Louis Prima: The Wildest (1999)




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Louis Prima was the slickest and wildest of America's jazz musician hep-cats. His famously crazed performances were extremely popular during his heyday in the 1950s, but his campy demeanor garnered little respect from highbrow critics who viewed him as anything but a serious musician. Veteran documentary filmmaker Don McGlynn sets out to change that perception. Opening with Prima's childhood in the French Quarter in New Orleans, the film traces his rise to fame in New York and later in Hollywood during the '30s. In the '40s, he entered the big band fray and produced a standard of the genre in "Sing! Sing! Sing!" In the following decade, he regained the mantle of hipness by appearing in scaled-down musical arrangements accompanied by the glitz of Vegas. Louis Prima: The Wildest! features extended concert footage and interviews with two of his five ex-wives.


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