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  Directed by
  • Widescreen 1.78:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
    English - Hearing Impaired
  • Additional footage - Ali vs Norton, at a lecture and with his daughter
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Cast/crew biographies - A fight chronology for Muhammad Ali
  • 4 Featurette
  • Photo gallery - 23 images of artwork by Leroy Nieman
  • Music video - Muhammed Ali by Faithless

Muhammad Ali: Through the Eyes of the World

Universal/Universal . R4 . COLOR . 104 mins . PG . PAL


Muhammad Ali is perhaps the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time but he is more than that. He is also one of the most important figures of the turbulent 1960's and 70's. Remember that the 1960's was a volatile period in American history. Martin Luther King was assassinated for his stand on equality and his message of peace and tolerance. The Kennedy brothers were assassinated for their 'liberal' views on a number of topics such as war and east/west relations. Demonstrations against segregation and Vietnam led to violent protests as America battled with itself over these and other issues.

During this time Ali irritated the more racist elements of the white establishment with his brash and outspoken ways saying things like 'black is beautiful' and calling himself 'the greatest'. He joined the Black Muslim movement of Elijah Mohammad and adopted the name Mohammad Ali calling Cassius Clay his 'slave name'. Ali was also closely linked with the controversial Malcom X which surely made him a serious target and yet he remained firmly in the public spotlight urging black people to develop their own sense of self and to be proud. He also continued to back his seemingly outrageous claims by climbing into the boxing ring and winning bouts against some of the best heavy weight boxers of any era.
"Muhammad Ali: No Viet Cong ever called me Nigger!"
When he was called for military service in Vietnam, he refused on religious grounds ('I ain't got no quarrel with the Viet Cong' he is quoted as saying). This was all the ammunition that 'the man' needed and he was stripped of his world title and had his boxing license revoked. It took over three years of lobbying to get his license back and his court case went all the way to the supreme court before he avoided a lengthy prison term for refusing the draft.

This documentary covers Ali's life from his childhood right up until today and contains some brilliant footage of him at his best both in and out of the ring. The documentary features interviews with journalists, celebrities, commentators, friends, former foes and family about Ali, the times and his career. The historical footage is well used to place Ali in the context of the times in which many of the more sensational events in his life took place.


The transfer presented on this disc is 16x9 enhanced and has an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1.

This documentary contains a large amount of historical footage from a variety of sources and so the quality varies greatly. The image quality of the interview segments filmed specifically for this feature is very good and almost completely free from artefacts. The colour is bold but natural and the image is sharp and detailed. The very few artefacts are limited to some aliasing and moiré effects on shots of buildings from Louisville where Ali was raised.

The older footage is less impressive but what do you expect? Some of this stuff is now around 40 years old and was filmed and stored in less than ideal conditions. Actually, you are unlikely to see the older footage look as good as this anywhere else.

This is an RSDL disc with the layer change taking place at 86:43. It is pretty well placed as it takes place just as the image begins to fade to black.


The audio on this disc is Dolby Digital 5.1 encoded at a bitrate of 448Kb/s.

The main focus of this audio transfer is dialogue and despite gathering the audio from a variety of sources, the dialogue is always clear and always in sync. The mix for this documentary is mainly focused on the front channels but there is some intermittent use of the surrounds while music is playing and during some footage taken in places that Ali once lived etc.


Through the eyes of the world

When selected a map of the world is shown with icons that you can navigate to and select. Once an icon is selected a short video clip (16x9 enhanced) is played in which people from that country or region talk about Ali.

Unseen Interviews

Interviews are available here that were not included in the main documentary. They feature Billy Crystal, Rod Steiger, James Earl Jones, Hana Ali and Billy Connoly.

Still Images

A collection of 23 16x9 enhanced images that can be viewed as a slide show. The work shown is from artist Leroy Nieman.

Music Video

The music video 'Muhammad Ali' by Faithless can be viewed here.

Fight Chronology

A list of each of Ali's fights. You can branch to footage of that particular fight if you so desire.

Ali Center Promo

A 2 odd minute promo of a center featuring Ali and his achievements designed to inspire others to succeed. The center is to be built in his home town of Louisville, Kentucky.


A 2 minute featurette about a stage play on Ali's life. The main actor talks about the play and the night that Ali himself attended.

Theatrical Trailer

Your standard trailer.


I really, really enjoyed watching this documentary. It is well put together and contains priceless footage. I'd say this is one of the most entertaining documentaries that I've ever seen.

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      And I quote...
    "A well presented and nicely balanced documentary about the most charismatic boxer in history. "
    - Michael Chappell
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
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    • DVD Rom:
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    • MPEG Card:
          RealMagic Hollywood Plus
    • TV:
          Grundig MW82-50/8 IDTV 16:9
    • Receiver:
          Denon AVR-2801
    • Speakers:
          Tannoy Mercury M4
    • Centre Speaker:
          Tannoy Mercury MC
    • Surrounds:
          Tannoy Mercury M1
    • Subwoofer:
          Aaron SUB-120
    • Audio Cables:
          Monster Lightspeed 100
    • Video Cables:
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