Lou Primais-The Wildest (1999)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 25-Oct-2001

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Documentary Booklet
Additional Footage-Extra footage, music clips and interviews
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1999
Running Time 80:35
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Don McGlynn

Warner Vision
Starring Louis Prima
Case Soft Brackley-Transp
RPI $39.95 Music None Given

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles French
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

Louis Prima was one of the great entertainers of this century. Few had the enthusiasm and zest for life that Louis did. You could see this obvious enthusiasm for life in his stage performance. Louis started out as a straight Jazz musician playing a mean trumpet, moved to swing when swing was big, had a big band of his own and wrote some of the great Jazz standards in Sing, Sing, Sing, and Just a Gigolo. It is a testament to his staying power that he remained popular for over 40 years and was one of the establishing acts that made Las Vegas the entertainment town it is today.

Louis Prima, the Wildest! is an 80 minute documentary that examines his music and background, influences and impact. Interviews with family members, band members and music experts round out a story of a very interesting and charismatic man. Louis always looked for, played to and revelled in a responsive audience. This is clearly seen in this documentary. The documentary goes into reasonable detail about most facets of his life and the early Jazz scene that he grew up in. At the end, I felt a lot closer to understanding a little of what made Louis Prima tick.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality


Louis Prima: the Wildest! was made, presumably for television, in standard full frame (1.33:1, not 16x9 enhanced). It features a mixture of recent interviews and older footage. Source material is from both film and video.

The picture was not very sharp on the whole but given the age of much of the footage one has no real reason to complain. Things like shadow detail, quality of the blacks, and so forth, vary wildly in documentaries such as this. This documentary was no exception.

Colours, when present, were slightly muted but not problematic.

MPEG artefacts were not problem here. Film grain and artefacts existed in most of the film-sourced footage. There was a major flaw in the videotape source that can be seen eight minutes into the feature. Overall, the considerable age of much of the source material is easily discernable on the DVD.

This was an RSDL disc with no observable layer change. Presumably, the bonus materials are on the other layer of the disc.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


The audio is dual channel mono throughout. The quality varies according to the source just as the picture quality varies. Generally speaking, the audio sounds thin.

Dialogue quality was varied, ranging from acceptable to very poor. Audio sync was not a problem.

Music is what this man was about but the technical quality on display here is again dependant on the source.

There is of course nothing for the surrounds or sub here.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use



Additional Footage-Extra footage, music clips and interviews

There are nine bonus items in the special features section. Five of these are footage with sound and show footage of Louis dancing or interviews with band members about particular topics. The other four are audio only, again with songs and interviews providing the material. All interviews and audio selections are between 30 seconds and five minutes in length. There are some interesting anecdotes among them, such as the story of why Louis named his big hit Sing, Sing, Sing. Although a modest collection of extras, they are still worth watching.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

The Region 1 version of this DVD appears to be the same in the extras department as the local one.


Jazz fans or anyone interested in the life of one of the great entertainers should enjoy this documentary on Louis Prima.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Gavin Womersley (read my bio)
Friday, November 09, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba 2109, using Component output
DisplayToshiba 117cm widescreen rear projection TV. Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderRotel RSP-985 THX Ultra certified surround pre-amp.
AmplificationParasound HCA-2003 3x300w THX certified power amp, NAD 208THX 2x300w power amp.
SpeakersVelodyne HGS-18 1250w 18 servo-driven subwoofer, Celestion A3 front speakers, A2 rear speaker (full range) and A4c center channel speaker.

Other Reviews
DVD Net - Ben P

Comments (Add) NONE