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Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight (2013)

Not Rated | | Biography, Drama | 5 October 2013 (USA)
Ali's biggest match, his fight with the US government. A film about the politics and hubris surrounding the Vietnam War and the revenge exacted on America's greatest sportsman of the 20th century because he refused to fight in that war.

Director:

Stephen Frears

Writers:

Howard L. Bingham (based on the book by), Shawn Slovo | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Christopher Plummer ... John Harlan
Frank Langella ... Warren Burger
Ed Begley Jr. ... Harry Blackmun
Peter Gerety ... William Brennan
Barry Levinson ... Potter Stewart
John Bedford Lloyd ... Byron 'Whizzer' White
Fritz Weaver ... Hugo Black
Harris Yulin ... William O. Douglas
Danny Glover ... Thurgood Marshall
Benjamin Walker ... Kevin Connolly
Pablo Schreiber ... Covert Becker
Ben Steinfeld Ben Steinfeld ... Sam Edelstein
Dana Ivey ... Mrs. Paige
Kathleen Chalfant ... Ethel Harlan
Lisa Joyce ... Donna Connolly
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Storyline

In 1964, world champion boxer Muhammad Ali requested exemption from the military draft based on his religious beliefs. His request was denied and when he refused induction into the army, he was convicted and sentenced to 5 years imprisonment. His case eventually works itself up the Supreme Court. In their first conference after the case is presented, the justices decide by majority vote to uphold the conviction and Justice John Harlan is tasked with preparing the majority opinion. He assigns one of his clerks, Kevin Connolly, to prepare a first draft but try as he might he believes that decision his wrong. His draft argues for overturning the conviction and Harlan agrees with him. The justice must now find a way to convince his colleagues. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Some fights are bigger than the ring.

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert Firth, who provides the voice for the New York City Ring Announcer, was delighted to have had an opportunity to work with the legendary filmmaker Stephen Frears. During their ADR session, when Firth recorded the character's voice for the film's crucial Ali victory, he and Frears spent a great deal of time searching for just the right regional accent - to help capture the proper tone and manner for that period of time in American culture. Firth was taken aback by Frears' meticulous attention to detail, and Frears was intrigued by Firth's seemingly endless options he was offering to the director - so much so, that when he was leaving, a somewhat curious Frears asked the actor for his last name. He replied, "It's Firth, like Colin Firth, but without all those awards." See more »

Quotes

Kevin Connolly: Well, sir, so there's really no need for you to read this. I've... uh...
[destroying his resignation letter]
Kevin Connolly: I've changed my mind.
John Marshall Harlan: No. No. You changed mine. And I salute you.
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Soundtracks

We Came in Chains
by Oscar Brown, Jr.
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User Reviews

 
An interesting watch, but seeming to miss something
5 October 2013 | by cameronmcleod42See all my reviews

While being an interesting look at a major event in American history, I thought the general mood of the film didn't really mesh with the subject matter.

The locker room bro moments of the clerks felt more like a distraction in my mind from what was really interesting. I understand that throughout the move there's an attempt to compare and contrast the generational differences between the justices and clerks, but really it came out more muddled than insightful. But hey, maybe that's just me.

I think a more interesting movie would have been a more focused study into the closed-off perspective of the justice's world. A closed-room style would have fitted well. The hippies lined up outside made to seem distant and strange, even to the blue justices.

The movie also seemed a little closed off and lacking much room for audience pondering. Mohammed Ali was valid for conscientious objector status. No question. This might have been the case, but I'd rather come to that conclusion myself.

Anyway, it was a fine TV movie. Definitely worth a watch.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 October 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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