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.

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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:
... Petey Greene
... Dewey Hughes
Bruce McFee ... Prison Sign-In Guard
... Milo Hughes
... Warden Cecil Smithers
Adam Gaudreau ... Escorting Guard
... Vernell Watson
... 'Nighthawk' Bob Terry
... E.G. Sonderling
... Program Director
Sean MacMahon ... Ronnie Simmons
Richard Chevolleau ... Poochie Braxton
... Hadley
... Guard Captain (as Todd William Schroeder)
... 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

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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

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Release Date:

3 August 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Petey Greene's Washington  »

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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 »

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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

Hip Hug-Her
Written by Al Jackson Jr., Booker T. Jones, Steve Cropper, Donald Dunn
Performed by Booker T. & the M.G.s (as Booker T & The MG's)
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
By Arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing
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User Reviews

 
Entertaining and Well-Acted Biopic
28 December 2007 | by See all my reviews

Petey Greene: I'll tell it to the hot, I'll tell it to the cold. I'll tell it to the young, I'll tell it to the old. I don't want no laughin', I don't want no cryin', and most of all, no signifyin'. This is Petey Greene's Washington.

What a fascinating person Petey Greene was. What an important person Petey Greene. Sure he might have just seemed like a sharp-witted loud-mouth smart-ass, but his courage to speak out against the racial injustices of the 60s broke ground for later radio disjockeys such as Howard Stern, Don Imus and a lot more. 'Talk to Me', Kasi Lemmon's latest feature chronicling the rise and fall of radio dis-jockey turned talk show host Petey Greene is flawed but moving.

The film's biggest problem lies in the writing. There's a few parts in the middle of the film that really drag. The dialogue is realistic and often quite funny. Kasi Lemmons directing is adequate, while the cast is sensational. Don Cheadle is hysterical and compelling all at the same time. He perfectly embodies Greene, doesn't create an over-the-top character but a man we can relate and sympathize with. The multi-talented Chitwel Ejofor (Kinky Boots, Children of Men) is just as good in a less showy role as Greene's manager, and Tarj P. Henson is amusing to say the least as Greene's girlfriend. Martin Sheen and Mike Epps are solid in their small roles, and Cedric the Entertainer is decent in a role that really doesn't require much acting range.

All in all, 'Talk to Me' is a powerful movie wrapped around an intriguing real-life story. Grade: B+


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