Ray is a 2004 American biographical musical drama movie specializing in 30 years within the lifetime of rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles.[2] The independently produced movie was co-produced and directed by Taylor Hackford, and written by James L. White from a narrative by Hackford and White. It stars Jamie Foxx within the title position, together with Kerry Washington, Clifton Powell, Harry Lennix, Terrence Howard, Larenz Tate, Richard Schiff and Regina King in supporting roles. Together with Hackford, the movie was additionally produced by Stuart Benjamin, Howard Baldwin and Karen Baldwin.

It was launched on October 29, 2004, by Common Photos. It obtained constructive evaluations from critics, with explicit reward for Foxx’s efficiency. It was additionally a business success, grossing $124.7 million worldwide towards a manufacturing finances of $40 million.

Ray obtained many accolades and nominations and was nominated twice on the 77th Academy Awards. For his efficiency, Foxx gained the Academy Award for Finest Actor in addition to the Golden Globe, BAFTA, Display Actors Guild, and Critics’ Alternative, turning into the second actor to win all 5 main lead actor awards for a similar efficiency, and the one one to win the Golden Globe within the Musical or Comedy class, quite than in Drama.

Charles had deliberate to attend a screening of the finished movie however died of liver illness in June 2004, months previous to the premiere.[3]


Ray Charles is raised by his unbiased single mom, Aretha Robinson in poverty, however he manages to search out solace in music, finally studying easy methods to play the piano. As Ray performs along with his youthful brother George in the future, George unintentionally slips into their mom’s full washbasin and drowns to dying. Ray feels distraught over his brother’s dying, and begins to develop imaginative and prescient issues quickly afterward. By age seven, he has grow to be fully blind. Aretha teaches him to be unbiased regardless of his situation, and finally, she sends Ray to a faculty for the deaf and blind.

In 1946, Ray joins a white nation band who make him put on sun shades to cover his broken eyes from audiences. In 1948, Ray travels to Seattle, Washington the place he makes use of his piano abilities to get a job enjoying for a nightclub band. The membership’s proprietor quickly begins to take advantage of Ray, demanding sexual favors and controlling his cash and profession. After discovering that he’s being lied to and stolen from, Ray leaves the band.

As Ray continues to journey and achieve fame along with his music, he’s found by Ahmet Ertegun of Atlantic Information. Ray performs Ertegun’s tune, “Mess Round”, and turns into his first hit.

Ray later meets Della Bea, a preacher’s daughter. He falls in love together with her, and the 2 get married. Della is sad about Ray mixing gospel along with his music, however acknowledges his expertise.

Ray continues to achieve fame along with his songs “I Acquired a Girl” and “Hallelujah I Love Her So”, and meets up with Mary Anne Fisher, a singer. On a visit house, Della finds Ray’s drug equipment in his shaving bag, demanding him to cease taking medication. Ray refuses, and walks out on a pregnant Della. Ray and Mary Anne start an affair. As Ray’s recognition grows, Ray hires a lady trio to grow to be “The Raylettes”, and instantly falls for Margie, the lead singer. When the 2 start an affair, a jealous Mary Anne leaves him to start out a solo profession.

A number of years later, Ray’s band finishes early whereas doing a set. The proprietor of the membership calls for Ray to fill the twenty-minute slot he has left, and Ray performs “What’d I Say” on the spot. In the course of the Sixties, Ray’s recognition rises, and he strikes his household to Los Angeles earlier than signing a greater contract with ABC Information. A 12 months later, Ray continues to experiment along with his music, and incorporates classical and nation into his sound, writing hits reminiscent of “Georgia on My Thoughts”. Ray additionally data “I Cannot Cease Loving You”, for which he receives a standing ovation at a live performance.

Later, Margie will get sick whereas they relaxation of their resort room. They uncover that she is pregnant, and he or she calls for that Ray leaves Della and his youngsters; he refuses, upsetting her. Ray then writes “Hit the Highway Jack” which has a solo by Margie. Along with her newfound recognition, Margie leaves the Raylettes to embark on a solo profession.

In 1961, Ray goes to Augusta, Georgia, to play a live performance, and encounters civil rights protests. Ray helps the protests by saying that he won’t play if the black concertgoers have to sit down within the balcony, and cancels the live performance when these in cost refuse his calls for; he later finally ends up being banned from enjoying within the state of Georgia. Later, Ray’s resort room is raided by the police, who declare that they’re performing on an nameless tip that he has medication within the room. Though heroin is discovered and Ray is charged with possession, he will get off on a authorized technicality as a result of the police didn’t have a search warrant. Throughout a gathering, Ray is knowledgeable that Margie has died from a drug overdose.

