or


[09/12/13 - 09:37 AM]
Christopher Plummer, Frank Langella and Benjamin Walker Star in the HBO Films Presentation "Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight," Directed by Stephen Frears, Debuting Oct. 5
Academy Award(R) nominee Stephen Frears directed from a script by Shawn Slovo.

[via press release from HBO]

CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER, FRANK LANGELLA AND BENJAMIN WALKER STAR IN THE HBO FILMS PRESENTATION "MUHAMMAD ALI'S GREATEST FIGHT," DIRECTED BY STEPHEN FREARS, DEBUTING OCT. 5

Famous for both his signature shuffle and verbal sparring, boxer Cassius Clay quickly rose to fame in the '60s, becoming the world's best-known athlete - and eventually its most controversial. After joining the Nation of Islam and adopting the name Muhammad Ali, he was widely denounced for refusing to be drafted into the U.S. military, based on his religious opposition to the Vietnam War. Stripped of his title and banned from the sport, the self-proclaimed "Greatest" lost nearly four years of his boxing prime to legal battles. In 1971, his case for being a conscientious objector eventually reached the United States Supreme Court, rooted by tradition and conservative ideals with Nixon-appointed Chief Justice Warren E. Burger at its helm.

HBO Films presents in association with SAF Films West MUHAMMAD ALI'S GREATEST FIGHT, starring Academy Award(R) winner Christopher Plummer ("Beginners"), Academy Award(R) nominee Frank Langella ("Frost/Nixon") and Benjamin Walker ("Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter"); directed by Academy Award(R) nominee Stephen Frears ("The Queen") from a script by Shawn Slovo ("A World Apart"); and executive produced by Emmy(R) winner Frank Doelger (HBO's "Game of Thrones" and "The Gathering Storm"), Emmy(R) winner Tracey Scoffield (HBO's "The Gathering Storm"), Jonathan Cameron and Stephen Frears.

Debuting SATURDAY, OCT. 5 (8:00-9:40 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO, the film goes behind the closed doors of the United States Supreme Court as its nine justices - Chief Justice Warren E. Burger (Frank Langella), Hugo Black (Fritz Weaver), William O. Douglas (Harris Yulin), John Harlan II (Christopher Plummer), William Brennan, Jr. (Peter Gerety), Potter Stewart (Barry Levinson), Byron "Whizzer" White (John Bedford Lloyd), Thurgood Marshall (Danny Glover) and Harry Blackmun (Ed Begley, Jr.) - decide the outcome of Muhammad Ali's landmark appeal. Justice Harlan, a respected jurist with 15 years on the court, finds himself at odds with the status quo after his perspective is challenged by the contemporary ideals of his new clerk, Kevin Connolly (Benjamin Walker). The film explores the intricate politics behind these historic decisions in a time of rapid social and cultural transformation in the American landscape.

Other HBO playdates: Oct. 5 (2:15 a.m.), 6 (5:00 p.m.), 8 (1:00 p.m., 8:30 p.m.), 13 (10:30 a.m., 1:00 a.m.), 16 (11:45 a.m., 8:00 p.m.), 19 (3:45 p.m.), 22 (5:00 p.m., 12:30 a.m.), 24 (10:00 a.m., 8:30 p.m.), 26 (12:15 p.m.), 28 (10:15 a.m.) and 31 (5:00 p.m., 12:10 a.m.)

HBO2 playdates: Oct. 10 (10:00 a.m., 8:00 p.m.) and 20 (9:30 a.m., 8:00 p.m.)

ABOUT THE FILM

When executive producer Frank Doelger at Rainmark Films asked writer Shawn Slovo to develop a film version of some of the events portrayed in the book of the same name by Howard Bingham and Max Wallace, she was immediately attracted to the volatile time period in which the film is set.

"The late '60s, early '70s in American history is the most fascinating period," Slovo says. "It wasn't only that you had the cast of great characters and the great story, but also the context of the times. I seized on this opportunity when Frank gave it to me."

To bring the script to life, Slovo was paired with celebrated director Stephen Frears, whom she credits for attracting such top actors as Christopher Plummer and Frank Langella to the film. She notes, "People want to work with Stephen and for the obvious reasons. And that's a huge asset to this."

Slovo's script called for archival footage to portray Ali. Frears and the other filmmakers agreed with the decision not to cast an actor for the scenes showing the inimitable boxer, who was as bold and outspoken outside the ring as he was inside.

Slovo explains, "Any chance he got, Ali was talking about why he believed in what he believed, why he refused to fight. So we have this brilliant archive footage, and once you see it, you think, 'There is absolutely no point in trying to find an actor to play this man.'"

Despite the extensive amount of information gathered on the justices, the actors were also encouraged by Frears to trust the script and shape their parts from their insights. "The production sent me four books, and out of the four books, I got a paragraph of information on Warren Burger as a person," says Frank Langella. "There is very little personal information about these guys, and I think that's probably something the justices develop, which is not to have them be shining examples of personality, but to be men who stand for justice."

