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The Greatest (1977)

Muhammad Ali stars as himself in this dramatised version of his life story up to the late 1970s. It includes his Olympic triumphs as Cassius Clay, his conversion to Islam, his refusal of ... See full summary »

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(based on: "The Greatest: My Own Story" by), (based on: "The Greatest: My Own Story" by) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
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Dr. Ferdie Pacheco
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Payton Jory
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Mrs. Fairlie
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John the Gardener (as Theodore R. Wilson)
Annazette Chase ...
Mira Waters ...
Ruby Sanderson
Chip McAllister ...
Cassius Clay Aged 18 (as Phillip 'Chip' McAllister)
Drew Bundini Brown ...
Drew 'Bundini' Brown (as Drew 'Bundini' Brown)
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Bill McDonald
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Cruikshank
...
Hollis
...
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Storyline

Muhammad Ali stars as himself in this dramatised version of his life story up to the late 1970s. It includes his Olympic triumphs as Cassius Clay, his conversion to Islam, his refusal of the Army draft and the legal battle after being stripped of his World Title. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Winner, Loser, Lover, Loudmouth... THE MAN See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Sport

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

19 August 1977 (Ireland)  »

Also Known As:

El más grande  »

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Technical Specs

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Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Part of a cycle of ring fighter movies, mostly boxing, some wrestling, initiated by the box-office and critical success of the Academy Award Best Picture winning boxing movie Rocky (1976). The films include Rocky II (1979), Rocky III (1982), Rocky IV (1985), Tough Enough (1983), Title Shot (1979), Raging Bull (1980), The Champ (1979), Matilda (1978), The Main Event (1979), The Prize Fighter (1979), The Greatest (1977), Body and Soul (1981), Paradise Alley (1978), ...All the Marbles (1981) (aka "The California Dolls"), The One and Only (1978), Every Which Way But Loose (1978) and Any Which Way You Can (1980). See more »

Goofs

Outside the Armed Forces induction center in Houston, a naval officer was wearing summer whites, with a khaki combination cover. That headpiece should have a white covering, not khaki, which was intended for use with summer khaki uniform. The cap is an option to the overseas cover, seen correctly worn on another officer. See more »

Connections

Edited into Afro Promo (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

I Always Knew I Had It In Me
Sung by George Benson
Music by Michael Masser
Lyrics by Gerry Goffin
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User Reviews

Pretty average
4 September 2003 | by (Germany) – See all my reviews

Maybe the producers of this film thought it would be highly original to have Ali play himself. I can picture them sitting down and saying that really there is no actor who could do this man justice (this was before Will Smith was born!). However, Ali just couldn't act. Its sad watching him play himself as a young man when he's so obviously overwieght older and out of shape. Also I think that at the time this film was made, he was beginning to develop Parkinsons. His speech was already becoming slurry. The filmakers surround Ali with a professional cast of actors like James Earl Jones and Ernest Borgnine as Angelo Dundee, but Ali just wasn't right for this. Maybe this is one film that should never have been made. The lead up to the climatic Rumble in the Jungle with Foreman where he regains the title is done very well, it shows him training and running. They show quite a bit of footage from Ali's fights which is fine because they are from his best fights, the only thing is they keep playing the same damn music OVER AND OVER for them! It got kind of irritating. It was thrilling though in the end when Ali went up against the younger and stronger George Foreman and beat him in a stunning upset by using that "rope a dope" strategy. The final words of the film are of the fight commentator when he says "Foreman goes down, Muhammad Ali has done the IMPOSSIBLE! He has regained the Heavyweight Championship of the World"


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