Cast & Crew
On 25 February 1964 at Miami, Florida, Cassius Clay knocks out Sonny Liston in seven rounds to become the world's heavyweight boxing champion. "The champ of the world should be beautiful like me," Clay proclaims. "I'm king of the ring ... float like a butterfly, sting like a bee." Originally backed by a group of southern millionaires, Clay is touted by Joe Louis, Jersey Joe Walcott, Kingfish Levinsky, and Evil Eye Finkel. Malcolm X is proud of him--he has given pride to all blacks. Braggart, poet, philosopher--Clay creates a style that both fascinates and repels the public. His involvement with the Black Muslims deepens; he joins the Muslims, changing his name to Muhammad Ali. The rematch with Liston is banned in all major cities as the result of Ali's refusal to serve in the Army, and the fight takes place at Lewiston, Maine, on 26 May 1965. Ali retains the world championship, by knocking out Liston in the first round.
Released in United States November 1990
Shown at Film Forum 2 in New York City November 23-27, 1990.
First part of the film is an earlier documentary short of director William Klein's, "Cassius le grand" (made for French TV, 1964), chronicling in black-and-white the fighter's early career; the second part of the film, in color, follows Ali's mid-career.
Released in United States November 1990 (Shown at Film Forum 2 in New York City November 23-27, 1990.)