Thelonious Monk: Straight, No Chaser (1988)

PG-13   |    |  Documentary, Biography, Music


Thelonious Monk: Straight, No Chaser (1988) Poster

A documentary film about the life of pianist and jazz great Thelonious Sphere Monk. Features live performances by Monk and his band, and interviews with friends and family about the offbeat genius.


7.6/10
1,083

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Cast & Crew

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Director:

Charlotte Zwerin

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User Reviews


13 July 2009 | leejor5
8
| This is a great movie and a great musician
The film I will be reviewing is the documentary Thelonious Monk Straight No Chaser. This film is a documentary of the late Thelonious Monk born on October 10, 1917 in Rocky Mountain, North Carolina, who moved to Manhattan, New York, at the age of four. Thelonious was an American jazz pianist and composer, widely considered one of jazz's biggest figures and the founder of bebop.

The interest in this move for me began the very first time I heard jazz. This was watching the movie Block Party with Dave Chappell. This movie shows a lot of black musicians and a little of what they do back stage. In some of the clips they show Dave Chappell playing with some of the musicians. In one clip in particular Dave is playing a piece from Thelonious Monk. Surprisingly it didn't occur to me that he was playing jazz from years ago because it went with contemporary music of the time. So I looked it up. What I found was a great heritage of music that is timeless which I would have never listened to, and that's what interested me in this documentary

Straight No Chaser starts with Monk's start as a musician and his hand in the start of bebop. This movie shows raw footage as Monk plays a popular song "Rhythm-a-ning." The movie is especially interesting because it is in black and white and give's it that classic fill that monk gives off when he is playing. The movie explains how in the beginning not many knew Monk, even though he helped create the bebop style. They go through how he gained his popularity and showed great behind the scene pictures and clips of Monk. This movie is the perfect film for anyone interested in jazz or just the innovation of music. It is honest and holds nothing back from the life of this great musician. It glorifies his ups just as well as his downs. It also allows us to see in the life of a musician who was mostly private with his affairs and that makes it all the more interesting. The end of this movie is great for anyone who loves not only jazz but music in the creative sense. It shows how music affects the lives of people and how great and eclectic this musician really was.

Critic Reviews


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$31,842 9 October 1989

Gross USA:

$518,918

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$518,918

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