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Ali (2001)

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A biography of sports legend Muhammad Ali, focusing on his triumphs and controversies between 1964 and 1974.

Director:

Michael Mann

Writers:

Gregory Allen Howard (story), Stephen J. Rivele (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Popularity
3,576 ( 1,107)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 10 wins & 25 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Will Smith ... Cassius Clay / Muhammad Ali
Jamie Foxx ... Drew 'Bundini' Brown
Jon Voight ... Howard Cosell
Mario Van Peebles ... Malcolm X
Ron Silver ... Angelo Dundee
Jeffrey Wright ... Howard Bingham
Mykelti Williamson ... Don King
Jada Pinkett Smith ... Sonji
Nona Gaye ... Belinda Ali
Michael Michele ... Veronica Porche
Joe Morton ... Chauncey Eskridge
Paul Rodriguez ... Dr. Ferdie Pacheco
Bruce McGill ... Bradley
Barry Shabaka Henley ... Herbert Muhammad
Giancarlo Esposito ... Cassius Clay, Sr.
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Storyline

In 1964, a brash new pro boxer, fresh from his Olympic gold medal victory, explodes on to the scene, Cassius Clay. Bold and outspoken, he cuts an entirely new image for African Americans in sport with his proud public self confidence with his unapologetic belief that he is the greatest boxer of all time. To his credit, he sets out to prove that with his highly agile and forceful style soon making him a formidable boxer who soon claims the heavyweight championship. His personal life is no less noteworthy with his allegiance to the Nation of Islam, his friendship with the controversial Malcolm X and his abandonment of his slave name in favor of Muhammad Ali stirring up controversy. Yet, at the top of his game, both Ali's personal and professional lives face the ultimate test with the military draft rules are changed, making him eligible for military induction during the Vietnam War. Despite the fact that he could easily agree to a sweetheart deal that would have meant an easy tour of ... Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Forget What You Think You Know See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language and brief violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Sony [DVD] [United States]

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | Swahili

Release Date:

25 December 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Али See more »

Filming Locations:

Ghana See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$107,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,216,625, 23 December 2001, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$58,203,105

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$87,713,825
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Black and White (archive footage)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Will Smith actually turned down the role of Ali. He relented after Ali called Smith and asked him to take the role, because he was the only one as good looking as him that could play the role. See more »

Goofs

In the film, Ali and Sonji argue about Ali seeing Veronica Porche before the Ali/Foreman fight. In real life, Belinda confronted him about Veronica, and it happened in 1974, before the 3rd Ali/Frazier fight, "The Thrilla in in Manila." See more »

Quotes

Muhammad Ali: [Prior to Round 8 versus George Foreman - Angelo Dundee and Drew 'Bundini' Brown are talking to him, but Ali instead talks to himself] I can't let you get that second wind. Which you only know is out there for you. You want the title? Want to wear the heavyweight crown? Nose broke, jaw smashed, face busted in. You ready for that? Is that you? 'Cause you facing a man who will die before he let you win.
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Crazy Credits

In the opening credits, as the main title fades away the A of Ali lasts a little longer than the other two letters. See more »

Alternate Versions

Michael Mann announced in an interview with Steve Weintraub (on January 16, 2015 for 'Collider') that he is planning to release a third version of "Ali" on BluRay: "I did a re-edit of Ali for television that I really liked and I'd like to put out a Blu-ray of that edit. That was a significant re-edit. (...) It happens to move better and it's longer. (...) It's more complete and moves better. Much more dramatic." See more »


Soundtracks

See the Sun
Written, Produced and Performed by Lisa Gerrard and Pieter Bourke
Published by Lisa Gerrard & Pieter Bourke and New Columbia Pictures Music, Inc.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Not a boxing movie, a landmark film
3 January 2002 | by kyle_793See all my reviews

Well, if you went to Ali to see an boxing movie you might have been disappointed, but if you went to see a great film you hit the mark. The hype was due. A conglomerate of great acting, great direction, and a great story has made Ali a landmark film. This film is socially important because it raises up one of the most notable and underappreciated figures of the twentieth century, Ali. Many considered Ali just a boxer with a big mouth, but this film finally exposes him for what he truly was, one of the greatest civil rights leaders of our time. The film makes subtle but amazingly-done comparisons between Ali and other civil rights leaders, notably Malcolm X, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and highlites Ali's influence with theirs. This theme is climaxed in the beautiful scene of Ali (Will Smith) running down streets in Africa with local chidren chanting his name. At this moment in the film, we understand as viewers that Ali did not fight for fame or fortune, but he fought for his rights and the rights of all black people in the United States and the world. No other film has exhalted Ali's influence in such a way. It was beautifully done. Ali will become one of my favorite films of all time, and I believe will be remembered years from now as the crowning achievement of both the main actor and the director. I applaud their efforts


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