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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 »
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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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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 October 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Grande Luta de Muhammad Ali See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the second time Benjamin Walker has portrayed a southern lawyer on film. He portrayed lawyer Abraham Lincoln in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012). See more »

Quotes

Covert Becker: You must be feeling pleased with yourself. You crossed the line, Connolly. Ask anybody.
See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
A Nice Surprise
6 November 2013 | by bobzmcishlSee all my reviews

I was perusing On Demand yesterday and came across this movie that was made for HBO. My wife and I decided to watch it over lunch and it was one of those movies that was way better than we could have imagined because there was zero hype of this movie. We knew nothing about it, not even the outcome of the decision by the Supreme Court. We had totally forgotten about that case and its impact on Muhammad Ali and his rise to iconic status in American history. After the movie was over I looked up Supreme Court Justice John Marshall Harlan II and found that by Hollywood standards the movie was pretty factual. It was heartbreaking in places. Christopher Plummer does a great job as a conservative judge with a love of the law, and a love of the clerks who worked for him. Frank Langella was also good as Warren Burger who was the politician on the court and took daily phone calls from Richard Nixon. I was surprised by the less than sympathetic portrait of Thurgood Marshall. He comes across as knowing the law but somewhat of a slacker. The movie rightfully so sticks to archival footage of Ali and that alone is almost enough justification to watch this movie. He was far more than just a great heavyweight boxing champion. He represented the changes going on in America. The only weak point in the movie is the interplay between the Supreme Court clerks. It was the least interesting part of the movie. Plummer and Langella make this movie. They are perfect in their roles. If you like real life legal drama, this is a movie worth seeing. Nice to have movies that exceed one's expectations.


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