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Ray (I) (2004)

PG-13  |   |  Biography, Drama, Music  |  29 October 2004 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 103,460 users   Metascore: 73/100
Reviews: 429 user | 207 critic | 40 from Metacritic.com

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 48 wins & 47 nominations. See more awards »



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


Legendary rhythm and blues singer Ray Charles' life transpires on-screen, from his humble beginnings in Georgia, where he went blind at age seven, to his pre-fame life touring the South, and on to his career as one of the most enduring, inimitable performers in modern music. Written by IMDb Editors

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The extraordinary life story of Ray Charles. A man who fought harder and went farther than anyone thought possible. 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)


$15,331,100 (Europe) (25 March 2005)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (extended)

Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


During the scenes where Ray refuses to play in Georgia because of Jim Crow laws, which were actually filmed outside of the Municipal Auditorium in New Orleans, you will notice Mounted Police Officers. They were actual members of the New Orleans Police Department Mounted Unit. See more »


At several points during Ray's early career, the light switches on the wall are a modern style, not seen for years afterwards. 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

The final shot of the movie contains a freeze frame of the real Ray Charles and underneath it reads the caption: "Ray Charles Robinson = 1930 - 2004" See more »


Featured in The 82nd Annual Academy Awards (2010) See more »


Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee
Written by Stick McGhee and J. Mayo Williams
Performed by Stick McGhee
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
By Arrangement with Warner Strategic Marketing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Not a Ray fan? No problem. Cinema at its best
22 November 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

My wife wanted to see this movie and I grudgingly went along. I have never been a big fan of the biopic - believing that cinema is more exciting when it isn't structured in non-fiction. Beyond that, although I like Ray Charles' music just fine, I don't consider myself a fan of him or his music.

I expected to either suffer or coast through this movie.

I was wrong.

This is an engaging story told in a classic cinematic style. The realism is in the nuances - the tilt of a character's head after a dramatic moment or the look in their eyes while they sing. I literally discovered myself involved in this movie during the course of viewing it.

Jaime Foxx, of which much has been said, heads a cast of immaculate re-creators of not just a time, but an ERA, a LIFE that never really existed to those of us under forty. This movie sinks the audience into time without the gimmicks and grand sweeping panoramas of Titanic or other period pieces of that ilk. This movie doesn't present you with the 50's and 60's music scene, it takes you there.

This is a movie about Ray Charles, but your appreciate of it should not be limited to the story of his life. This is the kind of movie, like Saving Private Ryan or Schindler's List, that does what a movie should do - bring you to another place, another time.

190 of 250 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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