The Rat Pack: Unpublished Photos of Frank, Dean and Sammy

From Life Magazine:

“Forget the movie, let’s pull the job!”

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of sharkskin sits, Scotch on the rocks, smoky rooms and fedoras tilted just so, LIFE presents a slew of previously unpublished photos of the Rat Pack, together and apart, during their heyday

Sinatra and Martin take a cigarette break during the recording of Sleep Warm in 1958. The album was re-released in 1963 with a much more direct title: Dean Martin Sings/Sinatra Conducts.
Sammy Davis Jr. visits Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin at MGM Studios, where the duo were making Some Came Running in 1958. The movie co-starred Rat Pack "mascot" Shirley MacLaine, who years later would affectionately describe her old friends as "primitive children who would put crackers in each other's beds and dump spaghetti on new tuxedos."
Dean Martin adjusts his cuff links backstage before a performance in Las Vegas in 1958
Frank Sinatra and his friends, including comedian Joe E. Lewis, take a shortcut through the kitchen to get to the stage of Miami's Eden Roc Resort in 1958.
Sinatra offers a light in Davis' crowded Golden Boy dressing room in 1964. "It was six a.m. before the party got to Frank's suite. But the evening was not over because Frank hadn't said it was over. 'Everybody have a little more gasoline,' he ordered. Everybody did." —From "The Private World and Thoughts of Frank Sinatra," LIFE's classic photo-essay on the superstar, published in April 23, 1965
Sammy Davis Jr. counts money backstage during Golden Boy's Broadway run in 1964. "Sammy gets paid more than any Broadway star in history — a total of about $10,000 a week plus fringe benefits. He's worth it.
Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin share a light moment during their recording sessions for Sleep Warm in 1958