Director: leon gast

89 minutes, U.S.A., 1996, Colour, 35mm

The screening will be preceded by a public interview with 2012 Olympic Boxing silver medalist John Joe Nevin hosted by RTÉ Sport’s Marty Morrissey.

While we may now have new boxing heroes, only one person will ever be called ‘The Greatest’. Leon Gast’s Oscar-winning documentary, a huge hit at the IFI when first shown here in 1997, mixes archival footage and contemporary interviews to follow Muhammad Ali in the build up to 1974’s ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ against George Foreman.

Strange as it may seem, Ali was the underdog going into the fight, 10 years older than his opponent, the then heavyweight world champion, and seemingly with nothing to lose. His charisma and wit make for an engaging and entertaining documentary, one of the best we’ve shown. (Notes by Kevin Coyne.)

This film is screening as part of 20/20: Landmark Films at the IFI which is part of IFI20: Celebrating 20 Years in Temple Bar.

Book Tickets