Talk to Me (2007 film)

Talk to Me is a 2007 biographical film directed by Kasi Lemmons and starring Don Cheadle, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Taraji P. Henson, Cedric the Entertainer, and Mike Epps. It is about Washington, D.C. radio personality Ralph "Petey" Greene, an ex-con who became a popular talk show host and community activist, and Dewey Hughes, his friend and manager. The film spans the time period May 1966 to January 1984, ending with the late Greene's memorial service.

Talk to Me
Theatrical release poster
Directed byKasi Lemmons
Produced byMark Gordon
Sidney Kimmel
Joe Fries
Josh McLaughlin
Written byMichael Genet
Rick Famuyiwa
StarringDon Cheadle
Chiwetel Ejiofor
Taraji P. Henson
Cedric the Entertainer
Mike Epps
Music byTerence Blanchard
CinematographyStéphane Fontaine
Edited byTerilyn A. Shropshire
Distributed byFocus Features
Release date
  • March 12, 2007 (2007-03-12) (ShoWest)
  • July 13, 2007 (2007-07-13)
Running time
118 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$4,778,376

The film premiered as the opening night film of the 2007 Los Angeles Film Festival, on June 22, 2007. It opened in North America in a limited release on July 13, 2007 and nationwide on August 3, 2007. The film was shot in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada and Washington, DC.[1]



Critical response

Talk to Me received favorable reviews from critics. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 82% based on reviews from 126 critics.[2] On Metacritic, the film had an average score of 69%, based on 32 reviews.[3]

Michael Rechtshaffen of the Associated Press wrote in his review: "Again demonstrating why he's one of the most versatile actors around, Don Cheadle gives another prize-worthy performance as Ralph Waldo "Petey" Greene Jr., the irrepressible radio DJ whose keepin'-it-real style made him a trusted voice on the airwaves during the turbulent late '60s and early '70s. [...] Also keeping it real are those rich period touches contributed by production designer Warren Alan Young and costume designer Gersha Phillips, whose fabulous creations for Henson appear to have come directly from the blaxploitation attic."[4]


Talk to Me was released on DVD on October 30, 2007,[5] and September 7, 2010, as a wide screen edition.[6] The film was released on Blu-ray on March 22, 2010.[7]

Criticism over inaccuracies

Talk to Me has been criticized for allegedly not being true to the details of his life and career and for inventing incidents and rearranging locations, such as Petey's appearance on The Tonight Show, which never actually took place.[8]

Greene's surviving family members did not cooperate with the making of the film and criticized it for taking liberties with his portrayal and those around him,[9] such as showing Dewey Hughes giving a moving eulogy at Petey's wake, when in reality Hughes did not even attend the funeral.

In response to these criticisms, producer Joe Fries responded that the film was merely "inspired by" Greene and not a factual recounting of his life.

Awards and nominations


  1. "Internet Movie Database - List of Films shot in Hamilton, Ontario". Retrieved 2008-01-29.
  2. "Talk to Me". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 2007-10-24.
  3. "Talk to Me (2007): Reviews". Metacritic. CBS. Retrieved 2007-10-24.
  4. Rechtshaffen, Michael (June 21, 2007). "Talk to Me". The Hollywood Reporter. Los Angeles: Billboard-Hollywood Reporter Media Group (Valence Media). Associated Press. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
  5. Talk to Me. Universal Studios Home Entertainment (DVD). Universal City, California: Universal Pictures. October 30, 2007. ASIN B000VNMMW0. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
  6. Talk to Me. Universal Studios Home Entertainment (DVD) (Wide Screen ed.). Universal City, California: Universal Pictures. September 7, 2010. ASIN B000VNMMW0. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
  7. Talk to Me. Verve Pictures (Blu-ray). London: Verve Pictures, LLC. March 22, 2010. ASIN B002ZQX0A4. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
  8. "The real Petey Greene"
  9. Tucker, Neely. "Left Out of the Picture". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 24, 2010.
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