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Ali (2001)

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2:28 | Trailer
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
3,582 ( 1,820)
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 / 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
Nona Gaye ... Belinda Ali
Michael Michele ... Veronica Porche
Joe Morton ... Chauncey Eskridge
Paul Rodriguez ... Dr. Ferdie Pacheco
Bruce McGill ... Bradley
Barry Shabaka Henley ... Herbert Muhammad
Giancarlo Esposito ... Cassius 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:

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:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Sam Cooke song, "A Change is Gonna Come" that plays after Malcolm X was killed, was the same song that was playing in the 1992 movie Malcolm X (1992) before he arrived at the auditorium where he was murdered. See more »

Goofs

In the film, Ali and Sonji argue about Ali seeing Veronica Porche before the Ali/Foreman fight. In real life, Belinda confronted him about Veronica, and it happened in 1974, before the 3rd Ali/Frazier fight, "The Thrilla in in Manila." See more »

Quotes

Muhammad Ali: I ain't draft dodging. I ain't burning no flag. I ain't running to Canada. I'm staying right here. You want to send me to jail? Fine, you go right ahead. I've been in jail for 400 years. I could be there for 4 or 5 more, but I ain't going no 10,000 miles to help murder and kill other poor people. If I want to die, I'll die right here, right now, fightin' you, if I want to die. You my enemy, not no Chinese, no Vietcong, no Japanese. You my opposer when I want freedom. You my opposer when I want ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Columbia Pictures logo rolls backwards. 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 South Park: Here Comes the Neighborhood (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Destiny
Written, Produced and Performed by Lisa Gerrard and Pieter Bourke
Published by Lisa Gerrard & Pieter Bourke and New Columbia Pictures Music, Inc.
See more »

User Reviews

Good title, but the movie lacked the punch
18 December 2001 | by msoriano67See all my reviews

"Ali", a movie about Muhammed Ali, regarded as one of the greatest boxers of all time had all the potential for being a great movie. Ali has always been bigger than life...loved by the people...loved by the media for his blatant arrogance...loved by many women...his life alone would have supplied any movie with enough material to make it a 'good' movie at the very least. The problem with "Ali" is that the story jumped from one portion of his life to another, the transition wasn't smooth...it was more erratic than anything else. Will Smith's portrayal of the "living legend" was good, but definitely not "Oscar" material, like some critics would suggest. There were a few times where he seemed uneasy, almost nervous, and there were scenes where the other "supporting" characters would take over the scene (Don King for example). Jon Voight's portrayal of the venerable Howard Cossell was surprisingly good and right on the money. Other cast members like Jamie Foxx who played Drew 'Brundini' Brown (one of Ali's trainers) was equally impressive, he surely made the most of his supporting role and displayed his versatility since he's always been cast in a comedy. The movie overall lacked cohesiveness, I did like Michael Mann's camera work...the constant movement of the camera in most scenes depicted the turmoil, confusion..and it mirrored the political upheaval of the 60's. It would have been nice if the movie started with his gold medal win in the 1960 Olympic games...which would have set the tone for the whole movie. And for all the 'Rocky' fans out there, the boxing scenes were a little played out...it almost looked boring....since most of us are used to the 'Rocky' style of movie boxing. Overall, Smith played Ali well...but his lack of versatility and the erratic transition of the story was the movie's downfall.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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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:

Ali See more »

Filming Locations:

Ghana See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$107,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,710,892, 30 December 2001

Gross USA:

$58,203,105

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$87,812,729
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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