The clerks, as an ensemble, provide an emotional and youthful perspective to the justices, who strive to practice strictly by the law. Justice Harlan's fledgling clerk, Kevin Connolly (Benjamin Walker), struggles not only with his tradition-minded employers, but also with the established clerk system that favors Ivy League students. In the historical appeal of Ali's case, the clerks played an integral role in influencing the reversal of the justices' decision.

Shot in New York City, with additional locations in New York State, MUHAMMAD ALI'S GREATEST FIGHT went to great lengths to evoke Washington, D.C. in the 1970s.

"We had a difficult time finding neighborhoods in New York City that looked like, felt like, Georgetown, which is a lot older than most of the locations in New York," says production designer Dan Davis. "We stumbled across Schenectady and found this fantastic neighborhood that looked almost identical to Georgetown."

After extensive behind-the-scenes tours of the Supreme Court, the production meticulously built a central courtroom on a stage in Brooklyn, in addition to filming elsewhere in New York City for scenes of the justices' chambers and clerks' offices. Seasoned costume designer Molly Maginnis also came on board to recreate the fashions of the early '70s, working with robe manufacturer Bentley & Simon, which has outfitted many of the Supreme Court justices since 1918.

For more on the film, visit Facebook.com/HBO and Twitter @HBO #MuhammadAli.





  [september 2013]  
S
M
T
W
T
F
S


· MUHAMMAD ALI'S GREATEST FIGHT (HBO)









[07/03/15 - 08:54 AM]
Thursday's Broadcast Ratings: CBS Tops Original Showdown with "Big Brother"
The Eye leads the night in both total viewers and adults 18-49.

[07/03/15 - 08:30 AM]
"Food Fighters" Ties for #2 in Its Time Period Among the Big 4 Networks in Adults 18-49
NBC spins the numbers for Thursday, July 2.

[07/02/15 - 03:51 PM]
FOX Bursts Into San Diego Comic-Con with World Premiere Screenings and Panel Debuts of "Scream Queens," "Minority Report" and "Lucifer"
Panels for "Lucifer," "Minority Report" and "Bob's Burgers" will kick things off on Friday, July 10.

[07/02/15 - 01:59 PM]
Discovery Channel Delivers All New Digital Content and Social Media Action During "Shark Week 2015"
Sharkopedia - Discovery's ultimate digital guide to all things shark - makes its online debut this year.

[07/02/15 - 11:49 AM]
FOX Sports Expands FIFA Women's World Cup 2015 Coverage with 30 Hours of Added Programming
Said additions include expanded pre- and post-game coverage of the championship match, a pair of marathons showcasing the U.S. Women's National Team's dramatic run to the final and more.

[07/02/15 - 11:06 AM]
The Biting Snark Continues on WE tv - Network's Second Annual "Snark Week" Featuring the Snarkiest Personalities and Shows Returns July 6-10
This year's on-air celebration includes biting one-liners from new episodes of WE tv's original series "Braxton Family Values," "Cutting It: In the ATL" and "Marriage Boot Camp Reality Stars."

[07/02/15 - 10:33 AM]
ABC's "The Chew" to Broadcast from the 20th Annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
The Emmy-winning lifestyle series will tape five shows on October 7-9 to air during the week of October 12-16.

[07/02/15 - 10:18 AM]
Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers Rank #1 for the Late-Night Second Quarter vs. Their ABC-CBS Competition in All Key Measures
NBC spins the late-night numbers for the second quarter of 2015.

[07/02/15 - 10:00 AM]
Donald Glover Pilot "Atlanta" Casts Its Leads as Production Gets Underway
Brian Tyree Henry, Lakeith Lee Stanfield and Zazie Beetz will co-star while Hiro Murai is set to direct.

[07/02/15 - 09:46 AM]
Season Three Premieres of the Hit Dramas "Ray Donovan" and "Masters of Sex" Are Available for Early Sampling
Viewers can sample the TV-14 rated premieres of both episodes for free now on YouTube and SHO.com.

[07/02/15 - 09:12 AM]
"Nightline" Wins 2Q15 in Total Viewers For Second Year in a Row, Leading in Four of the Last Five Quarters
ABC spins the late-night numbers for the second quarter of 2015.

[07/02/15 - 08:52 AM]
A+E Networks(R) Launches Lifetime(R) Movie Club(TM)
The subscription video service comes in time for the 25-year anniversary of Lifetime Movies and is available exclusively on iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch at launch.

[07/02/15 - 08:42 AM]
NBC Encores Tie for the Wednesday Win Among the Big 4 in 18-49
NBC spins the numbers for Wednesday, July 1.

[07/02/15 - 08:40 AM]
Wednesday's Broadcast Ratings: CBS, FOX & NBC All Share Demo Crown
The Eye's "Big Brother" is the night's top program among adults 18-49.

[07/02/15 - 07:48 AM]
FOX Sports Names John Strong Lead Play-By-Play Voice for CONCACAF Gold Cup Coverage
The U.S. team enters the region's biennial championship coming off huge away wins over European powerhouse Netherlands and World Champion Germany, and FOX Sports televises every match.