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The Rat Pack

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Product Details

  • Actors: Joe Mantegna, Don Cheadle, Ray Liotta, William Peterson, Angus Macfayden
  • Directors: Rob Cohen
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: HBO Studios
  • DVD Release Date: December 22, 1998
  • Run Time: 126 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 630521056X
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,547 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Rat Pack" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

They had ' 'the world on a string' '. Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop, known as ' 'The Rat Pack' ' set the style and the pace for 1950's America as the nation roller coastered its way towards the swinging '60s. But can the high life last forever? If Frank and the boys have their way by electing John F. Kennedy, the party has only just begun.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Popular Discussion Topics

beta: what do you think?
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  • "Opinions" 13
  • "Writing" 4
  • "Production" 2
  • "Story" 1
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Rochambeau Fan on November 24, 2003
Format: DVD
OK, so there are several problems with this 1998, sensationalist tale of Sinatra, his cronies, JFK and the mob. But, flawed as it may be, there is enough here to make it worth watching.
The major issue is the fact that Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford, JFK, RFK, etc., etc. were so visible on screen back in the day and their images are forever preserved in peoples minds and memories forever. So when one sees a film like this, and they see contemporary actors playing historical figures of just a few decades ago, it doesn't always sit well with the viewer. Right off the bat, the cards were stacked against this film. Hell, in that respect it would be easier to make a film about Helen of Troy than Ol' Blue Eyes (We don't know for sure what she looked like, but we know she was attractive enough to launcha thousand ships).
The other issue was that Sinatra himself and his people tried desperately to a put a stop to this film. This is rather odd. Though he's hardly portrayed in the most positive light, he comes across much better here than he did in the 1992 miniseries which was authorized by Sinatra and produced by his daughter. Odd. At least here, Sinatra is seen as being someone who would do anything and everything for his friends.
Really, the plot focuses on Frank and the boys having the time of their lives as they quickly come together, film "Oceans Eleven," help elect Kennedy, and live large. Though their peak lasts only so long, it sure looked like a lot of fun.
Ray Liotta does a great job as the Chairman of the Board. He perfecty captures Sinatra's erratic behavior, volatile personality and borderline manic-depressive personality. He may seem, to some, like an odd choice, but check him out. You will be impressed.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By TOL on March 8, 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
As with most HBO productions, this movie is excellent. The story covers the lives of Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, Peter Lawford, and John F. Kennedy through the late 50's and early 60's. Although the focus is on these main characters,we also get the likes of Joey Bishop, Marilyn Monroe, Joe DiMaggio, Ava Gardner, and Sam Giancana - all portrayed wonderfully by a very talented cast.
As for the acting:
-Ray Liotta is, as always, a fantastic actor who captured the character, if not the mannerisms, of Frank Sinatra. Liotta's speaking voice is too high-pitched to make a believable transition from the many musical numbers which are performed. But he does capture the essence of Frank's on-screen persona.
-Don Cheadle is dead-on as Sammy Davis Jr. He got the moves, the speech, and the quirks all down to a science. He is clearly the most believable character.
-Joe Mantegna was, for me, the biggest disappointment of the movie. Don't get me wrong, he mastered the whole nonchalant, "not a care in the world" personality that made Dino famous. But his voice had too much of a "Barney Rubble" quality for my liking. I found it to be too distracting.
-Honorable mentions should also go out to Angus MacFadyen for his terrific portrayal of Peter Lawford, both in looks and demeanor, and also to William Petersen for his right-on imitation of JFK.
As for the plot:
The movie spins a very controversial tale. Whether it is true or not, the following is clearly implied by the script:
-Frank Sinatra is tied very closely to the mob and, as a result, was treated like a King by his peers. He also wanted desparately to be liked by JFK.
-Peter Lawford was a sad, sniveling coward in front of Frank. He comes off as being afraid of his own shadow.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By "loungelizard7" on May 14, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
No matter how you slice it, "The Rat Pack" is a good movie. Great performances, a very well-written script that captured the subjects beautifully, a swinging soundtrack and stylish visuals all combine to make this a fantastic film..
A better Sinatra could have been found out there, surely. Ray Liotta is a great actor in his own right, but just wasn't the right choice for this part. However, Joe Mantegna as Dean Martin and Don Cheadle as Sammy Davis, Jr. (both were nominated for Emmys) were spot-on. Mantegna was wonderfully elusive as the deadpan, enigmatic, very sober Dino, and Cheadle stole the show as the immensely conflicted Sammy. I very much enjoyed Angus MacFadyen as long-suffering Peter Lawford and, even though he appeared only one or two times, Bobby Slayton as Joey Bishop. Good performances also came from William Petersen as JFK, Megan Dodds as May Britt, and Dan O'Herlihy as the scheming Joe Kennedy. And it doesn't hurt that the makeup (Emmy-nominated also) was great--take a look at the briefly-shown old Sinatra at the beginning!
The movie tries way too hard to cover several years in a couple of hours. It completely skips any backstory (including the Pack's formation), leaves out lots of things and people, and ends far too early, cutting out the many interesting developments in the years to come; also, many key players included are downscaled, like Bishop, Monroe, and mobster Sam Giancana. Also, incredible dramatic license is taken in places, ranging from the not-so-important (like the fact that the Pack always had their hotel rooms on the same floor, and "One For My Baby" was recorded years before the end) to the major (Peter informed Frank that Kennedy wasn't coming over the phone from D.C.
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