7.7/10
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14 user 10 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:

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

Well, You Needn't
Written by Thelonious Monk
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User Reviews

 
the title itself is a good summary of the film
7 January 2011 | by mjneu59See all my reviews

The facts in the life of the virtuoso jazz pianist are somewhat neglected in favor of the music itself, with most of the film devoted to various live performances and rare, behind-the-stage rehearsal footage. The latter scenes give this otherwise straightforward portrait its most revealing moments, showing how complex and exacting the work of jazz composition and arrangement can be. Biographical details are filled in by friends and family but never probed in depth: was Monk, for example, actually suffering some form of mental illness, or was his peculiar behavior merely the pose of an eccentric artist? If for no one else the film is a must for jazz fans and musicians (it was produced by Clint Eastwood).


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