Tag Archives: Shirley MacLaine

Music: The Rat Pack

Peter Lawford, Sammy Davis, Jr., Frank Sinatra, Joey Bishop, Dean Martin. And Sinatra was the Chairman of the Board. Uploaded by writeonnewjersey.com.

They called themselves “The Summit” or “The Clan.” Everyone else called them something else – The Rat Pack.

While those five were the heart of the Pack, membership was somewhat fluid. Lawford was the brother-in-law of President John Kennedy, and Sinatra thought he’d have some influence on the administration as a result. The Government was wary of his perceived mafia connections, however, and never allowed him the access he desired. As a result, Lawford was never part of the group again after 1962.

Uploaded to Flickr by popartdks.

A still developing Las Vegas was their headquarters, and their popularity was a significant factor in the city’s growth. When one member had a concert, the others would often show up for an impromptu group show. The Sands Hotel even put on their sign “DEAN MARTIN – MAYBE FRANK – MAYBE SAMMY.”

The five appeared together in two films, the original Oceans Eleven (1960) and Sergeants 3 (1962). At least two of the group appeared together in six other movies.

Of course, women were a major part of the Rat Pack as well. Shirley MacLaine, Lauren Bacall, Angie Dickinson, Marilyn Monroe, and Judy Garland all had their times hanging out with the guys. They didn’t perform with the Pack, but definitely partied with them. As they might have said, “They were broads and they were barn burners, baby, but they were always the end.”

Actor: Jack Nicholson

Jack got a busted nose in Chinatown. Uploaded by cinemaisdope.com.

Jack got a busted nose in Chinatown. Uploaded by cinemaisdope.com.

Jack Nicholson has played some of the most fascinating roles in movie history. He’s been the Joker in Batman… J.J. Gittes in Chinatown… Randle McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest… Jack Torrance in The Shining… and Colonel Jessep in A Few Good Men. And that’s just some of the high points.

H-e-e-e-re's Johnny! Uploaded to Flickr by stephen-kingdotch.

H-e-e-e-re's Johnny! Uploaded to Flickr by stephen-kingdotch.

One of the ways we know an actor is truly great is that he makes each part so distinctively his own that we can’t imagine anyone else in the role. And with Nicholson, there’s an edge about him that helps make his every character unpredictable.

I don’t consider Five Easy Pieces a highlight of his career, but the diner scene is quintessential Nicholson. He wants breakfast made his way, and the waitress won’t allow any substitutions. Look at how Jack controls every moment of this scene:

While it seems that Nicholson dominates most of his movies, in each of his movies for which he’s won Academy Awards, his co-star also won Best Actress: Louise Fletcher in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Great American Thing No. 140), Helen Hunt in As Good as it Gets, and Shirley MacLaine in Terms of Endearment. In addition to the three wins, he’s been nominated nine additional times. He received a Life Achievement Award from the American Film Institute in 1994.

Oh, and he also played the President of the United States in Mars Attacks! Ack ack. Ack ack ack.