HBO Documentary Films has announced premiere dates for its second half of 2013 programming.
Included in that press release are two documentaries we've been following and you probably would want to know about.
First, Moms Mabley: I Got Somethin' to Tell You from first-time director Whoopi Goldberg.
The feature-length documentary about the iconic stand-up comedienne, had its world premiere at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival, which is where we saw and reviewed it HERE.
Executive produced by Goldberg, Tom Leonardis and George Schlatter, the documentary will debut exclusively on HBO on November 18, in primetime. We'll know that exact time of day as the date approaches.
In the film, Goldberg explores Mabley's legacy through recently unearthed photography, rediscovered performance footage and the words of numerous celebrated comedians, entertainers and historians, including Eddie Murphy, Joan Rivers, Sidney Poitier, Kathy Griffin, Harry Belafonte, Bill Cosby, Quincy Jones, Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara.
Mabley tackled topics such as gender, sex and racism, making her one of the first triple X-rated comedians on the comedy circuit. Once billed as "The Funniest Woman in the World," she performed on stage and in television and film up until her death in 1975.
"Moms Mabley has been a huge inspiration to me and so many others, but not a lot of folks outside of the comedy world know about her legacy," said Goldberg in a statement. "There are a lot of us who wouldn't be working today without pioneers like her. HBO gave me my first break on TV, so it's only fitting that Moms has a home there now."
No trailer yet.
Second, one of a few noteworthy Muhammad Ali projects on the way, from director Stephen Frears, titled Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight.
The film takes place in 1967, as then Heavy Weight Champion of the World Muhammad Ali refused to enlist and go fight for the USA in Vietnam; his objections to the war were very public, and he was convicted and sentenced to serve time in prison, during which he appealed his case, which would go all the way to the Supreme Court.
This was all around the time the public began turning against the war, and thus support for Ali grew. Eventually, some years later, the Supreme Court would reverse his conviction.
The film stars Christopher Plummer, Frank Langella, Danny Glover, Ed Begley Jr., Barry Levinson, Bob Balaban, and Kathleen Chalfant.
Danny Glover will play Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall; Begley, Levinson, Balaban and Chalfant will play Justice Harry Blackmun, Justice Potter Stewart, an advocate for Vietnam veterans, and Justice Marshall Harlan's wife respectively.
Christopher Plummer plays Harlan, while Frank Langella is Chief Justice Warren Burger.
As for who's playing Ali in the film, director Frears opted not to cast an actor to play Muhammad Ali, and is instead using archival footage of Ali in the film, which focuses more on the Supreme Court judges and their decision-making, than on Ali himself.
The film screened at Cannes this year, and will be making its debut on HBO on October 5, 8-9:40 p.m. ET/PT.
We haven't seen it, but I read mostly positive reviews of the film after it screened at Cannes.
No trailer yet either, but in the below video, director Frears talks about the making of the film, intercut with select scenes from the film: