Documentary on the life of jazz trumpeter and drug addict Chet Baker. Fascinating series of interviews with friends, family, associates and lovers, interspersed with film from Baker's ... See full summary »


Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Broken Noses (1987)
Documentary | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A documentary, photographed in black-and-white, with a hip jazz soundtrack, looks at the boys and coach of a small but accomplished boxing club near Portland, Oregon. The film focuses on ... See full summary »

Director: Bruce Weber
Stars: Andy Minsker, Sean Bedwell, Aaron Berry
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A re-imagining of jazz legend Chet Baker's musical comeback in the late '60s.

Director: Robert Budreau
Stars: Ethan Hawke, Carmen Ejogo, Callum Keith Rennie
Documentary | Biography | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A documentary film about the life of pianist and jazz great Thelonious Monk. Features live performances by Monk and his band, and interviews with friends and family about the offbeat genius.

Director: Charlotte Zwerin
Stars: Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, Jimmy Cleveland
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Three friends, Steffen, Thomas and Mogens spend a lot of time together in Julies apartment while they talk about soccer and how to get enough money for tickets to the big game next week. At... See full summary »

Director: Jonas Elmer
Stars: Sidse Babett Knudsen, Bjarne Henriksen, Nicolaj Kopernikus
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In 'Round Midnight, real-life jazz legend Dexter Gordon brilliantly portrays the fictional tenor sax player Dale Turner, a musician slowly losing the battle with alcoholism, estranged from ... See full summary »

Director: Bertrand Tavernier
Stars: Dexter Gordon, François Cluzet, Gabrielle Haker
Short | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An exploration of the mysteries surrounding the death of jazz legend Chet Baker who was found dead below an Amsterdam hotel window in 1988.

Director: Robert Budreau
Stars: Stephen McHattie, Ted Dykstra, Sten Eirik
Chop Suey (2001)
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A homage to Bruce Weber's Favourite things, these being mixing film, photography and classic movies. With portraits of a lesbian jazz singer and a 16 year old wrestler.

Director: Bruce Weber
Stars: Jan-Michael Vincent, Peter Johnson, Frances Faye
Bird (1988)
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The troubled life and career of the jazz musician, Charlie "Bird" Parker.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Forest Whitaker, Diane Venora, Michael Zelniker
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Art Kane, now deceased, coordinated a group photograph of all the top jazz musicians in NYC in the year 1958, for a piece in Esquire magazine. Just about every jazz musician at the time ... See full summary »

Director: Jean Bach
Stars: Dizzy Gillespie, Milt Hinton, Marian McPartland
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Set at the Newport jazz festival in 1958, this documentary mixes images of water and the town with performers and audience. The film progresses from day to night and from improvisational ... See full summary »

Directors: Bert Stern, Aram Avakian
Stars: Louis Armstrong, Mahalia Jackson, Chuck Berry
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Filmmaker Bruce Weber is a professed animal lover, and his newest film centers on his own dogs, a family of gorgeous golden retrievers, including "True."

Director: Bruce Weber
Stars: Julie Christie, Marianne Faithfull, Bruce Weber
Miles Ahead (2015)
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An exploration of the life and music of Miles Davis.

Director: Don Cheadle
Stars: Don Cheadle, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Ewan McGregor


Cast overview, first billed only:
Carol Baker ...
Vera Baker ...
Paul Baker ...
Dean Baker ...
Missy Baker ...
Dick Bock ...
William Claxton ...
Hersh Hamel ...
Andy Minsker ...
Jack Sheldon ...
Lawrence Trimble ...
Joyce Night Tucker ...


Documentary on the life of jazz trumpeter and drug addict Chet Baker. Fascinating series of interviews with friends, family, associates and lovers, interspersed with film from Baker's earlier life and some modern-day performances. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Documentary | Music


See all certifications »





Release Date:

5 October 1989 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

As hathoume  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£15,483 (UK) (6 June 2008)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Referenced in Alfie (2004) See more »


Zingaro (AKA Portrait in Black and White)
By Antonio Carlos Jobim
Corcovado Music Corp.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

When cool was everything: a Chet Baker reflection
15 March 2010 | by (san ramon ca) – See all my reviews

In the 1950's, cool was the only way to fly, and Chet Baker was what James Dean always wanted to be. Those cool cat days, where the "cool" kids of today would be seen as jerks, sissies, geeks, nerds or worse, had a very restrictive behavioral kept your icy cool at all times in a very narrow emotional range no matter what happened, and never acted beneath your age or silly or goofy, both of which are so commonplace in today's arrested-development kids of all ages. That detached air was the very essence of cool then, along with the ducktail hair, the jeans, the smokes rolled up in a t-shirt sleeve, the coffee bars, the hot rods, and the gals.....with their angora sweaters that balled up when felt up. Those were the glory days shown in this film that were so attractive to us then. Every day a salad day, but those soon turned into grass days and then into poppy days for poor Chet.

Chet was all of that cool cat essence early on, and so much more for jazz lovers, especially in his recordings with Russ Freeman arrangements and accompaniment. The Okie Adonis Baker had almost no education or sophistication and was so easy, soft and simple cool, too simple and easy.......and he became a living sucker perfectly ripe for the easy plucking by promoters, fellow musicians and fame-loving men and women alike. And was he ever plucked, but he didn't resist too much as his soft, sad personality was like a blotter....a reflection of what life happened around him but not a significant happening in itself, other than his unique musical expressions.

In the film, it was plain to see that the last 20 years of his life were the killer drug years, as in 1967-68 he was seen to still look and sound good. It all went downhill from there, but the soul-sensitive voice, the soft trumpet toning that was always more an extension of his voice than a separate instrument, were still intact and probably more sensitive and sadly expressive than ever. Yes, Chet was a sad man of obvious low self esteem common to kids raised in near poverty, but shame and embarrassment for his many flaws had been well beaten out of him by life at the end. He was, as were many in his world, of the character and in the environment that made him an easy target for any addiction that allowed him the freedom to lose himself into his music and be cooler to himself and to the vices common to his world.... fast women, hard drugs, and getting by on his talent alone without having to work hard for a living. Whatever was easiest and felt best was always what Chet did and, and as with many of the most talented in any endeavor, he failed at most of these except for his music, and his resulting God-may-take-me-at-any-time-who-cares? malaise was clearly present and almost pleading for it near the end when answering interviewer questions in a drugged-out stupor.

I think he fell out of that hotel window in one of his drug stupors and died from it, on purpose or not. Simple as that, knowing he was a deep-in-a-dream junkie. No embellishment to it for effect is probable, like he did so often for sympathy or for a few extra bucks he never seemed to save from working a thousand gigs all over the world in 40 years. I just hope his wife Carol and his 3 kids saw some money from the big nostalgia CD sales resulting from this film. They sure looked as though they could use it. From their share of the proceeds from my Chet CD collection alone, they should be a lot better off than they looked in the film.

Roland's on Steiner in the Marina and The University Hideaway on upper Fillmore in San Francisco were my early hangouts in those days, and I can still feel Chet's mood near there on cool, foggy SF evenings that are so common there even if Chet is long gone, along with those old places. With enough time, his many failures in his personal war with life will be forgotten by all until only his great music remains to mark his legend.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page