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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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From $8.99 (SD) on Prime Video

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:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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

Chief Justice Warren Burger: John Harlan has become an apologist for the Black Muslims.
See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
A remarkable piece of judicial history, well served
8 January 2014 | by rship19See all my reviews

It should suffice to observe that Stephen Frears, the crew and cast took on a subject that no other film-maker chose to, and did so commendably. As Justice Harlan, Christopher Plummer also does a very commendable job. I also did not particularly find Mr. Plummer's early performances suitable for the screen, from 'Inside Daisy Clover' to 'Somewhere in Time'. Somehow, the hammiest roles early on were preferable (he does what the script demands as Commodus in 'The Fall of the Roman Empire' and his Atahualpa in 'Royal Hunt of the Sun' is actually much fun: "They EAT Him!"). As his art has matured ('Silent Partner'; 'Dolores Claiborne'; 'The Insider'; 'The Last Station'; 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo'), the more I have looked forward to his performances, as here. Still, while I understand the politics of casting better-known actors in leading roles, I regret that Harris Yulin, another great too long under-appreciated in movies who plays Justice Wm. O Douglas, was not cast as Justice Harlan. Mr. Yulin ('Clear and Present Danger'; 'Training Day'; 'Looking for Richard') will always bring to his characters, villains included, a delicate gravitas that does not belie the humanity of their circumstances: different surely, if not better or preferable to Mr. Plummer's characterization - but audiences would certainly have regarded it very well-tailored for him.


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