4.7 31
Director: Taylor Hackford

Cast: Jamie Foxx, Kerry Washington, Regina King


View All Available Formats & Editions

Directed by Taylor Hackford, this biopic profiles the life of legendary musician Ray Charles. Despite humble beginnings and the loss of his eyesight due to glaucoma at the age of six, Charles, depicted by Jamie Foxx, would nonetheless become an icon in both the music industry and the civil rights era. While the film delves into his problems with drugs and women, the… See more details below


Directed by Taylor Hackford, this biopic profiles the life of legendary musician Ray Charles. Despite humble beginnings and the loss of his eyesight due to glaucoma at the age of six, Charles, depicted by Jamie Foxx, would nonetheless become an icon in both the music industry and the civil rights era. While the film delves into his problems with drugs and women, the bulk of the story details his career; among the highlights of that career are 12 Grammy awards and 11 R&B chart-toppers, such as "Unchain My Heart," "Hit the Road, Jack," "Georgia," "Doin' the Mess Around," and "Hallelujah I Just Love Her So." Also among the cast are Larenz Tate as Quincy Jones, as well as Regina King, Kerry Washington, and Clifton Powell. Charles' son, Ray Charles Jr. helped produce the film. ~ Tracie Cooper

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
One of America’s best-loved musicians, the late Ray Charles deserved a big-screen biography that did justice to his incredible life and career -- and he got it, thanks to director Taylor Hackford and star Jamie Foxx. There’s rarely been a biopic that’s done a better job of capturing its subject’s essence, which is why Ray can be forgiven its occasional departures from the historical record. The film doesn’t simply present the hit songs and other professional triumphs, although those are extremely well represented; it delves into the psyche of Ray Charles Robinson, whose destiny was shaped by back-to-back childhood traumas: his brother’s accidental death by drowning, which Ray witnessed; and his sudden descent into blindness a few years later. Driven by his poor but proud mother to succeed despite his handicap, the boy gets an education and becomes a talented musician who eventually carves out an amazing career. Hackford faithfully illuminates scripter James L. White’s biographical narrative, which posits that Ray’s subsequent excesses, including heroin addiction and marital infidelity, sprang from the tremendous guilt he felt for not saving his brother’s life. The film also depicts the difficulty a black musician had in playing white towns during the latter days of the Jim Crow era, which Charles helped end by flexing his increasing cultural muscle. Hackford does not skimp, though, on depicting the spectacular successes that elevated Charles to iconic status, first as a rhythm-and-blues star and then as an innovator who fused R&B and gospel music into soul. The film ends in 1966, but it features many of the songs for which Charles was best known, including “What’d I Say” and “Georgia on My Mind.” Although he’s lip-syncing to the Charles vocal tracks, Foxx perfectly replicates the musician’s stage manner and body language: You’ll swear you’re watching the genuine article in action. Very nearly as good are Kerry Washington as Ray’s long-suffering wife, Della Bea; Regina King as his backup singer and lover Margie Hendricks; Clifton Powell as close friend and business associate Jeff Brown; Curtis Armstrong as record producer Ahmet Ertegun; and Larenz Tate as the young Quincy Jones. The movie doesn’t spare Ray by glossing over his most egregious failings, but it reaches an uplifting climax by showing his recovery from heroin addiction and, more important, his unburdening of the guilt he had long shouldered over his brother’s death. Extraordinarily moving and ultimately inspiring, Ray is among the very best films of this type Hollywood has ever turned out.
All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
Taylor Hackford's Ray is at heart little more than a run-of-the mill biopic that hits all the familiar story points for that genre. What keeps this film from becoming totally pedestrian is the fierce, commanding performance of Jamie Foxx. This is not an impersonation of Ray Charles, nor is it a vain attempt to bask in the glow of Charles the celebrity. Foxx finds difficult emotional places to go to, and his Ray Charles is often more interesting than the one Hackford seems to want to tell the audience about. One can believe that these amazing songs are coming from this man, and that may be the biggest compliment one can pay to the performance. That point also leads to the other aspect of the film that keeps it afloat: the superb music. The film was made with Charles' approval, and he allowed the filmmakers to use his original recordings. Had this been a play, a one-man show with the same music, it would make for a fascinating and memorable evening. As he always does, Hackford fills his film with convention after convention, and in doing so, undercuts the real and complicated issues apparent both in Foxx and in the music.

