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A biography of sports legend Muhammad Ali, focusing on his triumphs and controversies between 1964 and 1974.

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Writers:

(story), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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3,212 ( 794)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 10 wins & 25 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Cassius Clay / Cassius X / Muhammad Ali
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Storyline

In 1964, a brash new pro boxer, fresh from his olympic gold medal victory, explodes on to the scene, Cassius Clay. Bold and outspoken, he cuts an entirely new image for African Americans in sport with his proud public self confidence with his unapologetic belief that he is the greatest boxer of all time. To his credit, he sets out to prove that with his highly agile and forceful style soon making him a formidable boxer who soon claims the heavyweight championship. His personal life is no less noteworthy with his allegiance to the Nation of Islam, his friendship with the controversial Malcolm X and his abandonment of his slave name in favour of Muhammad Ali stirring up controversy. Yet, at the top of his game, both Ali's personal and professional lives face the ultimate test with the military draft rules are changed, making him eligible for military induction during the Vietnam War. Despite the fact that he could easily agree to a sweetheart deal that would have meant an easy tour of ... Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@rogers.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Champ is here! See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language and brief violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

25 December 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Али  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$107,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$10,216,625 (USA) (21 December 2001)

Gross:

$58,183,966 (USA) (8 February 2002)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

(archive footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Michael Mann and Eric Roth, the writing team behind The Insider (1999), heavily revised Stephen J. Rivele and Christopher Wilkinson's script (a Writer's Guild arbitration ruled on 1 October 2001 that all four would have credit for the screenplay). See more »

Goofs

After Malcolm X is killed he is attended to by several men. As they lift up his head the character blinks though he is supposed to be dead. See more »

Quotes

Cassius Marcellus Clay, Sr.: [to Ali] I need to talk to you!
Muhammad Ali: You can stay, Brother Herbert.
Cassius Marcellus Clay, Sr.: Brother? He ain't your brother! Your brother's taking your wife back to Chicago! She crying like a widow!
Muhammad Ali: Yeah, well I ain't dead!
Cassius Marcellus Clay, Sr.: Well you may as well be! You don't remember your name or who you are!
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the opening credits, as the main title fades away the A of Ali lasts a little longer than the other two letters. See more »


Soundtracks

Somebody Have Mercy
(Sam Cooke Medley)
Written by Sam Cooke
Produced by Trevor Horn and Michael Mann
Performed by David Elliott
Published by Abkco Music, Inc.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Poetry! Rewrites the book on filmic storytelling
14 May 2002 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

A certain kind of critical response kept me away from this film when it was in theatrical release, and I should have known better! Michael Mann is one of the most original storytellers working in film today, and his sensibility is absolutely in sync with his subject here. Muhammad Ali always did it his way, and from the brilliant opening sequence (which breaks all kinds of rules of time and space) to the last scene, that's what Mann does, and with great style, as ever. Of course if an audience demands a literal drama, they might not catch the poetry Mann and his team create with sound and picture. Will Smith is outstanding as Ali, vocally and visually, Jon Voight is a unbelievably convincing Howard Cosell, and Mario Van Peebles is subtle and moving as Malcom X.


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A naive question perhaps, but... Polygraph
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Opening Scene? lisalake17-918-459492
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