Muhammad Ali: 8 Films About the Boxing Legend

9:36 PM 6/3/2016

by Allison Crist

From the 1971 drama 'Ali the Fighter' to 2001's 'Ali,' the heavyweight champion has been the subject of multiple films throughout the past five decades.

Courtesy of Photofest

Muhammad Ali, the three-time heavyweight champion of the world and global icon, died Friday night at a hospital in Phoenix. Here are some of the most memorable films about the Champ.

  • Ali the Fighter

    1971

    ScreenShot/Jamal Sulaiman/YouTube

    Ali the Fighter centers on his initial match with Joe Frazier, including the madness that occurred out of the ring.

  • The Greatest

    1977

    Photofest

    Ali plays himself in this 1977 film about his life, allowing his charismatic personality to shine through.

  • When We Were Kings

    1996

    Photofest

    This film focuses primarily on Ali’s boxing match with George Foreman, including everything that led up to the fight, like Ali’s preparation and strategy. There’s another side to the documentary, though – one that analyzes the political effects of where the fought took place: Africa.

  • Ali: An American Hero

    2000

    This made-for-TV biopic covers different parts of Ali’s life, like when he was still known as Cassius Clay, mostly through flashbacks. Starring David Ramsey, Ali: An American Hero also highlights one of Ali’s most famous fights – the 1974 heavyweight championship with George Foreman.

  • Ali

    2001

    Photofest

    Ali is unique because it’s one of the few films about Muhammad Ali that isn’t a documentary. The drama stars Will Smith as the infamous boxer, and shows Ali’s determination both in and out of the ring.

  • Facing Ali

    2009

    Photofest

    In this documentary, it’s Ali’s rivals that speak highly of him. Throughout the film, 10 of his former competitors share their experiences with Ali, paying tribute to his career.

  • The Trials of Muhammad Ali

    2013

    ScreenShot/kinolorber/YouTube

    Aired in 2014, The Trials of Muhammad Ali tells the story of Ali’s conversion to Islam and opposition of the Vietnam War. The documentary touches on his beliefs regarding issues of racial inequality, religion and more.

  • I Am Ali

    2014

    ScreenShot/UniversalMovies/YouTube

    Just recently released in 2014, I Am Ali uses the boxer’s audio journals as well as interviews from family and friends to tell his story. Mike Tyson, George Foreman and other boxing legends were also involved in the making of the film.

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