Ray and Della later transfer into a brand new home in Beverly Hills with their youngsters, however Della is uneasy of their new house. In 1965, Ray is arrested for possession of heroin following a live performance in Canada. His report firm has bother getting him out of his authorized points, and a decide sentences Ray to go to a rehabilitation clinic. Della and Ray argue in regards to the sentencing, and he tries to justify his dependancy utilizing his previous traumas, however Della dismisses his excuses and warns him that he’s in the end going to lose his music if he continues to run afoul with substance abuse. Responsible, Ray checks into to the clinic, the place he suffers from withdrawal and vivid nightmares. One night, Ray has a dialog along with his deceased mom, who praises him for turning into sturdy and profitable, however chastises him for letting his addictions cripple him. His brother George additionally seems, telling Ray that he does not blame him for his dying. Reformed, Ray guarantees to kick his behavior and by no means be crippled by something once more.

By 1979, Ray has completely give up heroin and receives his proudest accomplishment: the state of Georgia formally apologizes to him and makes “Georgia On My Thoughts” the official state tune. Ray, Della, and their three grown sons are applauded as Ray performs the tune earlier than a reside viewers.

Within the epilogue, Ray continues to have a protracted and profitable profession and legacy earlier than dying of liver failure in 2004.


  • Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles
    • C. J. Sanders as Younger Ray Robinson
  • Kerry Washington as Della Bea Robinson
  • Clifton Powell as Jeff Brown
  • Aunjanue Ellis as Mary Ann Fisher
  • Harry Lennix as Joe Adams
  • Terrence Howard as Gossie McKee
  • Larenz Tate as Quincy Jones
  • Bokeem Woodbine as Fathead Newman
  • Sharon Warren as Aretha Robinson
  • Curtis Armstrong as Ahmet Ertegun of Atlantic Information
  • Richard Schiff as Jerry Wexler
  • Wendell Pierce as Wilbur Brassfield, supervisor
  • Chris Thomas King as Lowell Fulson
  • David Krumholtz as Milt Shaw
  • Kurt Fuller as Sam Clark
  • Warwick Davis as Oberon
  • Patrick Bauchau as Dr. Hacker
  • Robert Knowledge as Jack Lauderdale of Swing Time Information
  • Denise Dowse as Marlene Andre
  • Regina King as Margie Hendricks
  • Rick Gomez as Tom Dowd


The movie’s manufacturing was fully financed by Philip Anschutz, by his Bristol Bay Productions firm. Taylor Hackford mentioned in a DVD bonus characteristic that it took 15 years to make the movie; or extra particularly, as he later clarified within the liner notes of the soundtrack album, that is how lengthy it took him to safe the financing. It was made on a finances of $40 million.

Charles was given a Braille copy of the movie’s authentic script; he objected solely to a scene displaying him taking over piano grudgingly, and a scene implying that Charles had proven mistress and lead “Raelette” Margie Hendricks easy methods to shoot heroin.[3]

Denzel Washington was provided to play the title position, however he handed on the venture.[4] As said within the DVD commentary, Foxx doesn’t sing as Charles with exception to cowl variations Charles performs in his earlier years. Kanye West and Ludacris have since made songs with Foxx singing as Charles of their songs “Gold Digger” and “Georgia”, respectively.

Hackford said within the DVD commentary that whereas Anschutz mentioned the movie can be made, he demanded that or not it’s PG-13, and this prompted him to stroll away from the movie 5 instances. Due to Charles and Ahmet Ertegun requested him to make the film, he agreed to do the movie as a PG-13 ranking. The movie was rated PG-13 for “depiction of drug dependancy, sexuality and a few thematic components”.

Within the DVD commentary, Hackford said that no studio was fascinated by backing the film. After it was shot independently, Common Photos stepped in to distribute it. A part of the rationale Common Photos launched it was as a result of one in every of its executives used to hitchhike to Ray Charles concert events.[4]

The movie’s rating was composed by Craig Armstrong. Ray debuted on the 2004 Toronto Worldwide Movie Pageant.



Field workplace

Ray was launched in theaters on October 29, 2004. The movie went on to grow to be a box-office hit, incomes $75 million within the U.S. with an extra $50 million internationally, bringing its worldwide gross to $125 million.[1]

Important response

On Rotten Tomatoes, the movie holds an approval ranking of 80{ae90547d17d4d74b17007ee836a04674fd006933c139011dc78eb03c100070a7} primarily based on 206 evaluations, with a mean ranking of seven.30/10. The location’s crucial consensus reads, “An engrossing and energetic portrait of an important musician’s achievements and foibles, Ray is anchored by Jamie Foxx’s gorgeous efficiency as Ray Charles.”[5] On Metacritic the movie has a weighted common rating of 73 out of 100, primarily based on 40 critics, indicating “typically favorable evaluations”.[6] Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the movie a uncommon “A+” grade.[7]

