7.7/10
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16 user 8 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.

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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)
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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
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

31 October 1990 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Straight, No Chaser  »

Box Office

Gross:

$518,918 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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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

Ruby, My Dear
Written by Thelonious Monk
See more »

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User Reviews

 
More Of A Concert Than A Documentary, But That's Fine
25 August 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a documentary but almost a straight concert, featuring jazz pianist who performed mainly in the 1950s and 1960s and is a legend in music circles.

I say "concert" because there is as much music, if not more, than dialog. Most of the tunes are excerpts from various much-longer numbers he did. Most of them are performed by Monk but some are done by other musicians. The coverage is in black-and-white and well done. Photography-wise, I particularly enjoyed the closeups of Monk's face as he performed. He wasn't the most articulate man so perhaps that is why this is more concert than documentary. He acted as if he were stoned most of the time. I don't know his history so I can't comment further on that topic.

Not being a jazz fan, I can't appreciate his music as others would, but I'm being honest.....and I still enjoyed watching this even though I own only a half dozen jazz CDs. I imagine those who love jazz would have to own this. It's nice that it's available now on disc.


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