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Films >> Ali (2001) >>

The Greatest (1977)
Described as a bioepic, this film stars Muhammad Ali as himself. Many of the important people in Ali's life--for example, his brother and advisor--are played by the actual people. The Greatest deals largely with a young Cassius Clay fighting prejudice and racism. Most critics point out that this film is "overdramaticized." In other words, Muhammad Ali overplays himself by repeating popular quotes and phrases. Like Michael Mann's Ali, this film is mostly from Ali's point-of-view, and the other fighters are largely silenced. Although Muhammad Ali is acting or playing a role as Cassius Clay in The Greatest, we can still learn a lot about Muhammad Ali; even as an actor, Ali comes off as a vibrant and interesting figure.
Muhammad Ali--The Whole Story (1997)
Michael Mann's Ali has over thirty-minutes of actual boxing, and it is interesting to look at the original fights as a source for comparison. Muhammad Ali--The Whole Story is a box set that has three hours of actual fight footage, and it covers the span of Ali's career. Largely concerned with Ali as a fighter, this film shows exactly how Ali became a great fighter and discusses his boxing techniques. The film does not neglect Ali's social impact. There are many interviews about his draft resistance and other key moments. It is an all-encompasing documentary filled with fight footage.
When We Were Kings (1999)
Although this film was released in 1999, the footage is from 1974. It is a documentary of the "Rumble in the Jungle" in Zaire and deals with many topics outside of the actual fight. This film is particularly important in relation to Michael Mann's Ali because Mann spends over thirty minutes on this fight. When We Were Kings not only explains a lot of the history behind both Ali and Foreman, but it also describes the social atmosphere during much of Muhammad Ali's career. In the film, Ali represents black pride or African roots, and George Foreman symbolizes an "Americanized" black man. The film shows the rejection of Foreman by many of the African people. Also, the film deals with actual fight strategy. It basically explains how Ali pulled an upset over one of the most powerful and dangerous figures in boxing. When We Were Kings is an award-winning, astounding film about one of the greatest fights in boxing history.

See Also

A.K.A. Cassius Clay (1970)

Amistad (1998)

Birth of a Nation (1915)

Glory (1989)

Hotel Rwanda (2004)

I Shook Up the World--Clay vs. Sonny Liston 1964 (2002)

The Last Supper (1976)

Malcolm X (1992)

Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight (2013)

Muhammad Ali, the Greatest (1969)

Raging Bull (1980)

Rosewood (1997)

Rumble in the Jungle--Ali vs. Foreman 1974 (2002)