Wikipedia says: “Sergeants 3is a 1962 remake of Gunga Din (1939) set in the American West, directed by John Sturges and featuring Rat Pack icons Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Peter Lawford, and Joey Bishop. It was the last film to all five members of the Rat Pack …”
The 4 Rat Pack movies were: Ocean’s Eleven (1960), Sergeants 3(1962), 4 for Texas (1963), and Robin and the 7 Hoods (1964).
Tags / Sergeants 3
It was the fashion in the 60’s to often massively hype movies and often completely misrepresent their true flavor. Thus we see these Tags assigned toSergeants 3 with make it look like some zany slapstick send up:
They’re the Wildest Characters in All the West! You’ve gotta see it to know how wild the west can be! They’re Gamblers… They’re Lovers… They’re The Wildest Characters In All The West! (British poster) They take the West… Like it’s never been taken before! are you READY? MAN! This one’s THE WILDEST! Even the Indians are funny in … SERGEANTS 3
Shameless exaggerations. Yes, Sergeants 3 had humor, but it also had some fairly serious undertones.
Most of the humor was rather on the clever side though – such as this clip of Dean playing poker with the Blacksmith:
In 1962 Dean Martinmakes his 3rd Western: Sergeants 3. No Classic, but interesting for a few reasons. Firstly, it’s Produced by Frank Sinatra – and Directed (believe it or not) by the great Director John Sturges, Director of the Great Western Classics: The Magnificent Seven (1960) and Gunfight at OK Corral (1957) – plus The Great Escape (1963) – among others. Amazing! So why would Sturgeswant to Direct such an offbeat project? Well why not! You get to work with some of the Greatest names in Las Vegas/Hollywood entertainment history: Sinatra, Martin and Sammy Davis Jr!! The real trick would be to keep this set from turning into an outright party – though it’s said that the Pack usually behaved like the Pros they were.
I’ve been sick for a whole damn week. Some kind of cold. Mercifully, a cold with no cough. A cough can really slay you. I have the other symptoms though: fever, sweats, chills, fatigue, hiccups, rickets, bleeding from the ears …
But no cough.
So I went to work anyway. Every day. Fortified and embalmed with cold remedies, I worked in a foggy dream. Nobody noticed. I must be like this all the time.
Anyway, I believe it’s starting to abate. I will now go through 2 or 3 days of withdrawals from the cold meds: nausea, shaking, slurred speech, hacking and convulsions …
Then I’ll be able to continue my wonderful blogging.
I’m still working on Dean Martin’s 3rd Western – a Rat Pack Western called Sergeants 3 (1962). It’s a Popcorn Movie – they weren’t going for any Academy Awards. It relies on the considerable charisma of the Star studded Pack. And considerable it is: Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford. The humor is rather clever in places.
4 years after his split with Jerry Lewis, Dean made his secondWestern: Rio Bravo –Western Classic.
I’ve covered Rio Bravo somewhat, so I’m just gonna show a couple of images and move on. Good images though.
In 1958 DeanMartin was 41 years old.
James Cagney, John Cassavetes, Edmond O’Brien, Rod Steiger, Richard Widmark, John Ireland, Tony Curtis, Cary Grant, Henry Fonda, Glenn Ford, William Holden, VanJohnson, Burt Lancaster, Ray Milland, Spencer Tracy and Robert Mitchum were considered for Dude. Howard Hawks also supposedly negotiated for Frank Sinatra for the role.
(MFW: Good grief !!! I woulda hired most any of these guys on the spot.
But Dean was great.)
Montgomery Clift, who was bisexual and a liberal Democrat, turned down the role of Dude, because he didn’t want to work again with John Wayne and Walter Brennan who were both strongly conservative Republicans. They had previously worked together in Red River (1948). Clift suggested his The Young Lions (1958) co-star Dean Martin for the role of Dude, and so Martin’s agent immediately approached Howard Hawks with the idea.
Hawks agreed to meet with Martin at 9:30 the next morning. When Hawks learned that Martin had done a show in Las Vegas until midnight, and hired a plane to fly him to the meeting, Hawks was so impressed that he simply sent Martin to get a costume and told him he had the part.
Cast as an alcoholic battling inner demons, Dean turned to his friend Marlon Brando for advice about playing the role.
Mostly due to Dean’s Italian background, the film was a huge success in Italy, laying the groundwork for the following decade’s Spaghetti Western boom.
Dean later admitted that he found the part of Dude very difficult to play.
(MFW: It doesn’t show. Nice job Dean.)
The movie was filmed at the famous Old Tucson Studios. Many Westerns Films and TV Westerns have been shot here – including the great Western ClassicGunfight at OK Corral (1957). Filming outdoors was often a chore due to the 120-degree heat and an invasion of grasshoppers that fried on the hot lights and littered the sets.
In 2014, Rio Bravo was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.
Obviously there was a tremendous bond between Dean and Jerry. They loved each other like brothers (are supposed to). Yet, after they broke up, they were estranged for 20 years. It took a surprise meeting set up by Frank Sinatra to break the ice and they finally renewed their friendship.
Some of these photos are rather amazing – a different era for sure. But not that long ago.
Dean, Lori Nelson, Jerry, Jackie Loughery on a pile of badguys.
Dean and Jerry get the drop on 2 known and 4 unknown owlhoots.