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William Klein’s masterful portrait of the Man So Mean He Made Medicine Sick focuses on the lead-ups to and aftermaths of three of his signature fights (both title matches with Sonny Liston in 1964 and 1965, and the Rumble in the Jungle with George Foreman in 1974) and, in the process, miraculously manages to touch on nearly everything the three-time undisputed heavyweight champion of the world represented. Muhammad Ali, the Greatest is arguably the most complex documentary about an athlete ever made, as attuned to the fascinating sociopolitical climate surrounding the champ as it is to his incomparable achievements within the ring. An exhilarating medley of Ali’s unforgettable press-conference performances and incredible footage showcasing his physical and rhetorical prowess alike, the film argues for his status as one of the key cultural figures of his time.

 

Muhammad Ali, the Greatest

Directed By William Klein 
 
 
France, 1974
 
English and French with English subtitles
 
35mm
 
110 minutes

 

Click here to view the event on the Film Society of Lincoln Center website