Muhammad Ali lived a life that was as big, flashy and impressive as any Hollywood movie. Ali had a close association with Hollywood over the years. Stallone’s Rocky films were inspired by the 1975 world heavyweight champion bout where Ali went 15 rounds against Chuck Wepner. Hollywood legend goes that the dramatic fight had moved Stallone and had spurred to write Rocky, which had won the best picture at the 1976 Oscar. Muhammad Ali made a surprise appearance at the Oscars while Stallone was giving his speech joking, ‘You stole my script’. Ali’s fights an TV appearances earned him a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, although his has the distinction of being the only one that hangs vertically.
The Greatest was also the subject of several movies made about his life, career and tribulations – here are the best. So glove up and watch why he was “The Greatest”.
When We Were Kings (1996): This highly applauded documentary received the best documentary Oscar in 1997. It chronicles Ali defeating George Foreman to become heavyweight champion at 32.
The Greatest (1977): The movie title was based on Ali’s nickname, but the dramatized version was largely about his memorable fights. Some real fight footage was included in the movie. It also had the famous number ‘The Greatest Love of All’, by George Benson, which was later also sung by Whitney Houston.
Facing Ali (2009): This was a different kind of documentary that had Ali’s rivals speaking highly of him. As many as ten of his former competitors shared their experience, showering tribute on Ali’s career.
The Trials of Muhammad Ali (2014): There was more to the life of Ali than only what he spent in the rink. The documentary highlights his conversion to Islam and his opposition of the Vietnam War and touches on his beliefs regarding issues of racial inequality, religion and more.
Ali (2001): The biographical movie directed by Michael Mann was a drama on his personal and professional life including conversion to Islam and his epic fights against Joe Frazier and George Foreman. Will Smith portrayed Ali and was nominated for an Oscar. Smith was also a pallbearer at Ali’s funeral.