Reel American HistoryHistory on trial Main Page

AboutFilmsFor StudentsFor TeachersBibliographyResources

Films >> Ali (2001) >>

0:04:59 Attracted to Malcolm
Malcolm X: For those of you who think that you came here today to hear us tell you, like these negro leaders do, that your time will just get better, that we shall overcome, someday, I say to you that you came to the wrong place. ‘Cause your times will never get better unless you make them better.
0:10:58 Ali the rhyming entertainer
(Speaking about his upcoming fight against Sonny Liston)
Ali: If you whoop me, I'll crawl out of the ring and take the first jet-airplane out the country.
Reporter 1: Is that a promise, Mr. Clay
Ali: You gonna be the first one eating his words!
Reporter 2: Cassius, you are a 7 to 1 underdog . . .
Reporter 3: Liston says he talks with his fists. What do you say?
Reporter 4: Are you scared of him?
Ali: I'm goin give Sonny Liston talking lessons, boxing lessons, and falling down lessons.
Reporter 5: Cassius, are you a black Muslim?
Angelo: The man's religion is his own business. What kind of a question is that?
0:27:59 The People's Champ
Reporter: Cassius, uh Cassius, the people really look up to you. Do you plan on being a champ like Joe Lewis?
Ali: Um, yeah I'm goin to be the people's champ, not like Joe Lewis, you know not exactly.
Reporter #2: Mr. Clay--
Ali: My name is not Clay. Clay is the name of the people that owned my ancestors, and I no longer wanna be called by that slave name. I am Cassius X.
(questions between a reporter and Malcolm X)
Ali: No, I'm definitely going to be the people's champion, but I just ain't goin be the champ the way you want me to be the champ. I'm a be the champ the way I wanna be.
0:33:24 Becoming Ali
Elijah Muhammad: You know only after long service and high merit, in the spiritual and physical rebirth of afro-American people, is one granted an original name. But you are special, a world champion. So there is a gift I wish to give you. From this day forward you will be known as Muhammad Ali.
0:33:56 Name Change..."You Did What?"
Cassius Clay Sr.: Y-y-you what? Well, what's wrong with our name? My name? We-we made you.
Ali: Ain't nobody made me.
Clay Sr.: No bow tie-wearing Arab-talkin' nigger gonna change that.
Ali: Ain't nobody in that ring but me. I made me.
Clay Sr.: You don't know who you are.
Ali: I know who I ain't. I ain't drinkin'. I ain't going back on my wife and for sure I ain't prayin' to no blond-haired blue-eyed Jesus.
Clay Sr.: Paintin' those blue-eyed, blond-haired Jesuses is what put food in you. Steak and vegetables on the table.
0:40:18 Ali Turns on Malcolm
Ali: You shouldn't have quarreled with the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.
Malcolm X: What?
Ali: You shouldn't have quarreled with the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.
Malcolm X: Hey, Brother Muhammad, look here. (Ali walks away.) Brother Muhammad!
0:42:04 More real bring more unreal
Sonji Roi: Hebert said you met The Beatles?
Ali: Oh yeah, yeah, only one of ‘em is smart, though. The fella with the glasses.
Sonji: Oh, he is my favorite.
Ali: Yeah, folks was screaming and fainting, I said man is this how they act when you get big?
Sonji: What did he say?
Ali: He said, champ the more real you get, the more unreal it's gonna get.
0:48:31 Kill Malcolm
White intelligence agent: What I got here is Malcolm shoulder to shoulder with Martin Luther King. And we got Malcolm traveling all over the world, getting Ben Balla and Nasser...We were better off before with Malcolm inside the nation. So we've decided we want you to get Elijah Muhammad to take Malcolm back.
Joe Smiley: (Stares at agent)
Agent: That's a joke, Joe.
Joe Smiley: When am I being reimbursed for my expenses? Dry-cleaning all these suits is not free.
Agent: We gotta talk about this guy too. (Points to a picture of Ali). Get me receipts, I'll reimburse you for your dry cleaning.
1:02:39 Cosell Explains Draft
Howard Cosell: They're coming after you because they're afraid of black militancy in the inner cities.
Ali: I ain't no H. Rap Brown. I ain't no Stokely Carmichael.
Cosell: All they are is political. You're the heavyweight champion of the world.
1:05:45 Vietnam is on TV
Ali: Nah, man I ain't never shot nothing in my life, no ducks, no geese, no deer, no nothing . . . yeah I know where Vietnam is, its on TV . . . Southeast Asia? What, it's there too? . . . What I think about who? . . . Vietcong? . . . Man I ain't got no quarrels with them Vietcong . . . Ain't no Vietcong ever called me nigger . . . Yeah, that's right. (phone hangs up)
1:06:40 Ali's Tirade
Reporter: Are you gonna dodge the draft?
Ali: I ain't draft-doggin'...I ain't burnin' no flag, and I ain't runnin' to Canada. I'm stayin' right here. You wanna send me to jail? Fine. You go right ahead. I've been in jail for 400 years. I can be there for four or five more. But I ain't goin' no 10,000 miles to help murder and kill other poor people. If I wanna die, I'll die right here right now, fightin' you, if I wanna die. You my enemy. Not no Chinese, no Vietcong, no Japanese. You my opposer when I want freedom. You my opposer when I want justice. You my opposer when I want equality. You want me to go somewhere and fight for you. You won't even stand up for me right here in America...for my rights and my religious beliefs. You wont't even stand up for me right here at home.
1:07:52 Prepared to Apologize?
Boxing commissions examiner: You understand what's at issue is your license to fight Terrell in Illinios?
Ali: Yes.
Examiner: Then are you prepared to apologize...about your unpatriotic remarks about the war?
Ali: No
