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Ali (2001)

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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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4,029 ( 187)
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:

Float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. 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:

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Release Date:

25 December 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Али  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$107,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$58,183,966 (USA) (8 February 2002)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

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Color:

(archive footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Chicago's Northwest Armory, at 1551 North Kedzie Avenue, doubled as both New York's Audubon Ballroom backstage and Houston's induction center. The wall to the left as Malcolm X walks down the hallway moments before his death is the opposite side of the wall on the viewer's right when seeing Ali on the drill floor refusing induction. The wall at the end of the hallway and the door through which X walks were constructed for the film, as was the trim around the supply room doors along the side. Unusual for films, the travel through the induction sequence accurately depicts the same building's exterior and interior; the cars pull up in front of the armory on the Kedzie side, the actors walk through the Kedzie foyer, and onto the drill floor, consistent with the building's actual layout. The drill floor was also featured in the video for R. Kelly's 'I Believe I Can Fly'. See more »

Goofs

In the early '60s section of the film Clay refers to a member of the Beatles ('John Lennon' we presume) as "the one with the glasses". Lennon seldom wore his glasses in public (though there are a few studio photos), and was certainly not famous for them, until 1967. It is possible however that Lennon would have been wearing his thick-rimmed black glasses when the Beatles met Clay during their first visit to the U.S. in February 1964, then removed them for the publicity shots taken during that visit. See more »

Quotes

Muhammad Ali: This was supposed to be the fight that Muhammad Ali was ended. Supposed the myth that Muhammad was gonna fall! Supposed to be my destruction! Well, they miscalculated, they misjudged, they got it wrong!
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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 »

Connections

Featured in The 74th Annual Academy Awards (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

See the Sun
Written, Produced and Performed by Lisa Gerrard and Pieter Bourke
Published by Lisa Gerrard & Pieter Bourke and New Columbia Pictures Music, Inc.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Not a boxing movie, a landmark film
3 January 2002 | by See all my reviews

Well, if you went to Ali to see an boxing movie you might have been disappointed, but if you went to see a great film you hit the mark. The hype was due. A conglomerate of great acting, great direction, and a great story has made Ali a landmark film. This film is socially important because it raises up one of the most notable and underappreciated figures of the twentieth century, Ali. Many considered Ali just a boxer with a big mouth, but this film finally exposes him for what he truly was, one of the greatest civil rights leaders of our time. The film makes subtle but amazingly-done comparisons between Ali and other civil rights leaders, notably Malcolm X, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and highlites Ali's influence with theirs. This theme is climaxed in the beautiful scene of Ali (Will Smith) running down streets in Africa with local chidren chanting his name. At this moment in the film, we understand as viewers that Ali did not fight for fame or fortune, but he fought for his rights and the rights of all black people in the United States and the world. No other film has exhalted Ali's influence in such a way. It was beautifully done. Ali will become one of my favorite films of all time, and I believe will be remembered years from now as the crowning achievement of both the main actor and the director. I applaud their efforts


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