That, legend has it, is what Frank Sinatra joked upon hearing the plot for Ocean’s 11, the 1960 Vegas heist flick that 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 and Sammy Davis Jr., especially — 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 unrivaled 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 magazine’s photographers, of course, trailed the Pack through those magic years, coming away with priceless material for some of the best celebrity photo-essays the magazine ever ran. But of the thousands of shots taken, many were never published — until now. Here, in celebration of sharkskin sits, Scotch on the rocks, smoky rooms and fedoras tilted just so, LIFE presents a slew of previously unpublished photos of the Rat Pack, together and apart, during their heyday