IMDb > Thelonious Monk: Straight, No Chaser (1988)
Thelonious Monk: Straight, No Chaser
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Thelonious Monk: Straight, No Chaser (1988) More at IMDbPro »

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Release Date:
31 October 1990 (France) See more »
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. | Add synopsis »
1 win See more »
User Reviews:
This movie got me interested in jazz! See more (16 total) »


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)
Ben Riley ... Himself (Thelonious Monk Quartet / Thelonious Monk Octet, drummer)
Charlie Rouse ... Himself (Thelonious Monk Quartet: saxophone, Thelonious Monk Octet: tenor saxophone) (archive footage)
Phil Woods ... Himself (Thelonious Monk Octet, alto sax)

Samuel E. Wright ... Narrator (voice)

Directed by
Charlotte Zwerin 
Produced by
Clint Eastwood .... executive producer
Bruce Ricker .... producer
Charlotte Zwerin .... producer
Original Music by
Dick Hyman 
Cinematography by
Christian Blackwood 
Sound Department
Alexandra Baltarzuk .... additional sound
Tom Fleischman .... sound re-recording mixer
Petur Hliddal .... additional sound
Mike Karas .... additional sound
Peter Miller .... additional sound
Roger Phenix .... sound: additional film crew Flanagan/Harris piano duo
Nina Schulman .... sound editor
Rudy Van Gelder .... sound: additional film crew Flanagan/Harris piano duo
Visual Effects by
Irwin Young .... opticals
Camera and Electrical Department
Larry Banks .... chief lighting technician: additional film crew Flanagan/Harris piano duo
Joan Churchill .... additional photographer
Meredith Collins .... still photographer
Nica De Koenigswarter .... still photographer
Bob Fiore .... camera operator: additional film crew Flanagan/Harris piano duo
William Gottlieb .... still photographer
Mike Karas .... electrician: additional film crew Flanagan/Harris piano duo
Herman Leonard .... still photographer
Stuart Math .... additional photographer
Bob Parent .... still photographer
Francis Paudras .... still photographer
Chris Rosen .... key grip: additional film crew Flanagan/Harris piano duo
Don Schlitten .... still photographer
Editorial Department
Bernadine Colish .... assistant editor
Noëlle Penraat .... negative matcher
Dave Pultz .... color timer (uncredited)
Other crew
Ruth Bird .... production assistant
Kent Blocher .... production assistant
Doreen Elliott .... transcriptor: interviews
Kate Hirson .... production assistant
Peter Keepnews .... production assistant
Jay Keuper .... production assistant
Michael Maurer .... production controller
Lynn Piasecki .... production assistant
Jason Ricker .... production assistant
Anthony Sclafani .... production accountant
David Valdes .... production executive
Richard Woodward .... production assistant
Pamela Bendich .... thanks
R. Frankliln Brown .... thanks
David Chertok .... additional thanks
Harry Colomby .... thanks
Stanley Crouch .... additional thanks
Michèle Darmon .... additional thanks
Berit De Koenigswarter .... additional thanks
Lynn Emmolo .... additional thanks
Elliott Erwitt .... additional thanks
Lynda Hansen .... additional thanks
Ralph Kaffel .... additional thanks
Kiyoshi Kodama .... additional thanks
Susan Lacy .... additional thanks
Bruce Lundvall .... additional thanks
Thelonious Monk Jr. .... special thanks
Thomas Monk Jr. .... special thanks
Thomas Monk Sr. .... special thanks
Barbara Monk .... special thanks (as Barbara 'Boo Boo' Monk)
Nellie Monk .... special thanks (as Mrs. Thelonious 'Nellie' Monk)
Dan Morgenstern .... additional thanks (as Dan)
Francis Paudras .... additional thanks
Michael Phillips .... additional thanks
Debbie Reinberg .... additional thanks
Kirk Roberts .... additional thanks
Charlie Rouse .... additional thanks
Daihei Shiohama .... additional thanks
Don Sickler .... additional thanks
Tim Timpanaro .... additional thanks
Alonzo White .... special thanks
Marion Monk White .... special thanks
Melvin Zalel .... additional thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Straight, No Chaser" - USA (short title)
See more »
90 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

One of three 1988 Clint Eastwood movies. The films are Bird (1988), The Dead Pool (1988) and Thelonious Monk: Straight, No Chaser (1988).See more »
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 »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Usual Suspects (1995)See more »
On The BeanSee more »


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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful.
This movie got me interested in jazz!, 11 September 2004
Author: quiet-4 from Seattle, WA

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.

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