I’d forgotten that the 20 year-old Muhammad Ali (initially known as Cassius Clay) had a fast cameo in Rod Serling‘s Requiem for a Heavyweight(’62).

Directed by Ralph Nelson, pic was a critically respected adaptation of the televized Playhouse 90 version, which Serling originated and produced in ‘1956.

Serling and Nelson won Emmy Awards for the ’56 version. Nelson also directed the multi-Oscar-nominated Lillies of the Field (’63) and Charly (’68).

I’ve never seen a kinescope of the ’56, but the writing in the feature version is exceptional — concise, bitter, eloquent, surprisingly emotional at times.

Produced by David Susskind, Requiem for a Heavyweight is free to watch on YouTube.