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Rat Pack, The

4.4 out of 5 stars 99 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Rat Pack, The (DVD)

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. The Pack makes Vegas their kingdom with Frank and the boys ruling generously -- a private corner of America, where anything goes. This safe haven porves invaluable to entertainers, politicians and the mob, all of whom share restaurants, bars, cocktails...and more. But when president Kennedy, newly elected with the support of the Pack, is advised that the friends who made him shouldn't be the friends he keeps, the guys soon discover that lady luck has chosen another partner. As America sips one last martini before flipping to The Beatles; as Marilyn Monroe ceases to be a living legend; and as Attorney General Robert Kennedy begins a crackdown on mob ties in Vegas, the Rat Pack's worl on a string is cut loose and drifting slowly otu of their hands.

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Special Features

None.

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:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: HBO Studios
  • DVD Release Date: May 3, 2005
  • Run Time: 126 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 630521056X
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,935 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Rat Pack, The" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: VHS Tape
When I heard Ray Liotta was going to play Frank Sinatra I almost died laughing. After watching the film though, I thought, who could play Sinatra? I ended up forgeting about it anyway. This is quite an amazing film. Usually these made for cable movies do little to impress me. The whole Rat Pack history is way too long for a 2 hour film which leaves lots of details missing. It examines the Rat Pack as if it were a tabloid where all the mob ties, bad tempers, political influence, and sexual encounters of the Pack were explored. It also seems to end really abruptly out of nowhere. Liotta barely passes as Sinatra but Joe Mantenga and Don Cheadle are great as Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. The television screen is lit up with lights and style during some of the performance sequeces and the music also captures a wonderful essence of the Rat Pack even though it is not the original music. When I saw that it came out on video the other day I could not stop from buying it. It is worth the money to purchase this video or the time to rent it because it is a highly enjoyable film that examines the lives of the coolest entertainers of the millenium. Check it out.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The Rat Pack is a movie about the love of glory and success, and the deceptions and pain that comes with it.

It tells the story of the Rat Pack, their success and problems in life and on the stage, the Untouchable Frank Sinatra and his climb to power through the mob and his political connection with The Kennedy's, his persistence and loyalty to his friends, his love to Eva Gardner and his deceptions in life.

A great entertaining movie with some good true history; perfect acting, with great sceneries from the 50' and the 60's not to mention the beautiful costumes and cars of that period.

The quality of the DVD is also perfect; no extra features unfortunately.

Recommended.

Note: After I watched this movie, I got involved in all Sinatra's music which I never was. Great music with a great voice.
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