Muhammad Ali stars as himself in this 1977 biopic, which traces the iconic fighter’s career from his days as an 18-year-old Olympic champ eager to seek the heavyweight title all the way to his historic bout against George Foreman in Africa. Along the way, Ali converts to Islam and famously refuses the Vietnam draft on religious grounds. Oscar winner Ernest Borgnine co-stars as Ali’s legendary trainer Angelo Dundee.
Thomas S. “Tom” Gries (20 December 1922; Chicago, Illinois – 3 January 1977; Pacific Palisades, California) was an American TV and film director, writer and producer.
Educated at the Loyola Academy and Georgetown University, Gries began working in TV in the 1950s as a writer and director, on such programmes as Bronco, The Rat Patrol, Wanted: Dead or Alive, The Westerner, The Rifleman, East Side/West Side, Mission: Impossible, Route 66, Batman and I Spy. He won Emmy Awards for his direction on East Side/West Side in 1964 and The Glass House in 1972.
In the cinema, Gries directed some low-budget movies in the 1950s before concentrating his efforts more on TV. In the late 1960s, he wrote and directed what is generally acknowledged to be his greatest work in either medium, the western Will Penny, which starred Charlton Heston and was released in 1968. It was based on an episode of the TV series The Westerner that Gries wrote and directed in 1960, entitled “Line Camp”. Gries… read more
Monte Hellman (born July 12, 1932, in New York City, New York) is an American film director, producer, and film editor.
Hellman is among a group of directing talent mentored by Roger Corman, who produced several of the director’s early films. Hellman’s most critically acclaimed film to date has been Two-Lane Blacktop (1971), a road movie that was a box office failure at the time of its initial release but has subsequently turned into a perennial cult favorite.1 Hellman’s two acid westerns starring Jack Nicholson, Ride in the Whirlwind and The Shooting, both shot in 1965 and released directly to television in 1968, have also developed cult followings, particularly the latter. A third western, China 9, Liberty 37 (1978), was far less successful critically, although it too has its admirers, as do Cockfighter (1974) (aka Born to Kill) and Iguana (1988). In 1989 he directed the straight-to-video slasher film Silent Night, Deadly Night 3: Better Watch… read more