~ :: Variety :: ~

ALI…is the spice of life!

Muhammad Ali, undoubtedly one of mine n’ several others’ heroes of sport, human spirit n’ admiration, is commemorated w/a 50th anniversary release of this documentary, Muhammad Ali - The Man, The Moves, The Mouth. Produced by Les Krantz n’ based on his book of the same title, the documentary is narrated by Bert Sugar, one of the greatest boxing sportscasters of our time. Besides the milestone highlights of Ali’s greatest fights, including ‘Rumble in the Jungle’, ‘Thrilla in Manila' as well as the 'Fight of the Century’, the film’s title is a precursor into understanding Ali outside the ring, just as much in. It was August, 1962 when a then Cassius Clay started training for the biggest fight of his career against the current heavyweight champ then, Floyd Patterson, who was defeated. But as most of us have seen tons of similar footage cataloguing Ali’s career, this documentary stands out as truly unique, because it includes rare footage of Ali in Britain, where in his earlier boxing career, he spent a lot of time. Most Americans today don’t realize that Ali spent a lot of time in Britain in the beginning of his boxing career,” Krantz said. "We used some superb footage of Ali shot over in England where he had some early professional fights, so it has a lot of Ali footage that most Americans haven’t seen," he continued. And of course Ali wasn’t just a master at adjusting w/style according to who he was fighting in the ring. He would literally become a product of any environment he was put in, immediately relating to any culture w/humor n’ wit, roping in new fans wherever he went. His rhetoric was as fascinating as any entertainer, n’ in England he wasted no time dropping his famous punchlines. "I’m the King!" he shouted in one of the London scenes, hyping up his upcoming fight. Then as you’d expect, had to colorfully continue, "You got a queen, but you ain’t got no King! I’m the King!"