Pictured, from left: Peter, Pack leader Frank, Sammy, and Dean outside Las Vegas' Sands Hotel and Casino, circa 1960.
"Forget the movie, let's pull the job!" Frank Sinatra joked upon hearing the plot for Ocean's 11, the Vegas heist flick that opened 50 years ago today (Aug. 10, 1960) and went on to become the Rat Pack's signature big-screen adventure. It's no wonder Sinatra and his kindred crew of high-living, hard-drinking, skirt-chasing buddies — Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford, and Joey Bishop — were gassed to make such a movie: Just like their characters, they loved a good caper. From the late '50s until they began to splinter apart in the mid-'60s, they were showbiz's kings of swing, quick-with-a-quip cats who could swagger into any joint — from the Sands to Sardi's — and make it the most. LIFE's photographers, of course, trailed the various members of the Pack through those magic years, coming away with the material for some of the best celebrity photo essays the magazine ever ran. But of those thousands of shots taken, many have never been published — until now, on the following slides of this gallery. To mark the golden anniversary of Ocean’s 11, LIFE.com presents never-before-seen images of the Rat Pack, together and apart, during their heyday.
Sinatra Steams, Shaves
"By the time we got to Miami, I was familiar enough with Frank that I was able to photograph him inside the hotel steam room. I couldn't go inside because my lenses would have fogged up. But the steam room had a glass window, and Frank sat right next to it. I didn't ask him to, so maybe he did that for me." —LIFE photographer John Dominis describing a moment from his months with Sinatra, from his introduction to the book Sinatra: An Intimate Portrait of a Very Good Year
A Star at the Door
"He wears the mask of an armchair philanderer with bottles and broads on his mind and seven kids in his swimming pool — a character with obvious appeal for both sexes. Highball glass in hand, he always looks faintly surprised to find the camera upon him, and his first bleary, self-deprecating crack establishes that neither he nor his audience can be quite sure what he will do next." —From LIFE's review of The Dean Martin Show, 5/26/1967. Pictured: Photographed by LIFE's Allan Grant, Dean adjusts his cufflinks backstage before a performance in Vegas, 1958.
Lawford the Charmer
"Perhaps he was never the actor he could have been; none of his many film performances will ever be considered classic. But with his suave good looks, his quick wit and almost careless British charm, Peter Lawford always seemed more interested in just having fun. For years he reigned among Hollywood's elite, a pivot around whom legends revolved. He was the first to kiss Elizabeth Taylor passionately on camera, the last to speak to Marilyn Monroe." —From People magazine's obituary on Peter Lawford, 1/14/1985. Pictured: Lawford performs in 1962.
Play It Again, Sammy
"Being a star has made it possible for me to get insulted in places where the average Negro could never hope to go and get insulted." –Sammy Davis Jr., 1965. Though he often joked about his race, Sammy (here fiddling with a trumpet in 1964) was a serious, high-profile civil rights activist, and his refusal to play segregated venues helped lead to the integration of Miami nightclubs and Vegas casinos.
Lowball, Cigarette, GQMF
"Drink, drink, drink. Smoke, smoke, smoke. Shmuck, shmuck, shmuck!" —Frank Sinatra, chastising himself for the excesses that made his voice raspy during the taping of a '60s TV special. Pictured: In 1964, Frank savors those vices backstage at the Sands Hotel and Casino, where he swung with the Count Basie Band. Out of that landmark collaboration came the legendary live album Sinatra at the Sands.
"When he dies, they're giving his zipper to the Smithsonian." —Dean Martin on Frank Sinatra, date unknown. Pictured: Frank and Dean in a light moment during the recording sessions for Sleep Warm.
View the entire gallery at the source
Whoops, forgot about posting this - better late than never (and its been a while since a Rat Pack post). Picspam y/y? Who's your favourite member? Frank will always be my #1 <3