1971 was a magic year for Muhammed Ali. He fought the fight of the century with Joe Frazier and the two undefeated heavyweight champions went after each other. The documentary shows how things went to arrive at the point. Maybe several of us have forgotten that Ali lost his boxing license when he refused to go into the army and since he could not fight, Frazier won the championship in 1970. Finally Ali was able to make a comeback and Ali beat Frazier in 1971. Ali said, “It’ll be a thrilla and a killa and a chilla when I get the Gorilla in Manilla.” We also get to see the fight in Zaire, “The Rumble in the Jungle” when Ali beat George Foreman and claimed the championship.
We see a lot of footage which is quite rare and that is one of the things that make this movie so interesting ad we see Ali in Great Britain where he participated in some early but professional fights. Most of us in the United States have seen this footage before. In fact, it was in London where Ali proclaimed, “I’m the king”.
Bert Sugar narrated this Lee Krantz film and he and Ali had a special relationship. You really need to see this film to see Ali as who he is and why he is the “greatest”.