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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 »
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:

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:

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

Producer Jon Peters first commissioned an Ali screenplay from writer Gregory Allen Howard (Remember the Titans (2000)) 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

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

Muhammad Ali: Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee His hands can't hit what his eyes can't see.
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

(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

 
This could and should have been much better...
16 September 2007 | by buigerSee all my reviews

Average movie. What was best in this film (and that was really good) was the Sound, The Soundtrack and the Camera. All of these where at least worthy of a nomination, if not more.

On the contrary, the screenplay was totally lacking (I think the Director knew this, hence the very frequent and prolonged musical interludes...) and the dialogs empty, somehow incomplete. In spite of another great performance by Will Smith, the characterization is also sketchy to say the least, we never really get to understand the main characters, their motivations, the reasons for their actions, and therefore can never really identify. All in all, the movie feels superficial, there is no real 'depth' to it. Younger audiences who are not familiar with the actual occurrences 30 years ago will be totally at a loss watching this film. I must say that even I was lost at times (and I actually lived during the period).


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