AKA - Cassius Clay (1970)
Made in 1970, just as he was reaching the end of a three-year exile from boxing, A.K.A. Cassius Clay is a documentary about Muhammad Ali's life and career. Produced by Jim Jacobs and Bill Cayton, who would go on to manage Mike Tyson, it includes reams of Jacobs's vast collection of fight footage, some of it familiar, some quite rare, such as flickering images of Ali's earliest bouts.
Ali's familiar story is competently related here: his 1960 Olympic triumph, his upset of Sonny Liston in 1964, his conversion to the Nation of Islam, and the plainly vindictive decision on the part of the authorities to revise his draft status and call him up for service in Vietnam. The principal pleasure is watching Ali in full verbal flow, including his maniacal teasing of Liston that proved to be a psychological knockout blow: "The man's too ugly to be the world champ. The world champ should be pretty, like me!"
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