Read More

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Universal Studios
[Wide Screen]
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Introduction by director Taylor Hackford; Deleted scenes; Complete uncut music performances from the movie including Ray & The Raelettes performing "Hit the Road Jack"; Stepping into the part: a revealing look ay Jamie Foxx's incredible transformation into Ray Charles - including a jam session between the actor and the legendary musician himself!; Ray remembered: friends and fellow musicians remember Ray Charles; Feature commentary with director Taylor Hackford; A look inside Ray; The filmmakers' journey; The woman of Ray; Ray: an american story

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jamie Foxx Ray Charles
Kerry Washington Della Charles
Regina King Margie Hendrix
Clifton Powell Jeff Brown
Aunjanue Ellis Mary Ann Fisher
Curtis Armstrong Ahmet Ertegun
Harry J. Lennix Joe Adams
Terrence Howard Gossie McKee
Larenz Tate Quincy Jones
Bokeem Woodbine Fathead Newman
Sharen Warren Aretha Robinson
Richard Schiff Jerry Wexler
C.J. Sanders Young Ray
Wendell Pierce Wilbur Brassfield
Chris Thomas King Lowell Fulsom
David Krumholtz Milt Shaw
Warwick Davis Oberon
Patrick Bauchau Dr. Hacker
Robert Wisdom Jack Lauderdale
Denise Dowse Marlene
Thomas Jefferson Byrd Jimmy
Rick Gomez Tom Dowd
Kurt Fuller Sam Clark
Julian Bond Julian Bond
Kimberly Ardison Ethel McRae
Renee Wilson Pat Lyle
Willlie Metcalf Mr. Pitt
Mike Pniewski Bus Driver
Terrone Bell Young George Robinson
Richard A. Smith Til
Gary Grubbs Billy Ray
Carol Sutton Eula
Bill Breaux Cop #1
Alex Van Cop #2
Roland "Bob" Harris Jesse Stone
Tom Clark Alan Freed
Afemo Omilami Angry Husband
Elizabeth Omilami Angry Wife
Vernel Bagneris Dancin' Al
Fahnlohnee R. Harris Trudy Daniels
Michael Travis Stone Robert
Eric O'Neal Ray Charles, Jr. (5-6 Yrs.)
Tequan Richmond Ray Charles Jr. (9-10 Yrs.)
Matthew Benjamin Musician In Billy Ray's
John Swasey Customs Agent #1
James Huston Customs Agent #2
Marc Lynn Downbeat Reporter
Kyle-Scott Jackson King Bee
Todd J. Smith Student Reporter
Rutherford Cravens White Promoter
Darnell Williams Fast Girl
Jedda Jones Mercedes
Jeffrey Galpin Cop #3
Michael Arata Cop #4
Estella Denson Lady In Rain
Jeffrey Glapin Stunt Coordinator
Derrick Simmons Stunt Double "Ray Charles"
David Hash Stunt Double "Wilbur Brassfield"
Ralph Tresvant Sam Cooke

Technical Credits
Taylor Hackford Director,Original Story,Producer,Screenwriter
Stephen Altman Production Designer
Craig Armstrong Score Composer
Karen Baldwin Producer
Howard Baldwin Producer
Bob Beemer Sound Mixer
Stuart Benjamin Producer
Alise Benjamin Co-producer
Steve Cantamessa Sound/Sound Designer
Ray Charles Songwriter
Sharen Davis Costumes/Costume Designer
Pawel Edelman Cinematographer
Stephanie Girard Set Decoration/Design
Jerry Grandey Asst. Director
Paul Hirsch Editor
William J. Immerman Executive Producer
Jaime Rucker King Executive Producer
Nancy Klopper Casting
Molly Mikula Set Decoration/Design
Scott Millan Sound Mixer
Nick Morton Co-producer
Thomas J. Nordberg Editor
Greg Orloff Sound Mixer
Adele Plauche Set Decoration/Design
Scott Plauche Art Director
Ray Charles Robinson Co-producer
Curt Sobel Musical Direction/Supervision
James L. White Original Story,Screenwriter
Jimmy White Screenwriter

Read More


Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >