11 user 6 critic

Thrilla in Manila (2008)

A filmed recounting of the final championship boxing match between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier in 1975.


John Dower


John Dower
3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Joe Frazier ... Himself
Marvis Frazier Marvis Frazier ... Himself
Thomas Hauser Thomas Hauser ... Himself
Muhammad Ali ... Himself (archive footage)
Ronnie Nathanielz Ronnie Nathanielz ... Himself
Ferdie Pacheco Ferdie Pacheco ... Himself
Ferdinand Marcos Ferdinand Marcos ... Himself (archive footage)
Imelda Marcos ... Herself
David Wolf David Wolf ... Himself - Frazier's Camp
Butch Lewis Butch Lewis ... Himself
Buster Mathis Buster Mathis ... Himself (archive footage)
Stanley R. Hochman Stanley R. Hochman ... Himself - Philadelphia Inquirer
Sunni Khalid Sunni Khalid ... Himself
Richard Nixon ... Himself (archive footage)
Michael Parkinson ... Himself (archive footage)


On October 1, 1975, World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Muhammad Ali was in the ring with his arch rival Joe Frazier for the third time. This fight in the Philippines, which has been nicknamed "Thrilla in Manila," is considered one of the most dramatic boxing matches in history - in the words of the voice-over, "They hated each other." With the help of archive material and eyewitness accounts (including Imelda Marcos), this documentary not only reconstructs the match, but shows us what was happening behind the scenes as well. Written by International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam

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Documentary | Sport

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Release Date:

11 November 2008 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Frazier vastaan Ali See more »

Company Credits

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Featured in De wereld draait door: Episode #5.59 (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

One of the best boxing documentaries I've ever seen.
18 July 2010 | by paulduaneSee all my reviews

The story of how Joe Frazier did everything he could to help a blacklisted Ali, lending him money, campaigning for his reinstatement to the boxing world when he had been shut out for refusing to serve in the US Army... and how Ali, it seems, never forgave him for it, and attempted to destroy Frazier as a fighter and as a man.

For those who, like me, grew up thinking of Ali as a flawless hero, a cross between Jesus and Elvis, this is quite a shocking story, but those comments above which complain that this film is biased towards Frazier are clearly not watching it attentively. There are no winners here - Ali's moral cowardice, his inability to ever apologise to Frazier for the racial taunting that effectively ruined the man's life, is more than matched by the cold, ugly bitterness that Frazier displays towards his nemesis. The story is as dark and comfortless as any Greek tragedy - these two men's lives were destroyed by their rivalry. One is rich, world-famous and locked into a crippled body; the other is poor, forgotten and healthy, but lives every day trapped in the past and in his unchanging enmity.

A stunning, mesmerising piece of work.

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