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The story of Washington D.C. radio personality Ralph "Petey" Greene, an ex-con who became a popular talk show host and community activist in the 1960s.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
9 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Bruce McFee ...
Prison Sign-In Guard
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Adam Gaudreau ...
Escorting Guard
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Program Director
Sean MacMahon ...
Richard Chevolleau ...
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Guard Captain (as Todd William Schroeder)
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Sunny Jim Kelsey (as Vondie Curtis Hall)
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Storyline

The true life story of Ralph Waldo "Petey" Greene Jr. In the mid-to-late 1960s, in Washington, D.C., vibrant soul music and exploding social consciousness were combining to unique and powerful effect. It was the place and time for Petey to fully express himself - sometimes to outrageous effect - and "tell it like it is." With the support of his irrepressible and tempestuous girlfriend Vernell, the newly minted ex-con talks his way into an on-air radio gig. He forges a friendship and a partnership with fellow prison inmate Milo's brother Dewey Hughes. From the first wild morning on the air, Petey relies on the more straight-laced Dewey to run interference at WOL-AM, where Dewey is the program director. At the station, Petey becomes an iconic radio personality, surpassing even the established popularity of his fellow disc jockeys, Nighthawk and Sunny Jim. Combining biting humor with social commentary, Petey openly courts controversy for station owner E.G. Sonderling. Petey was ... Written by Focus Features

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Never underestimate a man with something to say. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive language and some sexual content | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

3 August 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Petey Greene's Washington  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$402,000 (USA) (13 July 2007)

Gross:

$4,472,823 (USA) (21 September 2007)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the scene during Petey Greene's first day on WOL he mentions that his father was serving a 21 year sentence on Alcatraz Island Federal Prison. This couldn't be true because the year in that scene was 1966. Alcatraz closed down in March 1963. See more »

Goofs

In the opening scene, we see Petey Greene thumbing through a selection of vinyl records, eventually picking out the album 'It's A New Day - Let A Man Come In'. At this point in the film, it would appear that Petey is still in prison, however the James Brown album that he picks out was not released until June 1970. Moreover, the track played - 'It's A Man's Man's Man's World' - is a different version to that which appears on this 1970 album. Indeed, the version that is heard at the beginning of the film was not available commercially until the release of the 'Star Time' box set in 1991. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Petey Greene: Wake up, goddammit!
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Connections

Features The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

A Change Is Gonna Come
Written and Performed by Sam Cooke
By Arrangement with ABKCO Music & Records Inc. www.abkco.com
See more »

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User Reviews

 
This Movie Talked to Me
13 July 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

As Ralph Waldo Petey Greene Jr., who became a one-man inner-city media explosion in Washington, D.C., starting in the late '60s, Don Cheadle is superb. Petey doesn't just say that word — he means it. He wins over Dewey Hughes (Chiwetel Ejiofor), the slick, smart program director who is revealed to be a lot less of an stiff than he appears. Directed by Kasi Lemmons , Talk to Me digs into the relationship between Petey and Dewey, whose love/hate relationship is fascinating to watch. The two actors are marvelous. As crazy as he looks in those suits, Cheadle's never looks anything but cool. The rest of the cast is solid, but they mostly stay out of the way of the leads.


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