Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight

Synopsis: In 1964, world champion boxer Muhammad Ali requested exemption from the military draft based on his religious beliefs. His request was denied and when he refused induction into the army, he was convicted and sentenced to 5 years imprisonment. His case eventually works itself up the Supreme Court. In their first conference after the case is presented, the justices decide by majority vote to uphold the conviction and Justice John Harlan is tasked with preparing the majority opinion. He assigns one of his clerks, Kevin Connolly, to prepare a first draft but try as he might he believes that decision his wrong. His draft argues for overturning the conviction and Harlan agrees with him. The justice must now find a way to convince his colleagues.
Genre: Biography, Drama
Director(s): Stephen Frears
Production: Rainmark Films
  Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 win & 5 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
97 min

This bout, 15 rounds

for the heavyweight championship

of the world.

The challenger from

Louisville, Kentucky,

weighing 210

and one-half pounds,

the former Olympic

light heavyweight champion,

Cassius Clay.

Of those of you

who won't be able

to see the

Clay-Liston fight,

here is the eighth round

exactly as it will happen.

Clay comes out

to meet Liston

and Liston

starts to retreat.

If Liston goes back

an inch farther,

he'll end up

in a ringside seat.

Clay swings with his left,

Clay swings with his right.

Look at young Cassius

carry the fight.

Liston keeps backing, but

there's not enough room-

It's a matter of time

- our Clay lowers the boom.

Sonny Liston's

not coming out.

Sonny Liston is

not coming out.

He's out!

The winner and the new

heavyweight champion

of the world is Cassius Clay!

I'm the greatest fighter

that ever lived.

I don't have a mark

on my face

and I upset

Sonny Liston

and I just turned

22 years old.

I must be the greatest.

I shook up the world.

I shook up the world.

I shook up the world.

Cassius is not

my name no more.


Muhammad Ali now?

Muhammad Ali.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Mr. Muhammad Ali

has just refused to be inducted

into the United States

Armed Forces.

Notification of his refusal

is being made

to the United States Attorney,

the State Director of

the Selective Service System,

and the local

Selective Service Board

for whatever action

deemed to be appropriate.

How did they treat you? Respectable.

Respect for law in a nation

is the most priceless asset

a free people can have.

And the Chief Justice

and his associates

are the ultimate

custodians and guardians

of that priceless asset.

And when we consider

what a Chief Justice has

in the way of influence

on his age

and the ages after him, I think

it could fairly be said

that our history tells us,

our Chief Justices

have probably had a more

profound and lasting influence

than most Presidents have had.

Good morning, Petrus.

Good morning, sir.

How was your summer?

It was good to get away,

Mr. Chief Justice, sir.

Nice to see you again.

You, too, sir.

Thank you.

Good morning.


Come in.

Mr. Connolly. I'm

Mrs. Paige, P- A-I-G-E.

You're 27

minutes late.

You're not off

to a good start.

I'm sorry. My car broke

down. Mr. Connolly.

Back down

the corridor.

The washroom is the

third door on the right.

Thank you.

Straight ahead,

Mr. Connolly.

We've got ourselves

a live one there,

huh, Mrs. P?

Don't flirt with me,

Mr. Becker.

It does not

become you.


Morning, Chief.

Good morning, sir.



This term,

we really must do

something about

this office.

It's ridiculous.

It's not satisfactory.

It's smaller than my office

at the Court of Appeals.

I'm the chief, Petrus.

Makes no sense.

Take those geraniums

to Maintenance.

Oh, and Petrus,

don't overwater them.

They won't bloom.

Yes, sir.

Mr. Justice,

this is Kevin Connolly.

Sorry I'm late, sir.

Please, take a seat,

Mr. Connolly.

Your grandfather.

Yes. He was on the court

for 34 years.

"The great dissenter. "

The only justice to vote

against segregation.

Plessy v. Ferguson.

But even in his dissent

he still

called the white race

the dominant race

and vowed it would

continue for all time. Heh.

Oh, sir, I-I'm sorry.

I wasn't thinking.

That's actually very rude.

You know your Court

history, Mr. Connolly.

Or maybe you just did some

research to impress me.

There is currently

a case in court.

Cohen v. California.

Cohen walked

through a courthouse

wearing a jacket with

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    "Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight" STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 12 Aug. 2022. <'s_greatest_fight_14201>.

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