7 items from 2013
The HBO Films presentation Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight tells the story of how boxer Cassius Clay became the world’s best-known and most controversial athlete. After joining the Nation of Islam and changing his name to Muhammad Ali, he was stripped of his title and banned from the sport after he refused to be drafted into the U.S. military, based on his religious opposition to the Vietnam War. In 1971, his case for being a conscientious objector reached the United States Supreme Court, with Nixon-appointed conservative Chief Justice Warren E. Burger (Frank Langella) at its helm, leaving his case in the hands of nine justices. Directed by Stephen Frears, the film also stars Christopher Plummer, Benjamin Walker, Danny Glover, Ed Begley Jr. and Pablo Schreiber. During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, actor Benjamin Walker – who plays Justice Harlan’s (Plummer) idealistic new clerk, Kevin Connolly – talked about »
- Christina Radish
The subject matter is so intriguing as to exacerbate the sense that “Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight” is something of a letdown, dramatically speaking. Anchored by Frank Langella and Christopher Plummer’s performances as Supreme Court Justices Warren Berger and John Harlan, this Vietnam-era story focuses on the court battle over Ali’s conscientious-objector status as a devout Muslim, which derailed the champ’s boxing career. Filled with interesting tidbits, director Stephen Frears’ film never quite coalesces — floating like a butterfly, all right, but delivering so little sting as to barely leave a mark.
Ali himself is presented only in archival newsreel footage and interviews, while the nine justices hash out what to do about his conviction and appeal. Cast to the hilt, in addition to Langella (who has now played both Richard Nixon and his Chief Justice) as the avuncular, patrician Berger, with Plummer as the wily, ailing Harlan, »
- Brian Lowry
HBO has released the first full trailer for director Stephen Frears’ (The Queen) new film Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight. The pic focuses on Muhammad Ali’s refusal to go to Vietnam and the court battle that ensued, centering on Justice Harlan (Christopher Plummer) and his clerk, played by Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter star Benjamin Walker. Ali’s is portrayed using archival footage, as the majority of the film involves the internal debates between the justices and clerks who faced an incredibly tough decision at a tumultuous time for America. There’s certainly plenty of conflict to draw from, but I’m interested to see if Frears can keep the film engaging given its limited scope. Hit the jump to watch the full trailer. The film also stars Frank Langella, Danny Glover, Bob Balaban, Ed Begley Jr., Barry Levinson, and Pablo Schreiber. Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight premieres on HBO on October 5th. »
- Adam Chitwood
We have the first look at acclaimed director Stephen Frears’ new dramatisation of the upcoming HBO film, Muhammad Ali’S Greatest Fight. The gripping courtroom thriller will centre on legendary boxing superstar’s refusal to go to Vietnam, which sam him embroiled in the 1966 legal battle to force him to fight for his country on foreign soil in a war he didn’t believe in. Famously stating, “Man, I ain’t got no quarrel with them Vietcong”.
Oscar-winner Christopher Plummer portrays Justice Harlan and is joined by Abraham Lincon: Vampire Hunter himself, the underrated Benjamin Walker, as his clerk. Although this teaser doesn’t show much in terms of footage, I’m eager to see how one of the infamous trials in Us history played out as it’s expected to mix actual archive footage with that of the main cast in the judge’s chambers.
The superb supporting cast includes Frank Langella, »
- Craig Hunter
HBO has released the first teaser trailer for director Stephen Frears’ (The Queen) new film Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight. The pic focuses on Muhammad Ali’s refusal to go to Vietnam and the court battle that ensued, centering on Justice Harlan (Christopher Plummer) and his clerk, played by Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter star Benjamin Walker. This teaser doesn’t show too much footage from the film, but it looks like Ali won’t actually be portrayed onscreen by an actor. Instead, we see archival footage of the legendary fighter while the narrative plays out in the courtroom and the judge’s chambers. Hit the jump to watch the trailer. The film also stars Frank Langella, Danny Glover, Bob Balaban, Ed Begley Jr., Barry Levinson, and Pablo Schreiber. Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight premieres on HBO on October 5th. »
- Adam Chitwood
Eleanor Parker 2013 movie series continues today (photo: Eleanor Parker in Detective Story) Palm Springs resident Eleanor Parker is Turner Classic Movies’ Star of the Month of June 2013. Thus, eight more Eleanor Parker movies will be shown this evening on TCM. Parker turns 91 on Wednesday, June 26. (See also: “Eleanor Parker Today.”) Eleanor Parker received her second Best Actress Academy Award nomination for William Wyler’s crime drama Detective Story (1951). The movie itself feels dated, partly because of several melodramatic plot developments, and partly because of Kirk Douglas’ excessive theatricality as the detective whose story is told. Parker, however, is excellent as Douglas’ wife, though her role is subordinate to his. Just about as good is Best Supporting Actress Oscar nominee Lee Grant, whose career would be derailed by the anti-Red hysteria of the ’50s. Grant would make her comeback in the ’70s, eventually winning a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her »
- Andre Soares
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
It seems certain directors have seen the future, and it’s HBO shaped. After Steven Soderbergh’s exceptional Behind The Candelabra screened here, another well-known figure from film-making unveiled his own HBO-made film.
Soderbergh said that he made Candelabra for the premium channel because it afforded him more creative freedom and less interruptions from a studio, and that film turned out to be a great thing, and similar hopes weren’t far from Stephen Frears’ made-for-tv portrait of the Supreme Court’s decision over Muhammad Ali’s infamous refusal to fight in the Vietnam War.
In all honesty, the two projects aren’t all that similar: Soderbergh’s film could have made it to the big screen, but Frears slower, more proceedurally-toned offering is perfectly suited to a premium TV channel. It is occasionally bogged down in the impenetrable (or at least not entirely entertaining) language of legislation, »
- Simon Gallagher
7 items from 2013
IMDb.com, Inc. takes no responsibility for the content or accuracy of the above news articles, Tweets, or blog posts. This content is published for the entertainment of our users only. The news articles, Tweets, and blog posts do not represent IMDb's opinions nor can we guarantee that the reporting therein is completely factual. Please visit the source responsible for the item in question to report any concerns you may have regarding content or accuracy.See our NewsDesk partners