low-budget Twist musical, great for fans of Louis Prima
This z-grade Twist musical stars (and was made by the production company of) the great trumpeter/vocalist/band-leader/personality Louis Prima, backed by the equally great Sam Butera and the Witnesses. In fact, Butera gets a lot of screen time here.
The old "small club is about to lose its lease but people who believe in the music band together to keep the club open and in the meantime win everyone over to their music" plot is trotted out once again-- it was used in the mid-50s rock'n'roll movies and in early 40s swing movies too, and it works well here. But then, you are watching a movie like this because you like the Twist and/or Louis Prima's music, and on that level it delivers the goods. Legendary Playboy model June Wilkinson looks beautiful as Prima's girlfriend, the music is hot, and as a vehicle for Prima's antics the film is a complete success. Some people complain that Prima--who made his recording debut in the early-mid 1930s!--is much too old to do the twist, but he is one of the fathers of rock'n'roll (especially those "jive" artists such as Jimmy Cavallo, Charlie Gracie, Mike Pedicin, etc.)and since his act is based on self-parody anyway and he never takes himself seriously, I can't see anyone having a problem with that.
Unless you like Prima and the Twist, though, you'd probably hate the film. It's shot on two minimal sets, basically, and is as static as a Barry Mahon film. However, for me that only adds to the charm (who needs complex camera work when you are basically seeing Prima do his show and do some light comedy?). Perhaps someone will release this on DVD?
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