17 May 2010 @ 6:00 AM 

Monday Minute
No. 97 | May 17, 2010

Six Packs

Summer’s on the way, the temperature’s rising, and MAD About Movies is here to help.  This week a theme I think we can all enjoy—beer!  We’ll be serving up some ice cold cinematic brewskis so you can beat the heat and—

Hey, Farmer!

Yeah, what?

The theme of the week is not beer.



You see that title up there.  It says Six Packs, right?

Yeah, but not that kind of six pack.

Oh, really.  Well, okay then, bear with me, folks.  It’s no problem—yes, you can still get “ripped,” if you know what I mean.  This week we’ll be featuring a theme about muscles, those well-defined features you might not see when you look in the mirror but you can surely find at the local gym.  Also known as washboard abs—

No, no, not that kind of six pack either.

No?  Well, then what—oh, I got it!  Here you go, everyone.  This week’s theme is all about Joe Six Pack, that all-American guy, the subject of countless movies over the years—or one or two, anyway—and that wonderful family of his.




Hmm…then…then…then I give up!  You’re so smart, why don’t you do it?

Okay.  Here.

Our theme this week
Rat Packs, and other “Packs” that made movies [Really!]

Holmby Hills Rat Pack

rat pack_bogart_bacall_to have and have notrat pack_bacall sinatra_mon

We probably should start at the beginning, with the original Rat Pack.  I know what you’re thinking, but those guys can wait till tomorrow.

Humphrey Bogart was in his forties.  Lauren Bacall was nineteen.  In 1944 they co-starred in the Howard Hawks film To Have and Have Not, they fell in love, and they were married a year later.  For the next decade, until Bogart’s death in 1957, they were the reigning couple in all of filmdom.

Bogie and Bacall preferred entertaining at home over the Hollywood party circuit.  Their circle of close friends included some of the biggest names of the day:  Judy Garland, Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, David Niven, Cary Grant, and notably, Frank Sinatra.  Other regulars included Garland’s husband, Sid Luft, director George Cukor, agent Swifty Lazar, humorist Nathaniel Benchley, composer Jimmy Van Heusen, and Mike and Gloria Romanoff, owners of Romanoff’s resaurant.

In her 1978 autobiography, By Myself, Bacall explained how one qualified for membership:

One had to be addicted to nonconformity, staying up late, drinking, laughing, and not caring what anyone thought or said about us….  We held a dinner in a private room at Romanoff’s to elect officials and draw up rules….  I was voted Den Mother, Bogie was in charge of public relations.  No one could join without unanimous approval of the charter members….  What fun we had with it all!

Holmby Hills is the exclusive neighborhood on the Westside of Los Angeles where several members of the original Rat Pack lived.  When it came to evenings at the Bogart’s, here’s how Bacall described it:  “If the light over the front door was on, we were home and awake; a chosen very few could ring the bell; if not, we were not receiving.”

Bacall coined the nickname for the group.  Once, when Bogart and a few of his drinking buddies returned from a trip to Las Vegas, she told them:  “You look like a goddamn rat pack.”  The name stuck.

Bogart’s death was the end of an era, and the end of the Holmby Hills Rat Pack.  Sinatra and Bacall began to see a lot of each other (“Frank was the only unattached man I knew,” she said).  They had an affair and were briefly engaged, but when news of their relationship hit the papers, Sinatra called it off.

Soon, a new Rat Pack was launched, with Sinatra at the helm.

To Have and Have Not (1944)
Howard Hawks, director
Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Hoagy Carmichael
“How Little We Know”


Dark Passage (1947)
Delmer Daves, director
Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall

Long Beach, Calif., Concert (1955)
Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra, Humphrey Bogart
Part 1

Long Beach, Calif., Concert (1955)
Humphrey Bogart, Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, Judy Garland
Part 2

Quote of Note
You know you don’t have to act with me, Steve.  You don’t have to say anything, and you don’t have to do anything.  Not a thing.  Oh, maybe just whistle.  You know how to whistle, don’t you, Steve?  You just put your lips together, and blow.”
—Slim (Lauren Bacall), To Have and Have Not (1944)



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