The story of the life and career of the legendary rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles, from his humble beginnings in the South, where he went blind at age seven, to his meteoric rise to stardom during the 1950s and 1960s.



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Won 2 Oscars. Another 52 wins & 51 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Gossie McGee (as Terrence Dashon Howard)


The story of Ray Charles, music legend. Told in his adult live with flashbacks to his youth we see his humble origins in Florida, his turbulent childhood which included losing his brother and then his sight, his rise as pianist in a touring band, his writing his own songs and running his own band and then stardom. Also includes his addiction to drugs and its affect on his working life and family life. Written by grantss

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The only thing more extraordinary than the music is the man behind it: Ray Charles. See more »


Biography | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for depiction of drug addiction, sexuality and some thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

29 October 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Unchain My Heart: The Ray Charles Story  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$20,039,730 (USA) (29 October 2004)


$75,305,995 (USA) (11 March 2005)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (extended)

Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


At his request, the screenplay was translated into Braille for Ray Charles to read. See more »


The vinyl siding on Bea's and Ray's original house didn't exist in the late 1950s. See more »


[first lines]
Aretha Robinson: Always remember your promise to me. Never let nobody or nothing turn you into no cripple.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Producers wish to thank David "Fathead" Newman (Who still performs internationally and enjoys a healthy drug-free lifestyle) See more »


I Can't Stop Loving You
Written by Don Gibson
Performed by Ray Charles
Courtesy of Ray Charles Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Raves for Ray!!
24 November 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

First of all, it is sheer joy to hear the legend perform such wonderful and timeless music. This movie and soundtrack is a tour de force. Ray Charles is unique and amazing. I truly adored the film as it was inspiring and entertaining throughout.

Jamie Foxx has become one of the premiere actors in Hollywood as is clearly shown in Ray and he should get an Oscar for this role, it is unprecedented. In fact, everyone who worked on this film should receive accolades. I really liked Kerry Washington who played the exceptional wife...Ray Charles obviously married well. Regina King is a fine actress as well as the extraordinary Sharon Warren who plays a struggling young mother.

In all honesty, I'd say this whole project was providentially arranged. The entire cast was perfect, great screenplay and awesome settings...major props to the director Taylor Hackford and crew for doing such a splendid job in bringing the life of Ray Charles to the screen so flawlessly. This is my picture of the year, certainly one of the best biographical films ever made.

119 of 146 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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