Muhammad Ali, The Greatest

William Klein’s epic 1974 documentary about Muhammad Ali, aka Cassius Clay, at the height of his glory is an expansion and updating of his Float Like a Butterfly, Sting Like a Bee (1965). The first section chronicles the subject’s activities and statements before, during, and after his celebrated fight with Sonny Liston; the second focuses on his match with George Foreman in Zaire in 1974. Shot in color and black and white, the film also concentrates on the media hoopla surrounding the fighter and the ramifications of his being made an American hero. A fascinating portrait even for those who aren’t interested in boxing, sustained throughout by Klein’s striking visual sense and intelligence. 110 min. (JR)

This entry was posted in Featured Texts. Bookmark the permalink.