The Greatest (1977)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Greatest Photos

Movie Info

With Muhammad Ali cast as himself, The Greatest covers Ali's life from his "Cassius Clay" days to the celebrated Ali/George Foreman bout. Along the way, the film focuses on Ali's conversion to Islam and his potentially career-breaking decision not to serve in the Army. Ernest Borgnine palys Ali's first trainer Angelo Dundee, while Roger E. Mosley shows up as Sonny Liston. The Greatest was the final directorial effort from the late Tom Gries. The same subject would later be covered in Michael Mann's Ali, starring Will Smith as the champ.
Directed By:
Written By:
Columbia Pictures


Muhammad Ali
as Himself
Ernest Borgnine
as Angelo Dundee
Lloyd Haynes
as Herbert Muhammad
Robert Duvall
as Bill McDonald
John Marley
as Dr. Pacheco
David Huddleston
as Cruikshank
Ben Johnson
as Hollis
James Earl Jones
as Malcolm X
Dina Merrill
as Velvet Green
Roger E. Mosley
as Sonny Liston
Paul Winfield
as Lawyer
Annazette Chase
as Belinda Ali
Mira Waters
as Ruby Sanderson
Phillip MacAllister
as Young Cassius Clay Jr.
Arthur Adams
as Cassius Clay Sr.
Dorothy Meyer
as Odessa Clay
Lucille Benson
as Mrs. Fairlie
Teddy Wilson
as Gardener
Sally Gries
as Sponsor's Wife
Elizabeth Marshall
as Sponsor's Wife
Malachi Throne
as Payton Jory
Richard Gullage
as Commission Doctor
Stack Pierce
as Johnson
Ben Medina
as Ronnie
Paul Mantee
as Carrara
George Garro
as Mr. Curtis
David Clennon
as Captain
Ernie Wheelwright
as Bossman Jones
George Cooper
as Lawyer
James Gammon
as `Mr. Harry'
Toni Crabtree
as Hooker
Don Dunphy
as Commentator
Philip McAllister
as Cassius Clay
Nai Bonet
as Suzie Gomez
Ray Holland
as Reporter
Rahaman Ali
as Himself
Howard Bingham
as Himself
Lloyd Wells
as Himself
Pat Patterson
as Himself
Gene Kilroy
as Himself
Harold Conrad
as Himself
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for The Greatest

All Critics (2)

Quote not available.

September 24, 2005

Quote not available.

August 5, 2004
Cinema Signals

Audience Reviews for The Greatest

Essentially this is two films: one with fascinating footage of the time around Ali's first title triumph and then subpar footage of the reclaiming of the title from George Foreman. You can't take your eyes off of Ali inevitably. The real man is still somewhat shrouded in mystery for me. This was a good glimpse.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

In this movie you can see the story told by the man himself... and played by him as well! Following young Cassius Clay`s struggle against prejudice and discrimanation from his Olympic cold win to the famous Rumble in the Jungle, the fight against George Foreman! Muhammad Ali is a natural performer and in this film he is managing not to go overboard! The best part of the script is that just concentrates itself with hard facts . I'll have to say that without Ali we would never know about him turning up at Sonny Liston`s house at the dead of night to throw insults... and that is the advantage of this movie! It is like some kind of documentary reconstruction of a remarkable life... and it`s all true! I'll have to say that I enjoyed the performance of Phillip MacAllister playing the young Cassius Clay Jr displaying the engaging affrontery of a young talent so sure of himself that discretion in self-description knows no bounds... real Ali's characteristics which will later refine through formal discipline, professional conflicts and the controversial refusal to be inducted in the US Army. Movie with a message... and important part of a history story which should be told!

Panta Oz
Panta Oz

Super Reviewer

The Greatest Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss The Greatest on our Movie forum!

News & Features