7.4/10
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58 user 108 critic

Talk to Me (2007)

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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.

Director:

Kasi Lemmons

Writers:

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

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Don Cheadle ... Petey Greene
Chiwetel Ejiofor ... Dewey Hughes
Bruce McFee Bruce McFee ... Prison Sign-In Guard
Mike Epps ... Milo Hughes
Peter MacNeill ... Warden Cecil Smithers
Adam Gaudreau Adam Gaudreau ... Escorting Guard
Taraji P. Henson ... Vernell Watson
Cedric the Entertainer ... 'Nighthawk' Bob Terry
Martin Sheen ... E.G. Sonderling
J. Miles Dale ... Program Director
Sean MacMahon Sean MacMahon ... Ronnie Simmons
Richard Chevolleau Richard Chevolleau ... Poochie Braxton
Martin Randez ... Hadley
Todd Schroeder ... Guard Captain (as Todd William Schroeder)
Vondie Curtis-Hall ... 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:

Inspired by a true story See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 August 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Petey Greene's Washington See more »

Filming Locations:

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$402,000, 15 July 2007, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$4,472,823, 23 September 2007
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

An earlier version of this film was in development in June 2000. It was to be titled "Petey Greene's Washington" and star Martin Lawrence. Greene's biographer Lurma Rackley was to write the script but contract negotiations broke down. See more »

Goofs

The segment that features the James Brown concert, after the assassination of ML King, opens with the song 'Say It Loud' (I'm Black and I'm Proud). This song was never part of the set list of the original concert because the song wasn't written and recorded until August 1968 - 4 months after the assassination. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Petey Greene: Wake up, goddammit!
See more »

Connections

References In the Heat of the Night (1967) See more »

Soundtracks

Outa-Space
Written by Billy Preston and Joe Greene
Performed by Billy Preston
Courtesy of A&M Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
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User Reviews

 
Beautiful movie about an unique personality
19 October 2007 | by vovazhdSee all my reviews

I was not sure what to think when I started watching Talk to Me. It gave off an interesting style, but I wasn't sure it would amount to anything. Maybe I was afraid it would depend too much on the black rights subject matter. Immediate impressions aside, I soon found myself immersed in the movie. I was completely inside by the time of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination. From there until the end, I felt for the characters and enjoyed the ride. It reveals some things about our culture that other movies are afraid to show, but not in a manner where the whole movie depends on it.

The acting is phenomenal, especially from Don Cheadle as Petey Greene. He makes such a realistic, complex, radical-yet-modest radio talk show host. His emotions flow forth freely from the screen into the audience. Chiwetel Ejiofor also makes a notable appearance as Dewey Hughes, who becomes Greene's manager. The chemistry between these two main characters (and actors) is wonderful. The music editing is excellent and goes a long way to help put an emotional impact on viewers. There is plenty of comedy and equal amounts of tragedy. Towards the end, a point of reflection is achieved which sums up all the main ideas presented throughout the film. The plot itself has its ups and downs, but is ultimately satisfying.

Talk to Me has all the attributes necessary to be a great film. Its structure is original and successfully melds comedy, tragedy, and drama together. Highly recommended if you have the opportunity to see it.


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