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The Rat Pack (1998)
Hey, chicky baby--it's a cuckoo thing, ya dig?

You, too, will find yourself speaking Rat Pack lingo after watching this made-for-HBO biopic about that brief and shining moment when Camelot met Hoboken-on-the-Pacific. The film does a good job of capturing the heady, anything-goes feel of the late-1950s, early-1960s era when Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and their running buddies ruled Hollywood, Las Vegas and, it seemed, the world. The story centres on Sinatra's relationship with John F Kennedy (William F Petersen) before and after he was elected president. It's not particularly flattering to either man, as Sinatra pimps Kennedy into a relationship with Judith Campbell, at the same time she was the favourite consort of mob boss Sam Giancana.

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Ray Liotta is a forceful Sinatra (though it's not much of an impression); Joe Mantegna has the look and the sound of the surprisingly sober Dean Martin; and Don Cheadle does a great job as the racially conflicted Sammy Davis Jr. Not great cinema but it's never less than engrossing.
Marks : 7/10
Director Rob Cohen Ray Liotta Frank Sinatra
Writing Kario Salem Joe Mantegna Dean Martin
Producer Neal H. Moritz William L. Petersen John F. Kennedy
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