Ali's biggest match, his fight with the US government. A film about the politics and hubris surrounding the Vietnam War and the revenge exacted on America's greatest sportsman of the 20th century because he refused to fight in that war.
Strip Search follows several parallel stories examining personal freedoms vs. national security in the aftermath of 9/11; two main subplots involve an American woman detained in China and an Arab man detained in New York City.
Muhammad Ali stars as himself in this dramatized version of his life story up to the late 1970s. It includes his Olympic triumphs as Cassius Clay, his conversion to Islam, his refusal of ... See full summary »
Ahmed (Muhammad Al-Araby) from Ismalia come to Cairo looking for work. Promise of richness is really far from reality of life. Ahmed falls in love with Naeema, a prostitute. And then there is Raouf Bey who is gay and fell in love with him.
Mohamed El Arabi,
In 1964, world champion boxer Muhammad Ali requested exemption from the military draft based on his religious beliefs. His request was denied and when he refused induction into the army, he was convicted and sentenced to 5 years imprisonment. His case eventually works itself up the Supreme Court. In their first conference after the case is presented, the justices decide by majority vote to uphold the conviction and Justice John Harlan is tasked with preparing the majority opinion. He assigns one of his clerks, Kevin Connolly, to prepare a first draft but try as he might he believes that decision his wrong. His draft argues for overturning the conviction and Harlan agrees with him. The justice must now find a way to convince his colleagues.Written by
A worthy and earnest look at the Supreme Court decision on whether Ali's reasons in avoiding the draft were legally sound because of his religious beliefs.
The court did not want to create a precedent where everyone could claim to be a conscientious objector by claiming to be an islamic minister.
Director Stephen Frears wisely opts for archive footage of Ali to be used as the Supreme Court decides on the issue.
Set in the early 1970s, it is a time of great change in America. The judges in this drama talk about the thorny issue of abortion in Roe v Wade which is due to come up. They have to view pornography as that is another matter they need to ponder on.
Frank Langella plays Chief Justice Burger. A conservative appointee and a puppet of the Nixon presidency. They may be experienced lawyers but these people are political appointees. The judge who vacillates is Justice Harlan (Christopher Plummer) another conservative but more wily and nuanced. He senses that the times are changing and the Supreme Court might be in danger of being out of step.
The drama is framed by Frears through one of Harlan's clerks. Kevin Connolly (Benjamin Walker) who finds a precedent and brings it to Harlan's attention. Connolly is a plucky outsider in the Supreme Court where the other clerks are from top universities and do not want to make waves.
The surprise was Thurgood Marshall (Danny Glover) the Supreme Court's first black judge. He was against Ali because he viewed him as a segregationist.
It was a good drama but at times it felt flat footed. You sense why this was suited as a made for cable television production rather than as a cinema release. The fictional character of Connolly was just too determined like a good boy scout who believed in Ali's case. It was like those legal dramas, where the one person believes the accused is innocent and will bang heads to get others to their way of thinking.
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