7.7/10
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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:

Charlotte Zwerin
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

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

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 October 1990 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Straight, No Chaser See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$518,918
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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 »


Soundtracks

Crepuscule with Nellie
Written by Thelonious Monk
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User Reviews

This movie got me interested in jazz!
11 September 2004 | by quiet-4See 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.


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