Sunday, May 26, 2024

(Watch) “The Greatest Love of All” Was Written for Muhammad Ali BioPic “The Greatest”


Before Whitney Houston turned it into her anthem, “The Greatest Love of All” was sung by George Benson for a biopic of Muhammad Ali called “The Greatest.”

Linda Creed and Michael Masser wrote the song (which inadvertently nicked 24 bars from Gordon Lightfoot’s ‘If You Could Read My Mind”). Benson had an R&B hit with it from the soundtrack on Arista Records. When Whitney came along a few years later, Clive Davis and Gerry Griffiths had her re-record it for her first album. The rest is history.

Ring Lardner Jr. wrote the screenplay for “The Greatest” based on Ali’s autobiography. Tom Gries directed. Ali played himself. The movie co-starred Ernest Borgnine and John Marley.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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