Rat Pack’s Film Influence
Interesting subject matter generally spawns attention from Hollywood and the group known as the Rat Pack is no exception, with the adjective “interesting” being a huge understatement.
The Rat Pack, a name purportedly coined by Humphrey Bogart’s wife, Lauren Bacall, has included a number of high profile extraordinary celebrities, but has become predominantly known for Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop.
There can be at least twenty-one films with starring roles attributed to multiple Rat Pack members, with perhaps Oceans 11 being the most memorable, featuring all five. Additionally the number of references from Hollywood and television to Rat Pack members is significant. The Rat Pack, a 1998 – Sinatra died in May of that year - HBO film is an obvious accolade to the group, but there’s also: Sinatra, a CBS miniseries about star; Stealing Sinatra, an award winning movie about the kidnapping of Frank Sinatra, Jr.; numerous Dean Martin references and television movies; and now there is a rumor that HBO is looking at director Lee Daniels – Precious (2009) and The Butler (2013) – for a biopic on Sammy Davis, Jr. which will undoubtedly touch on the performer’s controversial marriage to Swedish actress May Britt, given that interracial marriage was still illegal in 31 states and the Rat Pack’s proximity to John Kennedy.
With individuals as large as Sinatra, Martin and Davis, Jr., it may be considered a bit of a surprise there hasn’t been a feature film on any of their lives, but perhaps it is really just far too soon for anyone to be up to stepping into roles that dynamic.
To experience the Rat Pack today, it is a no brainer to encourage seeing Rick Michel do his thing in the Las Vegas show, DRINKIN’ - SINGIN’ - SWINGIN’, the best tribute to the Rat Pack’s big three anywhere.
DRINKIN’ - SINGIN’ - SWINGIN’ is appearing at the Hollywood Casino in Columbus Ohio September 7, 2013.