HBO will pay tribute to the legacy of heavyweight great Joe Frazier, who passed away Nov. 7, with a special encore play of THRILLA IN MANILA, the compelling 2009 documentary chronicling the competition between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, widely considered the greatest rivalry in boxing history. The 90-minute film will be seen THURSDAY, NOV. 10 (6:30-8:00 p.m. ET/PT).
Other HBO playdate: Sunday, Nov. 13 (5:30 p.m.)
HBO Signature playdate: Friday, Nov. 11 (4:30 p.m.)
THRILLA IN MANILA tells the story of the final Ali-Frazier fight in the searing heat of the Philippines through the eyes of Frazier – the “other man” in the ring. The film is also available to subscribers at HBO On Demand® through Nov. 27.
An official selection of the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and a Peabody Award winner, THRILLA IN MANILA chronicles one of the bitterest sports face-offs ever, recounting a tale of personal betrayal stoked by the racial politics of 1970s America. Featuring archival footage and exclusive interviews with boxing insiders, including Ferdie Pacheco, Butch Lewis and Dave Wolf, as well as Imelda Marcos, former first lady of the Philippines, the documentary tells the story of two great fighters forever linked by three epic bouts, and looks at their final fight, considered the most brutal, from Frazier's perspective for the first time.
Directed by John Dower (“Once in a Lifetime: The Extraordinary Story of The New York Cosmos”), THRILLA IN MANILA deftly tracks an extraordinary personal battle between two friends, and captures the poignant moment in the socio-cultural history of the country when they became American sports icons and legends. While Ali was a symbol of the civil rights struggle and the anti-Vietnam War movement, Frazier was cast (some would say unfairly) as the symbol of the pro-war, conservative segment of American society.
In 1967, Ali was stripped of his heavyweight crown after refusing induction into the armed forces. THRILLA IN MANILA shows how Frazier subsequently befriended Ali and supported the renewal of his boxing license and status, revealing the intense feelings of betrayal he felt after Ali returned to the ring in 1970 and subjected him to race-baiting attacks.
HBO Documentary Films and HBO Sports present A Darlow Smithson/IMG Media Company Production; narrated by Liev Schreiber; produced and directed by John Dower; executive producers, John Smithson and Elinor Day; executive producer for British Channel 4, Andrew Mackenzie; director of photography, Stephen Standen; editors, Nicholas Packer and Kate Spankie.