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
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 »
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 »
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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