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The Greatest (1977)

PG  |   |  Biography, Drama, Sport  |  19 May 1977 (USA)
5.7
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 709 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 3 critic

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:
...
...
...
Dr. Ferdie Pacheco
...
...
Payton Jory
Lucille Benson ...
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
...
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

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

19 May 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El más grande  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final project by director Tom Gries, who died over four months before the movie's May 1977 release. See more »

Goofs

Ali is shown fighting Joe Bugner during the montage of bouts that took place between the first Frazier fight in 1971 and the first Norton fight in 1973.

However the footage is actually taken from the second fight with Bugner in 1975 instead of their first fight in 1973. Not only is this out of sequence for the montage but the second Bugner fight occurred after the Ali vs Foreman fight in 1974 which is the climax of the film. See more »

Connections

Featured in Century of Black Cinema (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

I Always Knew I Had It In Me
Sung by George Benson
Music by Michael Masser
Lyrics by Gerry Goffin
See more »

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User Reviews

The greatest plays the greatest
7 July 2005 | by See all my reviews

I said several months ago that no one could play Ali except Ali. I was right. Muhammad Ali does a magnificent job playing himself in this movie. Maybe he's no actor, but in this case he accomplished what he set out to do, and he had several really effective scenes, such as when he explained why he didn't want to go to Vietnam, and the scene where Clay demanded that he no longer be called by that slave name.

This was the third film (as opposed to documentary) that I saw on the life of the great boxer. David Ramsey did an okay job in the first one, and Will Smith tried his best but didn't quite capture the champ as only the champ could. Smith may have been the best actor out of the three, and certainly his film was the best.

Chip McAllister made young Cassius Clay too much of a clown. He was okay, I guess, but the portrayal of the character improved dramatically at one point, and I also noticed the actor looked so much more like Clay. That's when I remembered: Ali himself was playing the character.

Ernest Borgnine did a capable job as Ali's trainer, but this was not one of his best performances. James Earl Jones did a fine job as Malcolm X, brief as the performance was.

I learned a few new details about Ali's life I didn't know before. I also found out that 'The Greatest Love of All' was written long before Whitney Houston made it a hit.

The main reason for watching this movie was Ali himself. He was the greatest.


8 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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