Louis Prima: The Wildest
Time Out saysLike too many US showbiz docs, this is marred by excessive indulgence of the sticky sentiments of the subject's erstwhile collaborators: Prima was 'a genius'; 'of the top five entertainers of the century, he's the top!'; 'he really was a real person'. No: what this entertaining film eventually shows is that he was a real swinger. The real person eludes his collaborators, just as he seems to have eluded his closest friends and his five wives. In the '50s Prima rated alongside Sinatra. Today he's best remembered for his songs on The Jungle Book. TV archive material catches him in his heyday and it's a wonderful sight: looking less like a ladykiller than a portly Frankie Howerd, he lets loose call and response rhythm 'n' blues to a shuffle beat, with honkin' sax, raucous vocals and manic clowning; and all the while his wife Keeley Smith stands about looking bored.