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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
Teddy Wilson ...
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)
...
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:

The story you only think you knew. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Sport

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

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

In the opening scene the American Flag is hanging incorrectly; the blue field with stars should always be in the top left when the flag is hanging in that manner. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Small Change (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

The Greatest Love of All
(main title song)
Sung by George Benson
Music by Michael Masser
Lyrics by Linda Creed
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User Reviews

 
Rope A Doped
2 June 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It's not surprising how the impression from this movie is that "Ali can't act" -- but a distinction has to be made. Ali was plainly no dramatic actor; it doesn't mean he 'couldn't act'.

Quite the opposite; Ali was a natural in the ring, on TV, in interviews; he was a gifted, graceful athlete -- sports are now all about performance, about 'acting', largely because of his influence.

He was an intelligent, creative tactician, both physically and verbally, inside and outside the ring.

He invented trash talk. He invented the modern notions of relentless self-promotion and self-aggrandizement; psychological warfare in sport. By the time he started affecting young movie actors, it was clear that it had all come full circle. Wesley Snipes is probably his closest scion ("White Men Can't Jump").

But acting as himself in this hagiography, it's just no use.

If you want a good period example of a natural, unscripted Ali experience, read his interviews with Hunter S. Thompson (in his "Great Shark Hunt" compendium).


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