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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.

Director:

Michael Mann

Writers:

Gregory Allen Howard (story), Stephen J. Rivele (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Popularity
4,704 ( 219)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 10 wins & 25 nominations. See more awards »

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Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Will Smith ... Cassius Clay / Cassius X / Muhammad Ali
Jamie Foxx ... Drew 'Bundini' Brown
Jon Voight ... Howard Cosell
Mario Van Peebles ... Malcolm X
Ron Silver ... Angelo Dundee
Jeffrey Wright ... Howard Bingham
Mykelti Williamson ... Don King
Jada Pinkett Smith ... Sonji Roi
Nona Gaye ... Belinda Ali
Michael Michele ... Veronica Porche
Joe Morton ... Chauncey Eskridge
Paul Rodriguez ... Dr. Ferdie Pacheco
Bruce McGill ... Bradley
Barry Shabaka Henley ... Jabir Herbert Muhammad
Giancarlo Esposito ... Cassius Marcellus Clay, Sr.
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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 favor 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:

Forget What You Think You Know See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Sony [DVD] [United States]

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | Swahili

Release Date:

25 December 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Али See more »

Filming Locations:

Ghana See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$107,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,216,625, 23 December 2001, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$58,203,105

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$87,713,825
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Black and White (archive footage)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Producer Jon Peters first commissioned an Ali screenplay from Gregory Allen Howard in 1994. Though Gregory Allen Howard's screenplay, titled "Power and Grace", was an expansive study of Ali from childhood on, it languished for three years without securing A-list talent. See more »

Goofs

When Martin Luther King Jr. is shot, while trying to recreate the famous photograph of bystanders pointing in the direction of the shot while crouching over King's body, the sign of Hollywood's famous "Knickerbocker" building is visible. King was shot in Memphis. 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!
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 »

Alternate Versions

Michael Mann announced in an interview with Steve Weintraub (on January 16, 2015 for 'Collider') that he is planning to release a third version of "Ali" on BluRay: "I did a re-edit of Ali for television that I really liked and I'd like to put out a Blu-ray of that edit. That was a significant re-edit. (...) It happens to move better and it's longer. (...) It's more complete and moves better. Much more dramatic." See more »

Connections

Referenced in 'Hitch': Style (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

(Don't Fight It) Feel It
(Sam Cooke Medley)
Written by Sam Cooke
Produced by Trevor Horn and Michael Mann
Performed by David Elliott
Published by Abkco Music, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Surprisingly Quiet, Slow, even Dull
7 September 2003 | by jazzestSee all my reviews

Surprisingly quiet, slow, even dull biopic for such an aggressive, passionate, and charismatic athlete/historic figure. Probably Michael Mann intended to demystify Muhammad Ali; still I would appreciate if it were more fast-paced, more visually vivid, and more emotionally intense.

While well-crafted cinematography seems over calculated at times, improvisational editing in the boxing game scenes properly recreates the jazzy atmosphere of the historic moments. Will Smith could have done better job on the boxing realization, according to my boxer pal.


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