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Muhammad Ali: Made in Miami

4.8 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Muhammad Ali: Made in Miami explores the critical role that Miami played in the evolution of one of the most significant cultural figures of our time: Muhammad Ali.

The film chronicles Cassius Clay s arrival in Miami in the fall of 1960 (fresh from earning an Olympic gold medal in the Rome Olympics), his life in Overtown when that neighborhood was still considered Harlem South, a vibrant center of black entertainment and commerce and his affiliation with the famed Fifth Street Gym on Miami Beach. Over the course of the next few years coinciding with the height of the national civil rights movement Clay evolved both professionally and politically, piling up victories in the ring and adopting the black separatist teachings of the Nation of Islam. As Muhammad Ali: Made in Miami makes clear, it was in this period that Cassius Clay, in essence, became Muhammad Ali.

Muhammad Ali: Made in Miami combines original footage with interviews of Ali confidantes Angelo Dundee (his trainer) and Ferdie Pacheco (his fight doctor), Ali s Miami neighbors, former Overtown residents, and sportswriters and photographers who covered the young phenom, as well as such nationally recognized figures as best-selling Ali biographer Thomas Hauser, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Remnick, and Columbia University historian Manning Marable. The film also includes a consideration of Ali s friendship with Malcolm X, his famed encounter with the Beatles, his dramatic victory over heavyweight champion Sonny Liston, and his subsequent refusal to fight in the Vietnam War all episodes which played out in Miami.

Special Features

  • Muhammad Ali: Made in Miami preview
  • A conversation with the producers

Product Details

  • Actors: Muhammad Ali: Made in Miami
  • Directors: Alan Tomlinson (producer, writer), Gaspar Gonzalez (producer, writer)
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: PBS
  • DVD Release Date: August 12, 2008
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0018O5WU0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #136,204 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
After the 1960 Summer Olympics, Cassius Clay was a heralded boxing gold medalist embarking on a professional career in Miami, Florida.

In February 1964, the sports world witnessed Clay's incredible victory in Miami Beach over feared champion Sonny Liston and the world witnessed the birth of an icon who transcended the "sweet science," Muhammad Ali.

This PBS documentary chronicles an oftentimes overlooked period in the development of Clay the fighter and Ali the man during his years in the Fifth Avenue Gym and living in Miami's Overtown district, a thriving black community which carried the moniker, "Harlem south."

With special focus on legendary trainer Angelo Dundee and "The Fight Doctor," Dr. Ferdie Pacheco, the development of the extraordinary talents is shown like never before. Interviews with Overtown residents, neighbors and media members provides great insight in the growing social and political awareness of an athlete who had special focus in using his athletic prowess for a greater good.

Ali biographer Thomas Hauser and journalist David Remnick utilize a historical context to bring many elements of this fascinating story together.

Before he became king, a foundation was set in Miami. The legend comes to life like never before in this brilliant documentary.
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Muhammad Ali: Made in Miami is a must-see for all Ali fans. The great overarching sadness of the film is the viewer's knowledge that Ali - still among the living at a just-turned 70 - is treated and discussed in this film as having passed from this earthly realm. And, indeed, the voluble, witty, intelligent, crackingly alive Ali seen in this vibrant pastiche is the polar opposite of the silent, reclusive, physically beset man of today.

If you're a student of Ali oeuvre like I am, you'll note that the material in this production hews closely to the ground covered in David Remnick's masterful King of the World: Muhammad Ali and the Rise of an American Hero and photographer Flip Schulke's Muhammad Ali: The Birth of a Legend, Miami, 1961-1964. Both men appear as interview subjects herein, as does Ali's esteemed biographer, Thomas Hauser, New York Times sports journalist, Robert Lipsyte, and Columbia African-American Studies professor, Manning Marable. Marable - who passed away tragically last year on the eve of publication of his Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention - offers critical insight on the roots of Ali's involvement with the Nation of Islam and his personal connections to Malcolm X.

This 60-minute film could easily be six hours in length and no less fascinating, such is this man's rich early life.
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By Sham on January 25, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I loved this documentary, but I love Muhammad Ali. I had no idea that Miami had such an impact on his career and the interesting things that this entailed, will give young viewers an idea what was going on at that time. I would recommend this to anyone.
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Format: DVD
PBS ran this special on Cassius Clay (aka Muhammad Ali) in August, 2008. The documentary chronicles the beginning boxing career of Cassius Clay, from 1960 to about 1967. In order to fully understand Muhammad Ali, one must understand his beginnings (his roots) as Cassius Marcellus Clay, the vibrant boxing phenom that turned the staid boxing profession upside down and sideways. This program pieces together numerous black and white film clips (and interviews with important people in Clay's life)to give a picture of the young, brassy, sassy, vibrant personality that was Cassius Clay. I had seen many of the B/W film clips before, but there are some new ones as well, and the interviews with Angelo Dundee and the "Fight Doctor" Ferdie Pachecho add a lot of insight into the metamorphosis of the butterfly Clay. Clay was a cultural phenomenon, interacting with foriegn dignitaries in Egypt, close friends with Malcolm X, hobnobbing with celebrities such as the Beatles, Sammy Davis, Sinatra, Johnny Carson, Dick Cavett, and many, many others. Like a cultural magnet, anybody and everybody was drawn to Cassius as moths are to the flame. Clay was hip, buzzing with life, spouting poetry, rebellious, driven, and very likable. All of the attributes that made him famous and desirable are explored in this (approximate) 90 minute feature. I have followed Ali/Clay my entire life, and there are some insights here that I did not know.

Program highlights include his relationship with Angelo Dundee, How he developed his persona, his two monumental and controversial fights with Sonny Liston, his association with the Nation of Islam, and his refusal to be inducted into the US Army.

For the boxing fan, who collects Ali memorabilia, this is probably a "must" video. For the casual fan of Ali, this will reveeal some of what made him special - his "roots", so to speak. I enjoyed the program and recommend it to others.

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