Top 6 Movies Inspired By The Life Of Muhammad Ali


6. The Greatest

“The Greatest portrayed a very dramatic part of Mohammad Ali’s Life.

The Greatest included a real fight footage in the 1977 movie which portrays Muhammad Ali’s life from the 1960 Olympics to his early 1970s title fights.

Ernest Borgnine played Angelo Dundee and James Earl Jonesplayed Malcolm X.


5. Rocky

Sylvester Stallone was inspired by Muhammad Ali’s 1975 bout against number one contender at that time Chuck Wepner but the twist in the movie is that it was not the character of Rocky Balboa that drew inspiration from the legendary Muhammad Ali, it was his opponent Apollo Creed.

Muhammad Ali said after watching the sequel to the original film:
“That’s me, all right. Apollo sounds like me. Insulting the opponent in the press, to get him psyched out. That’s me exactly.”

Muhammad Ali initially disapproved of Rocky Balboa being portrayed as a white actor on screen, and his own image being presented as the antagonist. Nonetheless, at the 1977 Oscars, he had a mock bout against Stallone where he announced, “I’m the real Apollo Creed. You stole my script.”


4. I Am Ali

This really was an interesting movie because it showed another side of Muhammad Ali the world hadn’t really seen. Ali’s daughter Hana claimed that the legendary boxer would have enjoyed the film since it exhibits his ‘loving side.’

The  documentary which was released in 2014 focuses on behind the scenes footage and a series of audio recordings that were made throughout his lifetime show a picture of what Muhammad Ali was outside the boxing ring. It furthermore included a time in Muhammad Ali’s life when, as a 12-year-old, his bicycle is stolen and he decides to take up boxing to avenge the theft.


3.The Trials of Muhammad Ali

Yet another documentary which was released one year earlier than the former, The 2013 documentary focuses on the Muhammad Ali exploits outside the ring. It was essentially based during the time that Muhammad Ali was hitting his prime. It also touched onCassius Clay’s decision to convert to Islam and becomeMuhammad Ali. It then continues the depiction of Ali becoming one of the most controversial figures in history when he refused to join the US army at the Vietnam War. Some other things included are Muhammad Ali’s motivational speeches and humanitarian work against racism.


2. Ali

This was a biographical movie and it had the legendary Will Smith playing Muhammad Ali.

The movie highlights  the journey of the pugilist from his first heavyweight championship bout against Sonny Liston, to the historic ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ fight in Kinshasa. Astonishing enough Will Smith had initially rejected the role, but agreed when Muhammad Ali personally approached the actor and requested him to play the role. The film earned Smith nominations in both the Academy Awards and Golden Globe Awards.



1.When We Were Kings

This was entirely based on the famous ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ 1974 heavyweight championship match between George Foreman andMuhammad Ali.

The  documentary released in 1996 starts off with the build-up to the big fight in Kinshasa. Ali is shown expressing his beliefs about Africans and African-Americans. The documentary also includes interviews with journalists and filmmakers who were present to watch the match. Then there specific events from the historic match itself. This documentary won several Academy awards.


Written by Eugene Nyavor

Eugene Nyavor is the Founding Editor at Gh Links. A well bred journalist with a flair for entertainment, society and arts, He loves covering events and reporting personalities for the public consumption.

Reach me via Email: [email protected]


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