The Rat Pack Ultimate Collectors Edition

The Rat Pack Ultimate Collectors Edition
The Rat Pack was comprised of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr. (also Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop, though they’ve proven to be culturally less significant). They played shows, partied, smoked, drank, philandered and made a string of motion pictures. While these guys were the coolest cats around town during the late ’50s and early ’60s, their films are dated now. Though it’s cool to see Sinatra, Martin and Davis in a movie, it would be preferable not to watch them pretending to be cowboys or gangsters. The most famous of the Rat Pack films is no doubt Ocean’s 11, which finds all five Rat Packers choreographing an elaborate Las Vegas casino heist. It’s all very silly, and long, though worth viewing for both a great twist ending and a pre-Joker Cesar Romero (who rivals even Dean in the cool department). There’s also Robin and the 7 Hoods, a prohibition-era retelling of Robin Hood as a gangster story, 4 for Texas, a Western romp and the rarity of the set, Sergeants 3, a somewhat successful riff on Gunga Din. The paradox of the Rat Pack films lies in the fact that any attempt to construct a good movie would run the risk of undercutting the swagger of the stars. Scenes linger in long shots as Frank, Dean and Sammy exchange mellow quips and hip banter. This results in some of the coolest bad movies of all time. The stars even seem to know that the movies aren’t good but they’re too cool to do anything about it. The films are interesting now as records of important cultural personalities but a drag if you can’t embrace the shallowness of the scripts. They are films intended to be viewed with a cigarette in one hand and a martini in the other. (Warner)