The Original Rat Pack

Frank, Dean and Sammy, you use those three names together and many people of my age and older conjure up images of 1960’s Las Vegas and the infamous Rat Pack. But the group that made the Original oceans Eleven movies and performed together on Vegas stages and in Concerts very rarely called themselves the Rat Pack, that was a media name giving to them as they tended to refer to themselves as “The Summit” .  And the reason for that is that the original Rat Pack existed in the mid 1950’s, it was a group that included at one time or another Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall,Judy Garland, David Niven, Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, George Cukor, Cary Grant,Rex Harrison, Errol Flynn, Nat King Cole, Mickey Rooney,  Cesar Romero, and Frank Sinatra who carried on the tradition into the sixties.  Unlike the 60’s version, the original Rat Pack was an organised group with regular meeting places usually at the Home of Bogart and Bacall who were married during this time and unlike the Sinatra led group this rat Pack Troupe assigned titles to members such as Pack Master,First Vice-president,den mother, cage master and Bogart’s Title, Rat in Charge of Public Relations. Of course their main goals as a group were Hitting the Casino’s in Vegas, going to the Horse races and drinking, but unlike the 60’s version never did movies or record albums together, but supported each other’s ventures.  When Humphrey Bogart died in 1957 that signaled the end of the original group as Frank Sinatra then formed what today most acknowledge to be the Rat Pack. One thing though that both versions of the Rat Pack had in common could be explained by Lauren Bacall when asked by a reporter what the Rat Pack was about  Bacall responded “to drink a lot of bourbon and stay up late.”

Today the term Rat Pack may not be as prominent to younger folks but generations of entertainers continue to use the term in one form or another, in the 1980’s there was the Brat Pack(Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy, Demi Moore, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, and Ally Sheedy), there was a British Version in the late 80’s called the Brit Pack(Tim Roth,Gary Oldman,Colin Firth,Daniel Day-Lewis,Rupert Everitt and Miranda Richardson). The frat Pack was the late 90’s early 2000 version that consisted of Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Owen Wilson, Luke Wilson, Will Ferrell, Vince Vaughn, and Steve Carell.  However none of these subsequent groups ever held a candle to the Original Rat Pack or the Sinatra led group.

 

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