'Ray' shows us Charles unchained

Spirited film runs long but is worth it
2004-10-28T00:00:00Z 'Ray' shows us Charles unchainedBy Phil Villarreal ARIZONA DAILY STAR Arizona Daily Star
October 28, 2004 12:00 am  • 

Images and sounds of singer Ray Charles, an American original.





: PG-13 for depiction of drug addiction, sexuality and some thematic elements


: Jamie Foxx, Regina King, Kerry Washington, Curtis Armstrong


: Taylor Hackford

Family call

: Too much sexuality and drug use for children.

Running time

: 150 minutes

Opens Friday at

: Park Place, El Con, Century Park, Foothills, Desert Sky, Uptown

Ray Charles, who died in June at age 73, is the subject of the biopic "Ray," which opens Friday, but it won't be the first time the famed musician is featured on celluloid. Charles had an occasional career as a movie actor.

Ballad in Blue (1966)

- Charles receives top billing in this film, which according to Amazon.com is unavailable on DVD or VHS. Charles gets to show off his musical stylings in swinging 1960s London. He befriends a young blind boy and tries to help him to see again.

The Blues Brothers (1980)

- Here was a film that seemed to be custom-made for Charles. He plays a version of himself, a musician named Ray, in the crazy music-filled adventure starring Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi.

Limit Up (1989)

- A woman obsessed with becoming a commodity trader, played by Nancy Allen, decides whether or not to exchange her soul for her goal of success from demon-god Nike. Charles plays a character named Julius.

Spy Hard (1996)

- Charles appeared as a blind bus driver; a cheap joke in a movie filled with cheap jokes. The film, which starred Leslie Nielsen, was a spoof of action films, including "Die Hard."

Contact reporter Phil Villarreal at 573-4130 or pvillarreal@azstarnet.com.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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