Tate Modern Film

William Klein: Muhammad Ali, the Greatest William Klein, France 1974, B&W and colour, English and French with English subtitles, 120 min

Muhammad Ali, the Greatest
William Klein, France 1974, 35mm transferred to digiBeta, 120 min, English and French with English subtitles
Source: ARTE

Klein documents some of the key moments in Muhammad Ali's career by showing the people, the events and the media frenzy mobilised by his phenomenal rise. The first half, in black and white, follows Cassius Clay winning the World Heavyweight Champion title in his first match against Sonny Liston in 1964, ‘becoming’ Muhammad Ali after joining the Nation of Islam, and beating Liston again in 1965. The second half, shot in colour, takes place ten years later in Kinshasa, after Ali had been stripped of his title for refusing to serve in the Vietnam War, as he tries to win it back in his comeback match against George Foreman - the legendary ‘Rumble in the Jungle’. The evolution of Ali into an increasingly politicised cultural icon is narrated through encounters with a range of figures, from his boisterous fans and entourage to Malcolm X, and acute observations of fast-changing cultural landscapes in the USA as well as in Mobutu's Zaire.

Watch a clip from Muhammad Ali, the Greatest

Tate Modern

Starr Cinema

London SE1 9TG
Plan your visit

Date & Time

24 November 2012 at 19.00–21.00

Related events

Tate Modern Exhibition

William Klein + Daido Moriyama

10 Oct 2012 – 20 Jan 2013
Tate Modern exhibition William Klein + Daido Moriyama explores relationship between both men’s work. 10 October 2012 - 20 January 2013