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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel

There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »
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    Juliet's Nurse

    Lois Leveen 9781476757445

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Rat Pack Confidential: Frank, Dean, Sammy, Peter, Joey and the Last Great Show Biz Party


Rat Pack Confidential: Frank, Dean, Sammy, Peter, Joey and the Last Great Show Biz Party Cover

ISBN13: 9780385495769
ISBN10: 0385495765
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

For the first time, the full story of what happened when Frank brought his best pals to party in a land called Vegas

January 1960. Las Vegas is at its smooth, cool peak. The Strip is a jet-age theme park, and the greatest singer in the history of American popular music summons a group of friends there to make a movie. One is an insouciant singer of Italian songs, ex-partner to the most popular film comedian of the day. One is a short, black, Jewish, one-eyed, singing, dancing wonder. One is an upper-crust British pretty boy turned degenerate B-movie star actor, brother-in-law to an ascendant politician. And one is a stiff-shouldered comic with the quintessential Borscht Belt emcees knack for needling one-liners. The architectonically sleek marquee of the Sands Hotel announces their presence simply by listing their names: FRANK SINATRA. DEAN MARTIN. SAMMY DAVIS, JR. PETER LAWFORD. JOEY BISHOP. Around them an entire cast gathers: actors, comics, singers, songwriters, gangsters, politicians, and women, as well as thousands of starstruck everyday folks who fork over pocketfuls of money for the privilege of basking in their presence. They call themselves The Clan. But to an awed world, they are known as The Rat Pack.

They had it all. Fame. Gorgeous women. A fabulouse playground of a city and all the money in the world. The backing of fearsome crime lords and the blessing of the President of the United States. But the dark side-over the thin line between pleasure and debauchery, between swinging self-confidence and brutal arrogance-took its toll. In four years, their great ride was over, and showbiz was never the same.

Acclaimed Jerry Lewis biographer Shawn Levy has written a dazzling portrait of a time when neon brightness cast sordid shadows. It was Franks World, and we just lived in it.

About the Author

Shawn Levy is the author of King of Comedy: The Life and Art of Jerry Lewis.  His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Village Voice, Movieline, Film Comment, and Pulse! A former senior editor of American Film, he is a film critic for the Oregonian.  He lives in Portland, Oregon.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Gold Gato, December 28, 2012 (view all comments by Gold Gato)
The Sinatra Martini. It's vivid blue and composed of I don't know what, but it made me think of this book and how these dudes made everyday vices so electrifyingly cool. Swingers. This book has an unfortunate tendency to focus on Ol' Blue Eyes, which isn't bad as he's The Leader, but it would have been nice to get much more on his cohorts. It's a great intro to folks discovering their style and a Vegas some of us never knew.

"I used spirits for medicinal purposes only. I manufactured it for medicinal purposes only. And then I started drinking what I manufactured, and I drank myself out of a hell of a business...for medicinal purposes only." ('Mr. Booze' from ROBIN AND THE SEVEN HOODS)

Sammy with his wicked early 1960s suits, Dean-NO with his innate sense of wicked humor, Lawford with his wicked bizarreness, Bishop with his wicked sarcasm, and Frankie with his wicked vocal cubes swimming along before assassinations changed the world.

Dean: You'd think they'd put a little heat in this room, I'm freezing.
Frank: Take your hand out of the ice bucket.
Dean: Oh.

Book Season = Summer (fly me to the moon)
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Product Details

Levy, Shawn
Broadway Books
Levy, Shawn Martin
Popular Culture
Entertainment & Performing Arts
Sinatra, frank, 1915-1998
Popular Culture - General
Sinatra, Frank
Singers -- United States.
DRAMA / General
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8.17x5.50x.80 in. .72 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Drama » General
Arts and Entertainment » Film and Television » History and Criticism
Arts and Entertainment » Music » Popular Performers
Biography » Entertainment and Performing Arts
Biography » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » General

Rat Pack Confidential: Frank, Dean, Sammy, Peter, Joey and the Last Great Show Biz Party Used Trade Paper
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