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Solar-Instances wrote: “The film can be value seeing merely for the sound of the music and the sight of Jamie Foxx performing it. That it appears to be like deeper and provides us a way of the person himself is what makes it particular.” Ebert gave it a full 4 out of 4 stars.[8] Richard Corliss of Time praised the forged, saying “If there have been an Oscar for ensemble performing, Ray would win in a stroll.”[9] Peter Travers of Rolling Stone wrote: “Jamie Foxx will get up to now inside the person and his music that he and Ray Charles appear to breathe as one.”[10]

In accordance with music critic Robert Christgau, “Foxx does the inconceivable—radiates one thing approaching the charisma of the artist he is portraying… that is the one time an actor has ever introduced a pop icon absolutely to life on-screen.”[11]


Associated tasks

Within the wake of his efficiency as Charles within the movie, Foxx featured on hip-hop songs that sampled Charles’ songs:

  • Georgia by Ludacris additionally that includes Discipline Mob, which samples Georgia on My Thoughts.
  • Gold Digger by Kanye West, which samples I Acquired a Girl.

Variations from famous occasions

The movie’s credit state that Ray is predicated on true occasions, however consists of some characters, names, places, and occasions which have been modified and others which have been “fictionalized for dramatization functions.” Examples of the fictionalized scenes embrace:

  • The movie’s portrayal of Charles’ brother George’s dying in 1935 exhibits him drowning in a steel tub after Ray does not try and rescue him as a result of he assumes he’s simply enjoying; Ray’s mom then discovers George drowning when calling the boys in for dinner. Although George did drown in a steel tub, Ray did attempt to pull him out, however was unable to take action as a result of George’s massive physique weight;[12] Ray then ran inside to inform his mom what occurred.[12]
  • All through the movie, it’s recommended that Ray’s melancholy and heroin dependancy had been fueled by nervous breakdowns he had over the deaths of each George and his mom, in addition to his blindness. In actuality, the dying of his mom did give him a nervous breakdown and was regarded as a number one explanation for his melancholy,[13] however the dying of George and his blindness didn’t result in nervous breakdowns.[13]
  • It’s true that Charles kicked his heroin dependancy after present process remedy in a psychiatric hospital throughout 1965, as said in direction of the top of the movie, however it isn’t talked about that he would usually use gin and marijuana as substitutes for heroin all through a lot of the remaining years of his life.[13][14]
  • Within the scene through which “What’d I Say” is being performed, Charles is depicted as enjoying a Fender Rhodes electrical piano, however in actuality, he used a Wurlitzer electrical piano on the unique recording and commenced utilizing it on tour in 1956, as a result of he did not belief the tuning and high quality of the pianos offered to him at each venue.[15]
  • Within the movie, when his backing singer and mistress Margie Hendricks informs Ray she is pregnant along with his youngster, Ray suggests she ought to have an abortion, out of loyalty to Della; Margie decides to maintain the infant and shortly leaves Ray to pursue a separate singing profession after he refuses to desert his household, transfer in together with her and welcome the infant into his life. In actuality, Hendricks did conceive a baby with Charles and deserted him after he refused to depart Della, however Charles by no means requested her to have an abortion, and welcomed any youngster he conceived, whether or not from Della or any mistress, into his private life.[14]
  • Within the movie Margie leaves the Raelettes in 1961, however in actuality she was fired from the group by Ray in 1964 after a heated argument.[16]
  • Within the scene through which Charles is about to enter a segregated music corridor in Augusta, Georgia, in 1961, a gaggle of civil rights activists protesting simply exterior the corridor efficiently persuade him to not carry out; Charles then declares that he’ll not carry out in segregated public services and in response, the Georgia state legislature passes a decision banning Charles from ever performing once more within the state. In actuality, a gaggle of civil rights activists did efficiently persuade Charles to reject this invitation, however the recommendation got here within the type of a telegram quite than a avenue protest;[14] Charles additionally did make up for the gig later, and was by no means banned from performing in Georgia and nonetheless accepted invites to carry out at segregated public services.[14]
  • Within the movie, Margie Hendricks dies in 1965. Nonetheless in actuality she died on July 14, 1973 however, no official explanation for dying was decided as a result of an post-mortem was not carried out.[17]
  • In the course of the last scene within the movie, when Charles’ model of “Georgia on My Thoughts” turns into Georgia’s state tune, Charles is congratulated by his spouse Della, and a decision can also be handed to raise the lifetime ban he had obtained in 1961 after he declared he would not carry out at segregated public services. In actuality, by the point “Georgia on My Thoughts” grew to become Georgia’s state tune in 1979, Charles and Della had already divorced, so she wasn’t current when Charles carried out on the Georgia State Legislature;[14] and since he had by no means been banned from performing in Georgia within the first place, no such decision was ever handed.[14]

  • Ray at IMDb
  • Ray on the TCM Film Database
  • Ray at AllMovie

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