Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
New Images Of Kristen Stewart In Stoner Comedy 'American Ultra' And Sci-Fi 'Equals' New Images Of Kristen Stewart In Stoner Comedy 'American Ultra' And Sci-Fi 'Equals' ‘Game Of Thrones’ Will Probably End After Season 8, But HBO Is Open To Prequels & More ‘Game Of Thrones’ Will Probably End After Season 8, But HBO Is Open To Prequels & More The 25 Best Action Movies Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Action Movies Of The 21st Century So Far Relativity Puts 'Jane Got A Gun' And More Up For Sale As They Fight Off Bankruptcy Relativity Puts 'Jane Got A Gun' And More Up For Sale As They Fight Off Bankruptcy Zack Snyder Says Batman Has A "Crisis Of Conscience" In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Plus New Pics Zack Snyder Says Batman Has A "Crisis Of Conscience" In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Plus New Pics Venice 2015 Line-Up: 'Equals' With Kristen Stewart, 'Beasts Of No Nation,' 'The Danish Girl,' More Venice 2015 Line-Up: 'Equals' With Kristen Stewart, 'Beasts Of No Nation,' 'The Danish Girl,' More Watch: 4-Minute Tribute To Lars von Trier's Masterful Film Work Watch: 4-Minute Tribute To Lars von Trier's Masterful Film Work New 'Deadpool' Images, Ryan Reynolds Distances Himself From 'X-Men: Origins' New 'Deadpool' Images, Ryan Reynolds Distances Himself From 'X-Men: Origins' TIFF Images: Emma Watson In 'Colonia,' Brie Larson In 'Room,' Charlie Kaufman's 'Anomalisa' And More TIFF Images: Emma Watson In 'Colonia,' Brie Larson In 'Room,' Charlie Kaufman's 'Anomalisa' And More Richard Linklater Frontrunner To Direct 'The Rosie Project' Starring Jennifer Lawrence Richard Linklater Frontrunner To Direct 'The Rosie Project' Starring Jennifer Lawrence Watch: Blu-Ray Trailer For 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron' Plus 11 New Clips From The Film Watch: Blu-Ray Trailer For 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron' Plus 11 New Clips From The Film The 10 Best And 5 Worst Tom Cruise Performances The 10 Best And 5 Worst Tom Cruise Performances Watch: New Trailer For 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Blu-ray Release Explores Who Killed The World Watch: New Trailer For 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Blu-ray Release Explores Who Killed The World Just For Laughs: 'The Big Lebowski' Live Read With Michael Fassbender & Jennifer Lawrence Just For Laughs: 'The Big Lebowski' Live Read With Michael Fassbender & Jennifer Lawrence "A Living Hell": 'The Revenant' Is Reportedly $35 Million Over Budget, A Producer Exited The Movie, And More "A Living Hell": 'The Revenant' Is Reportedly $35 Million Over Budget, A Producer Exited The Movie, And More The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 So Far The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki

Watch: 3 Clips From Stephen Frears' Cannes Film 'Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight'

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist May 22, 2013 at 5:35PM

If further evidence were needed that the lines between TV and film are becoming less and less visible, Cannes has provided a decent opportunity. Last year saw "Hemingway & Gellhorn" get an out-of-competition screening, whereas this year went one better, and has seen Steven Soderbergh's "Behind The Candelabra" pick up some of the best reviews of the festival.
0
Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight

If further evidence were needed that the lines between TV and film are becoming less and less visible, Cannes has provided a decent opportunity. Last year saw "Hemingway & Gellhorn" get an out-of-competition screening, whereas this year went one better, and has seen Steven Soderbergh's "Behind The Candelabra" pick up some of the best reviews of the festival.

But the trouble with the Liberace biopic getting so much attention is that it's overshadowed the other HBO movie, "Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight," which screened this morning to virtually no buzz, and which has just debuted its first three pieces of footage. Written by Shawn Slovo ("Catch A Fire"), and directed by Stephen Frears, it tells the story of the Supreme Court debate over the great boxer's conscientious objection to fighting in Vietnam, focusing in particular on the relationship between the torn Justice Harlan (Christopher Plummer) and his clerk (Benjamin Walker: Vampire Hunter).

Frank Langella, Danny Glover and Ed Begley Jr are also among the cast, so it's pretty solid in theory, but reaction from Cannes was tepid this morning, and it's not hard to see why; the three clips below pretty much make "Lincoln" look like a Gaspar Noe movie. Maybe it works better as a whole, but this looks like it has more in common with Frears' disappointing recent work ("Cheri," "Lay The Favorite" etc) than with, say, "The Grifters." Still, take a look for yourself below, along with the official synopsis, and we'll find out how it turns out when it airs on HBO later in the year.

Official synopsis: MUHAMMAD ALI'S GREATEST FIGHT looks at Muhammad Ali's historic Supreme Court battle from behind closed doors. When Ali was drafted into the Vietnam War at the height of his boxing career, his principled claim to conscientious objector status on religious grounds led to a lengthy legal battle that rattled the U.S. judicial system right up to the highest court in the land. Justice Harlan, a respected jurist with 15 years on the Court, finds himself at odds with the Court's status quo - as defined by Nixon appointee Chief Justice Burger - after his perspective is challenged by the contemporary ideals of his new clerk.


 

Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight, Christopher Plummer, Frank Langella


This article is related to: Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight, Stephen Frears, Benjamin Walker, Christopher Plummer, Frank Langella, Danny Glover


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates