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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
4,204 ( 324)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 10 wins & 25 nominations. See more awards »

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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:

$29,510,720
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

Joe Morton played Malcolm X in Ali: An American Hero (2000). See more »

Goofs

When Belinda is confronting Ali about his relationship with Veronica in Zaire, there are Cell Phone antennas clearly visible on the rooftop of next door building. Commercial Cell Phone Networks were 15 years away from being developed in 1974. See more »

Quotes

[Ali lifts up Howard Cosell's toupee on national television]
Howard Cosell: [to the camera] We'll be right back.
Muhammad Ali: You want some food for that thing?
Howard Cosell: How could you do something like that to a man you revere?
Muhammad Ali: Cos it's funny.
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

A Director's Cut was released on DVD in North America on June 1st, 2004. The runtime of the film is approximately 8 minutes longer at around 165 minutes, but the changes are more significant than it seems: Director Michael Mann deleted about 5 minutes of footage and put 14 minutes of new material in. See more »


Soundtracks

As the Years Go Passing By
Written by Don D. Robey (as "Deadric Malone")
Performed by Mighty Joe Young
Courtesy of Global Licensing Inc.
By Arrangement with Celebrity Licensing Inc.
Published by Songs of Universal, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Excellent Adaptation of Ali's fights
26 December 2001 | by imp_tpSee all my reviews

The fights are not rocky-type or "entertaining" but REAL. Inside the boxing ring, things are different. I was glad to see close to perfect adaptation of Ali's fights (I watched documentary on Ali's career). Michael Mann gets credit for painting all the different aspects of Ali's life superbly. Well, 'Ali' is based on a real legend and not a super-hero and so it is hell of a job to portray such a personality on big screen and make it so entertaining to watch.

The only downside of the movie was to focus a little longer on effect of Africa on him. But the "Loud mouth" CHAMPs witty and "punchy" remarks in his real life along, with his big blows inside the ring, will keep you glued for more.

Overall, Will Smith's hard-work, Mann's adaptation and Mohammad Ali's legendary life makes 'Ali' a must watch for movie goers.


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