Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
'Wild' Director Jean-Marc Vallée To Helm Janis Joplin Biopic Starring Amy Adams 'Wild' Director Jean-Marc Vallée To Helm Janis Joplin Biopic Starring Amy Adams Watch: Zac Efron Talks About His Masturbation Techniques In 'The Interview' Segment With James Franco Watch: Zac Efron Talks About His Masturbation Techniques In 'The Interview' Segment With James Franco Paul Greengrass To Direct Adaptation Of George Orwell's '1984' Paul Greengrass To Direct Adaptation Of George Orwell's '1984' Paul Thomas Anderson Nearly Starred In 'Rachel Getting Married' With Anne Hathaway Paul Thomas Anderson Nearly Starred In 'Rachel Getting Married' With Anne Hathaway Watch: Al Pacino Plays An Aging Rocker Transformed By John Lennon In First Trailer For ‘Danny Collins’ Watch: Al Pacino Plays An Aging Rocker Transformed By John Lennon In First Trailer For ‘Danny Collins’ Watch: Disney Tries To Dazzle You Once Again With The First Trailer For Kenneth Branagh’s ‘Cinderella’ Watch: Disney Tries To Dazzle You Once Again With The First Trailer For Kenneth Branagh’s ‘Cinderella’ Watch: Adrien Brody & Hayden Christensen Take On The World In Trailer For 'American Heist' Watch: Adrien Brody & Hayden Christensen Take On The World In Trailer For 'American Heist' Chloe Moretz, Elle Fanning & Hailee Steinfeld Eyed To Play Jean Grey In 'X-Men: Apocalypse' And More Chloe Moretz, Elle Fanning & Hailee Steinfeld Eyed To Play Jean Grey In 'X-Men: Apocalypse' And More Listen: 50-Minute Interview With David Fincher About 'Gone Girl,' The Zodiac Killer & More Listen: 50-Minute Interview With David Fincher About 'Gone Girl,' The Zodiac Killer & More Watch: Promo For Surprise Screening Of Paul Thomas Anderson's 'Inherent Vice' In The U.K. This Wednesday Watch: Promo For Surprise Screening Of Paul Thomas Anderson's 'Inherent Vice' In The U.K. This Wednesday Weekend Box-Office: ‘Dumb & Dumber To’ Takes No. 1, But ‘Interstellar’ Still Soars Overseas Weekend Box-Office: ‘Dumb & Dumber To’ Takes No. 1, But ‘Interstellar’ Still Soars Overseas Official Soundtrack Details For Paul Thomas Anderson's 'Inherent Vice' Revealed Official Soundtrack Details For Paul Thomas Anderson's 'Inherent Vice' Revealed Listen: 45-Minute Talk With Christopher Nolan, Plus The Big Twist From Steven Spielberg's 'Interstellar' Script And More Listen: 45-Minute Talk With Christopher Nolan, Plus The Big Twist From Steven Spielberg's 'Interstellar' Script And More Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... Best To Worst: Every Marvel Movie Ranked Best To Worst: Every Marvel Movie Ranked 21 Movies About Weird, Kinky Or Compulsive Sex 21 Movies About Weird, Kinky Or Compulsive Sex From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki The 15 Best Documentaries Of 2013 The 15 Best Documentaries Of 2013

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