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)





[01/19/18 - 10:00 AM]
The Final Episodes of "Star Wars Rebels" Begin February 19 on Disney XD
The final episodes will unfold over three weeks, with two back-to-back episodes premiering every Monday night on Disney XD, until its epic 90-minute conclusion on Monday, March 5.

[01/19/18 - 09:59 AM]
Netflix Announces New Original Documentary Series Launching Winter/Spring 2018
"Flint Town" and "Wild Wild Country" will join the previously announced "Ugly Delicious," among others.

[01/19/18 - 09:24 AM]
Steve Harvey's "Steve" Renewed for Season Two
"Steve" has already been sold in 90% of the U.S. on NBC Owned Television Stations as well as leading station groups across the country including Sinclair and Hearst.

[01/19/18 - 09:23 AM]
Discovery's Street Outlaws Are Racing to a City Near You in the All-New Series "Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings"
A sneak peak airs Tuesday, February 27 at 10:00/9:00c and all-new episodes continue on Wednesday, March 7 at 9:00/8:00c.

[01/19/18 - 08:17 AM]
Joel McHale Unveils New Weekly Series Coming to Netflix
"The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale" is a new, weekly half-hour topical series that takes a sharp, absurdist look at pop culture and news from across the globe.

[01/19/18 - 08:13 AM]
Thursday's Broadcast Ratings: CBS Holds Off Competition in Viewers, Demos
Plus: ABC and The CW's dramas return up from their fall finales.

[01/19/18 - 07:26 AM]
David Bromstad Helps Lottery Winners Hit the Real Estate Jackpot in New Season of HGTV's "My Lottery Dream Home"
The 14 fresh episodes will follow David as he and his instant-millionaire clients tour three spectacular properties to find the family their forever home.

[01/18/18 - 06:31 PM]
Freeform Sends Zoey Off to Sophomore Year with a Season 2 Order of "grown-ish"
The premiere boasted Freeform's highest debut for a comedy in nearly six years.

[01/18/18 - 05:01 PM]
Breaking News from Freeform's First-Ever Freeform Summit
The network reveals premiere dates for "Marvel's Cloak & Dagger," "The Bold Type" and "Famous in Love" and more!

[01/18/18 - 12:21 PM]
Video: "Brockmire" Returns to the Booth in the Big Easy - First Season 2 Teaser Released
In a first look, Jim Brockmire (Hank Azaria) arrives in New Orleans, seeking redemption while wallowing in excess and looking to get his once-legendary baseball broadcast career back on track.

[01/18/18 - 11:52 AM]
Video: A Series Inspired by the Greatest Corruption Scandal of All Time - "The Mechanism" Will Be Revealed on March 23
Get ready to join a small group of dogged investigators on the hunt to discover the inner workings of the biggest corruption scheme of all time and the impact their pursuit will have on everyone involved - including themselves.

[01/18/18 - 11:06 AM]
"Party of Five" Reboot from Sony Pictures Television, with Original Creators Chris Keyser and Amy Lippman, Lands Put Pilot Commitment at Freeform
The reboot will follow the five Buendias children as they navigate daily life struggles to survive as a family unit after their parents are suddenly deported back to Mexico.

[01/18/18 - 10:32 AM]
Video: Starz Releases "Ash vs Evil Dead" Season 3 Key Art and Trailer
The third season finds Ash, having gone from murderous urban legend to humanity-saving hometown hero, discovering that he has a long lost daughter who's been entrusted in his care.

[01/18/18 - 10:12 AM]
Video: Hard Work. Dedication. Teamwork. "Coach Snoop" Coming to Netflix February 2
"Coach Snoop" follows the legendary rapper outside the studio and on the field, as he coaches a team of teenagers in the Snoop Youth Football League.

[01/18/18 - 10:00 AM]
"Conan Without Borders: Haiti" to Air Saturday, January 27
After hearing President Trump's disparaging remarks about Haiti, O'Brien immediately decided to announce his intentions to visit the island nation.