Obviously, when we think of Muhammad Ali we usually recall the guy who fought Joe Frazier, not the guy who stood up for what he thought was right and wound up in court when he refused to go to Vietnam. But Stephen Frears thinks that that particular court battle was his greatest fight, and so he’s made a movie about it. The teaser trailer for Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight hit today, and now you can decide whether this was a worthy subject matter.
Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight doesn’t really seem to be about Muhammad Ali himself at all – it’s rather about the court case, and in particular Justice Harlan’s (Christopher Plummer) relationship with his clerk (Benjamin Walker). Not that you’re going to get much of that from this teaser – this is pretty much a bunch of old white men sitting in a room. But they’re famous old white men, and they’re important to this story. While there will not be any boxing in this film, there will be a lot of talking, and some of it might actually be interesting.
Actually, on the whole this story intrigues me. I don’t know much about Ali aside from his boxing history. The fact that an American icon refused to go to Vietnam, and went to court over it, feels like fodder for a great courtroom drama case.
Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight didn’t do much at Cannes this past May, which we can take as important or not. Cannes sometimes misses the point. We will get to decide for ourselves about the film when it airs on HBO Saturday, October 5th at 9 pm.
Check out the teaser trailer for Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight below, along with some stills from the film. Does this look like something you’ll tune in for, or do you prefer your Ali movies to be about boxing? Let us know in the comments.