Thursday, October 21, 2010
Will Smith as "Ali"
Well I finally got around to watching "Ali" starring Will Smith last night, and it sure brought back a flood of memories.
I remember my Dad picking me up from a Cub Scout meeting. The Cassius Clay / Sonny Liston fight was on the radio in the car, and we ran into the house and listened to the rest of the fight on the radio inside.
Then there was the high-profile statements by Ali about Vietnam;
"I won't fight the yellow man for the white man", and "No Vietcong ever called me a nigger"...
Ali remained his own man, despite immense forces pulling him every which way. The US Government couldn't own him and neither could The Nation of Islam movement.
The movie was touching in examining the relationship between Ali and Howard Cosell, and I remember seeing many of those interviews live, including one where Ali Slapped Cosell silly, on live TV.
Smith definitely buffed up for the part and the boxing scenes looked pretty damned good.
I have no way to verify this, but someone posted on the YouTube page that Smith had turned the roll down until Ali made a personal request that Smith take the roll.
The Clay (Ali) - Liston fight
Ali and Cosell