One of the most popular books chronicling the Pack is Rat Pack Confidential: Frank, Dean, Sammy, Peter, Joey and the Last Great Show Biz Party, written in 1998 by Shawn Levy, who also penned a biography of Jerry Lewis. Spanning nearly 400 pages, the book covers the Pack’s exploits over 30 years, including their time with President John F. Kennedy. Sinatra’s connections with organized crime also are covered in great detail. Indeed, much of the book focuses on Sinatra’s life. One reviewer wrote, “Whether you lived through their height of popularity at the time or came upon them later by way of their reputation, you will enjoy reading how life was for the rich and famous.” A second book, The Rat Pack: The Original Bad Boys, gives a more holistic view of the Pack. Originally published in the 1960s, the book has been updated with new material, including a section honoring Dean Martin on what would have been his 100th birthday. The book is also filled with rare and candid photos of the Pack in their heyday from Life magazine’s archives.
Released in 1998, a movie called simply The Rat Pack follows the group through the 1950s and into the ’60s. The film stars Ray Liotta (Frank Sinatra), Joe Mantegna (Dean Martin) and Don Cheadle (Sammy Davis Jr.), among others, and pays special attention to the time around the Pack’s association with Kennedy. Events such as Kennedy’s eventual distancing from the Pack, Marilyn Monroe’s death and Attorney General Robert Kennedy’s crackdown on the Mob are depicted in great detail. For a more biographical look at the Pack, fans may want to check out The Rat Pack: The True Stories of the Original Kings of Cool from A&E Home Video, which tracks the group through performance clips and archival footage. It even features some never-before-seen footage of events such as the Kennedy inauguration. All the major players are included, from Sinatra to Lawford to Bishop; the film even includes interviews with the Pack’s followers, including Milton Berle and Angie Dickinson. Spanning two discs and 200 minutes, this DVD is rich in information. Viewers can also pick up The Rat Pack Collection (Warner Bros., 2006), a multidisc collection featuring Ocean’s 11, Robin and the 7 Hoods and 4 for Texas.
On the stage, the musical The Rat Pack Is Back debuted in 2001 and continues to tour the country. Backed by a seven-piece orchestra and with archival footage screening in the background, the show features songs such as Martin’s “That’s Amore” and Davis’ “The Candy Man” performed by skilled impersonators. The show’s producer, Dick Feeney, sums it up: “The real legend of Vegas — the cool cats, the drinking, the partying, the gambling — they epitomized it, and people still look at those days with fond memories.”