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Muhammad Ali's greatest fight

Author: Stephen FrearsScott Ferguson, (Producer)Shawn SlovoChristopher PlummerFrank LangellaAll authors
Publisher: New York, NY : HBO Home Entertainment, [2013]
Edition/Format:   DVD video : NTSC color broadcast system : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Looks at Muhammad Ali's historic Supreme Court battle from behind closed doors. When Ali was drafted into the Vietnam War at the height of his boxing career, his claim to conscientious objector status led to a controversial legal battle that rattled the U.S. judicial system right up to the highest court in the land. This HBO movie is a portrait of the changing tides of this country during that turbulent time. Guided  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Legal films
Historical films
Feature films
Fiction films
Drama
Named Person: Muhammad Ali
Material Type: Videorecording
Document Type: Visual material
All Authors / Contributors: Stephen Frears; Scott Ferguson, (Producer); Shawn Slovo; Christopher Plummer; Frank Langella; Benjamin Walker; Ed Begley, Jr.; Barry Levinson; Danny Glover; HBO Films,; Rainmark Films,; Sakura Eigasha,; HBO Home Entertainment (Firm),
OCLC Number: 863165009
Language Note: English (Dolby digital 5.1) and dubbed Spanish (Dolby digital 2.0) soundtracks; optional English, Spanish, Portuguese, Thai or Chinese subtitles.
Notes: Originally produced in 2013.
Credits: Director of photography, Jim Denault ; editor, Mick Audsley ; music, George Fenton.
Cast: Christopher Plummer, Frank Langella, Benjamin Walker, Ed Begley Jr., Peter Gerety, Barry Levinson, John Bedford Lloyd, Fritz Weaver, Harris Yulan, Danny Glover.
Target Audience: Rating: TVMA.
Description: 1 videodisc (92 min.) : sound, color with black and white sequences ; 4 3/4 in.
Details: DVD; NTSC; all regions; 16:9 widescreen presentation.
Responsibility: HBO Films presents a Rainmark Films production in association with Sakura Films ; a Stephen Frears film ; produced by Scott Ferguson ; written by Shawn Slovo ; directed by Stephen Frears.

Abstract:

Looks at Muhammad Ali's historic Supreme Court battle from behind closed doors. When Ali was drafted into the Vietnam War at the height of his boxing career, his claim to conscientious objector status led to a controversial legal battle that rattled the U.S. judicial system right up to the highest court in the land. This HBO movie is a portrait of the changing tides of this country during that turbulent time. Guided by his principles, Ali refused induction into the Army, enduring a protracted legal battle that saw him convicted of draft evasion, stripped of his boxing title, and banned from the sport. Meanwhile, as anti-war sentiment grows across America, Chief Justice Warren Burger (Frank Langella) ushers in the dawn of a new conservative era on the Court. At the start of the 1970-71 term, his conservative compatriot, Justice John Harlan II (Christopher Plummer), interviews left-leaning, anti-war Kevin Kennedy (Benjamin Walker) to serve as his clerk. But for Harlan, a rigorous and fair-minded jurist, politics and personal opinion have no place in the law, and he hires Kennedy for his substantial intellect. When the Court hears Ali's case, the majority votes to deny Ali. Burger assigns Harlan to write the opinion, a task that Harlan passes along to Kennedy. Kennedy struggles with the decision, and in researching Ali's beliefs, Kennedy realizes that Ali does fulfill all the conditions for Conscientious Objector status. But when he presents his findings to Harlan, the Justice rejects his opinion. Unable to support what he feels is an unjust decision, Kennedy writes it as he is told but agonizes over his resignation letter. Harlan, recently diagnosed with cancer and facing the end of his career, is convinced to read the Black Muslims' leader Elijah Muhammad's book Message to the Blackman in America and subsequently reconsiders his passionate young clerk's recommendation. The usually stoic and careful Harlan flips his vote, creating a 4-4 tie. Knowing a tie vote will still result in Ali going to jail, Harlan lobbies the other Justices to find the decisive fifth vote. After Harlan's friend, Justice Potter Stewart, helps form a narrower opinion, the Justices, Warren Burger included, change their votes in order to overturn Ali's conviction. Ali goes on to win the World Champion title for the second time.

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