatra, but the blocky, very powerful GOODFELLAS star is brilliant as the mercurial star, far closer in spirit to the man than Philip Casnoff, in the family 'approved' TV-movie, "Sinatra" (1992).

With flashy supporting roles by William L. Petersen, as a shallow, whoring JFK, and Deborah Unger as earthy, alcoholic pragmatist Ava Gardner, "The Rat Pack" is a 'Who's Who' of the movers and shakers of the times, easily incorporating the Mafia, Ku Klux Klan, and Marilyn Monroe, as well as the transitional 'feel' of the era, as the stodgy conservatism of the fifties was replaced by JFK's dynamic yet ultimately superficial new optimism...until November, 1963, when 'Camelot' would collapse, replaced by a far less idealistic new order, where Sinatra's 'Rat Pack' would be a passé joke.

As Montegna's 'Dean Martin' would remark, "Enjoy the ride while it lasts, because nothing lasts forever."

"The Rat Pack" is a GREAT ride!


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