So, you wanna celebrate Muhammad Ali’s 65th birthday? You could turn on ESPN right now, which is featuring an all-day salute to the champ. Or you could find a copy of Ali's own attempt at a filmed autobiography, The Greatest (1977, started by Tom Gries and finished by Monte Hellman when Gries died during production). The movie is grungy and, given its dynamic subject, just a little on the dull side, a (surprise!) simplistic take on his own rise to fame and introduction to the Islamic faith. You’d do better with the Oscar-winning documentary When We Were Kings, which chronicles the events leading up to the historic Ali-Foreman clash in Kinshasha, Zaire, forever known as the Rumble in the Jungle.
But if you want a little pre-Islam Ali as you may never have seen him before (I sure hadn’t), check out this delightful minute and a half courtesy of You Tube—Cassius Clay reciting one of his signature poems to the piano accompaniment of none other than Liberace! Happy birthday, Champ!