Examiner: No? You say you're the people's champ.
Ali: Yes, sir.
Examiner: Do you think you're acting like the people's champion?
Ali: Yes, sir. I'm not gonna apologize to you. This is not a courtroom, and I do not have to set here and answer your questions.
1:09:20 Your Mama Named You Clay
Ernie Terrell: tell Clay he gettin' on [the scale] after me. I'm the champ.
Ali: What?
Terrell: I said you can get on after me.
Ali: No. What'd you call me?
Terrell: I called you Clay.
Ali: You will announce it from right here from flat on your back. What's my name? What's my name?! What's my name? Say my name! You gonna say my name!
Terrell: Your mama called you Clay! I'm gonna call you Clay!
Ali: I want you all to tell all they aunts and all they uncles and cousins and friends..get to your television set, get to your radio 'cause I never wanted to whup a man so bad!
1:19:39 What Happens if I lose at the Supreme Court?
Ali's lawyer: We struck out on the appellate level in New Orleans so we're heading to the Supreme Court.
Ali: I thought we already got turned down there.
Lawyer: I'm petitioning on a conscientious objection basis. Religious belief. I believe that they'll hear that.
Ali: Where the money gone come from, Chauncey? Herbert say I'm runnin' on empty. Now, just put aside...How did that happen? License all revoked, passport gone, can't fight here, can't fight nowhere. Then what happen if I lose at the Supreme Court?"
Lawyer: Then you go to jail for five years.
1:21:48 New Circle of Friends?
Ali: Look at this. Joe Frazier. He can't up no gate. Can't fill no arena. They got to let me fight.
Belinda: If that happens, promise me you'll put some new people around you.
Ali: What you talkin' bout?
Belinda: Where Herbert and them when we need 'em? Gene Kilroy's dropping off groceries like charity. We borrow money from my folks. They're all over you when you got it, and then they just drop off you when you don't.
1:23:56 Suspension from Religion and God
Elijah Muhammad: Mr. Ali has sporting blood. Mr. Ali wants a place in this sports world. He loves it too much. I am therefore suspending Mr. Ali from the practice of Islam. He may no longer appear in temple, pray or teach...or have any conversation with any Muslim whatsoever.
1:29:28 Boxing the Government...but, if there was a Frazier fight...
Ali: Don't put no question to it, man. I done told you, I'm through fightin'. I got a much bigger contender, a much heavier opponent. I'm fightin' the entire US government.
Howard Cosell: Do you think you're going to jail?
Ali: I don't know. I don't know.
Cosell: Joe Frazier told me on this show that he could knock you out.
Ali: See, there you go agitatin'. You should've asked Smokin' Joe what have he been smokin'? That boy even dream he whupped me, he better wake up and apologize. But if I ever was to get in the right with Joe here's what you might see...Ali comes out to meet Frazier, but Frazier starts to retreat. If Joe goes back an inch farther, he'll wind up in a ringside seat. Ali swings with his left, Ali swings with his right. Just look at the kid carry the fight. Frazier keeps backin' but there's not enough room. It's only a matter of time before Ali lowers the boom. Ali swings with his right, what a beautiful swing. But the punch lifts Frazier clean out of the ring. Frazier's still risin', and the referee wears a frown, 'cause he can't start countin' till Frazier comes down. Frazier's disappeared from view. The crowd is getting frantic. But our radar stations picked him up. He's somewheres over the Atlantic. Now, who would've thought when they came to the fight, they was gonna witness the launchin' of a black satellite. But don't wait for that fight. It ain't never gonna happen. Onliest thing you could do is wonder and imagine.
1:39:40 Unanimous TKO
Howard Cosell: Muhammad, Howard Cosell. You TKO'ed them.
Ali: Hey, what you talkin; about, Howard? With Quarry?
Cosell: No. The Supreme Court ruled today in the case of the United States versus Cassius Clay a.k.a. Muhammad Ali. You won an eight-to-zero unanimous decision. You're free. Congratulations.
1:48:38 Ali Boo-maye
Ali: Why they saying that? What They sayin'? What they mean? I don't understand
Fans: A-li Boo-maye, A-li Boo-maye.
Travel assistant: It mean, "Ali, kill him. Ali, kill him."
1:56:04 Ali on a Cross?
Belinda: Don King don't care 'bout Africa. He's worse than Herbert.
Ali: Oh, here come Herbert.
Belinda: And Don King fit right in too. Now he's a dashiki-wearin' rip-off.
Ali: Don King delivered the first-ever black promoted championship fight in Africa.
Belinda: Don King talks black, lives white and thinks green. And you're defending him and Brother Herbert?
Ali: 'Cause clean-cut Muslims in a parade on the South Side of Chicago ain't gone get this done! I got to put honkies with connections and bad-ass niggas to it.
Belinda: And now they matched you up against George Foreman. Do you think they give a damn if you get killed. Ali: So that's what you think?
Belinda: I just wanna know why my Muslim husband is allowing himself to get strung up on a cross. Just tell me why.
1:56:10 Don King
Ali: Don King delivered the first ever black promoted championship fight in Africa.
Belinda Ali: Don King talks black, lives white, and thinks green.
2:02:44 Ali Confronts the Fight Promoter at a Press Conference
Ali: ...And I predict that when the fight is set, he might not show.
Don King: Oh, you bad.
Ali: That's right, I'm a bad man.
King: Ain't no doubt about that.
Ali: Yeah, but you tell George the same thing. I heard you. I been watching you. I know he's your man. I know you got him picked, but the man is in trouble. The whole world was gonna know, but now he ain't gonna show.