7.7/10
721
16 user 7 critic

Thelonious Monk: Straight, No Chaser (1988)

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:

Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

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 »

Director: Bruce Weber
Stars: Chet Baker, Carol Baker, Vera Baker
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, Fran├žois Cluzet, Gabrielle Haker
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 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
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 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
Jazz (TV Mini-Series 2001)
Documentary | History | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

A survey of the musical form's history and major talents.

Stars: Keith David, Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet
The Miles Davis Story (TV Movie 2001)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A review of the life and work of Miles Davis as told by those who knew and worked with him.

Director: Michael Dibb
Stars: Jimmy Cobb, Shirley Horn, Frances Davis
Documentary | Biography | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Director: Don McGlynn
Stars: Charles Mingus, Gunther Schuller
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Documentary covering Bob Dylan's 1965 tour of England, which includes appearances by Joan Baez and Donovan.

Director: D.A. Pennebaker
Stars: Bob Dylan, Albert Grossman, Bob Neuwirth
The Beatles Anthology (TV Mini-Series 1995)
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.4/10 X  

An autobiographical documentary of the greatest of the rock bands.

Stars: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Prior to a city council election, the collapse of a building leaves a land developer and his political backers defending themselves against a scandal.

Director: Francesco Rosi
Stars: Rod Steiger, Salvo Randone, Guido Alberti
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A chronological look at the life and career of jazz musician, composer, and performer Dave Brubeck (1920- ), presented through contemporary interviews, archival footage of interviews and ... See full summary »

Director: Bruce Ricker
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Sting, Bill Cosby
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Jimmy Cleveland ...
Himself (trombonist, Thelonious Monk Octet)
Harry Colomby ...
Himself (personal manager)
John Coltrane ...
Himself
Ray Copeland ...
Himself (Thelonious Monk Octet: trumpet) (archive footage)
Nica De Koenigswarter ...
Herself
Tommy Flanagan ...
Himself (duo, piano performance)
Larry Gales ...
Himself (Thelonius Monk Quartet / Thelonious Monk Octet, bass player)
Johnny Griffin ...
Himself (Thelonious Monk Octet, tenor sax)
Barry Harris ...
Himself (duo, piano performance)
Bob Jones ...
Himself (road manager)
Teo Macero ...
Himself (Columbia Records producer)
Thelonious Monk Jr. ...
Himself
Nellie Monk ...
Herself
Thelonious Monk ...
Himself (archive footage)
Frank Paccione ...
Himself-Vocalist (singing voice)
Edit

Storyline

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.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

PG-13
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

31 October 1990 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Straight, No Chaser  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$518,918 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

One of three 1988 Clint Eastwood movies. along with Bird (1988) and The Dead Pool (1988) See more »

Quotes

Thelonious Monk: [scribbles something on a piece of paper] Can you read that?
Nica De Koenigswarter: A beautiful message.
Thelonious Monk: If somebody can decipher that for you, you know, and say what it means, get what it means, it'll upset you. You'll flip, I mean flip for real!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Usual Suspects (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Ask Me Now
Written and Performed by Thelonious Monk
Courtesy of Blue Note Records, a division of Capitol Records, Inc.
Special Markets Division
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

This movie got me interested in jazz!
11 September 2004 | by (Seattle, WA) – See all my reviews

Before seeing this movie, I wasn't much into Jazz, focussing most of my musical interest in rock: especially punk, new wave, classic, and industrial.

This movie completely blew me away! I had never seen piano performance before (or since) that was remotely like this. Seeing Thelonius play made me realize that I had been entirely neglecting a musical genre that was at least as cutting edge as the rock I had been subsisting on.

_Straight, No Chaser_ works because Eastwood and the director realized that the best way to present Monk (or perhaps any musician) is to maximize performance footage and minimize commentary. There is copious footage of Monk performing here, and I defy anyone with a sliver of interest in music to watch it and not come away with deeper appreciation of jazz.

His technique must make piano instructors cringe, though!

Jason K.


6 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Copyright Violation on YouTube lukeasacher

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?