HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
1917
Tree House, The
Sputnik
Seducao da Carne
Yes, God, Yes
Five Graves to Cairo
You've Been Trumped Too
Woman in Black, The
Elvis: That's the Way It Is
Man Who Laughs, The
Watch List
Giraffe
Kat and the Band
Echo
Perfect 10
Octaman
Red Penguins
China Syndrome, The
Babyteeth
Round-Up, The
Around the Sun
Once There Was Brasilia
Peripheral
Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street
Ice
She Demons
Good Girls, The
Hail, Hero!
Faces in the Crowd
Tamango
Traitor, The
Tomorrow
Third Generation, The
Saxon Charm, The
Spy Intervention
Moonrise
Mulan
Killer with a Thousand Eyes, The
Vigil, The
Liberation of L.B. Jones, The
   
 
Newest Articles
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights in with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
   
 
  Muhammad Ali: The Greatest Fighting Talk
Year: 1974
Director: William Klein
Stars: Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, Sonny Liston, Angelo Dundee, Mobutu Sese Seko, Don King, Malcolm X, Stepin Fetchit, Joe Frazier, Joe Louis, Floyd Patterson, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Norman Mailer
Genre: DocumentaryBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: This documentary captures the key era in the ten year stretch between 1964 and 1974 in the life of the champion boxer Muhammad Ali, starting when he was gearing up to fight Sonny Liston, then the reigning heavyweight champion. He had built up a reputation of being a loudmouth who many in America, both black and white, thought was too big for his boots and were relishing the prospect of watching him beaten by Liston. Documentarian William Klein decided to join the press and follow Ali around, since the boxer was always a provider of a good story thanks to his skill with off the cuff remarks, but he also took a look around contemporary America to see what the public were saying about the man, seeing as how everyone in the country, and increasingly the world, had an opinion about him. In fact, Ali was quickly turning into the most talked about individual on the planet...

Klein's stance on Ali fed into his scepticism about the United States which had seen him leave for the more amenable to him climate of France, but he like everyone else at the time this was made was fascinated by this icon who was not going to toe any line and buckle under to what the white authorities wanted him to do. In this film, actually two separate documentaries edited together in somewhat slapdash maner with the sixties footage first and the so-called Rumble in the Jungle second, the subject was unquestionably race and what Ali meant to the African Americans, and indeed the Africans across the Atlantic. Characterised as a troublemaker for refusing to compromise, including resisting the Vietnam War draft, Klein depicted Ali as many things, but mostly either an entertainer or a deep thinker, as he was always happy to broadcast his views and jokes to as wide an audience as possible, well aware the world was hanging on his every word.

Unfortunately for the director, what he did not have was the rights to actual boxing footage, or at least not very much of it, so the major battle between Ali and Liston where Ali secured the championship for the first of three times had to be represented by a child's drawing, an eccentric choice and a slap in the face to those who held the footage, but frustrating when the first act builds to a notable anticlimax. As you might expect from that, there is no footage of the Zaire fight either, the most famous boxing match of all time where Ali surprised the world, if not himself, by winning back the title in his thirties against the younger George Foreman; in a nice touch, Klein included a bit with Foreman doing his own publicity trail to noticeably less interest, and he comes across not as the hardheaded villain Ali had to paint him as but actually a nice guy. All the way through, however, it was his opponent anyone wanted to hear from, and in Africa the chant of "Ali, boma ye!" resounded in every corner of the globe.

But Klein was there to record less well recalled aspects of Ali's career, such as the repercussions of his conversion to Islam and his name change from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali. We hear from Malcolm X who is very impressed with what the sportsman was doing for raising black consciousness and awareness of the Civil Rights struggle, yet after he is assassinated many of his allies claimed they were going to do the same to Ali. In the press conference immediately after, he is sober in demeanour and measured in his responses, saying he fears nothing but God and accusing the police of not doing their job properly if a death threat is not countered by the forces of law and order. For every serious scene such as that, there are laughs as well, Ali's banter was second to none and conveyed his immense charisma without apparent effort, being his own best publicist, so we see him in a photo opportunity with The Beatles near the beginning, or goofing around miming a loss to Foreman that never happened. Yet equal to that are his countless fans, who just love the man; it's captivating to see him with Stepin Fetchit, an icon of a very different black America who Ali treats with respect in conversation, but mostly those crowds who were energised by Ali will be what you remember from this, perhaps because the boxing is kept to a minimum.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1192 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: