The Greatest (1977)

PG   |    |  Biography, Drama, Sport


The Greatest (1977) Poster

Muhammad Ali stars as himself in this dramatized version of his life story up to the late 1970s. It includes his Olympic triumphs as Cassius Clay, his conversion to Islam, his refusal of ... See full summary »


6/10
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  • Muhammad Ali in The Greatest (1977)
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  • Muhammad Ali and Annazette Chase in The Greatest (1977)
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Awards

2 wins.

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User Reviews


7 July 2005 | vchimpanzee
The greatest plays the greatest
I said several months ago that no one could play Ali except Ali. I was right. Muhammad Ali does a magnificent job playing himself in this movie. Maybe he's no actor, but in this case he accomplished what he set out to do, and he had several really effective scenes, such as when he explained why he didn't want to go to Vietnam, and the scene where Clay demanded that he no longer be called by that slave name.

This was the third film (as opposed to documentary) that I saw on the life of the great boxer. David Ramsey did an okay job in the first one, and Will Smith tried his best but didn't quite capture the champ as only the champ could. Smith may have been the best actor out of the three, and certainly his film was the best.

Chip McAllister made young Cassius Clay too much of a clown. He was okay, I guess, but the portrayal of the character improved dramatically at one point, and I also noticed the actor looked so much more like Clay. That's when I remembered: Ali himself was playing the character.

Ernest Borgnine did a capable job as Ali's trainer, but this was not one of his best performances. James Earl Jones did a fine job as Malcolm X, brief as the performance was.

I learned a few new details about Ali's life I didn't know before. I also found out that 'The Greatest Love of All' was written long before Whitney Houston made it a hit.

The main reason for watching this movie was Ali himself. He was the greatest.

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Genres

Biography | Drama | Sport

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