One Night in Miami (2020) Movie Script

The rain has stopped.
The excitement has really grown
among this 40,000-strong
Wembley crowd.
Safe to say that
every single one of them
is on Henry Cooper's side.
And Cooper's
eye is opening wider.
It's a shocking cut
above his left eye.
He knows he's got to get this
fight over with fairly quickly.
Clay doesn't like it.
He pushes the referee, but the
referee's having none of it.
- Clay is mocking Cooper.
- I'm over here.
Cooper knows.
He's trying to get that left...
- I'm over here.
- ...left hook now.
Left hook. Oh, there he goes!
He just misses Clay.
And he raises his hands
as he goes back to his corner,
the crowd jeering him
all the way.
My goodness, Cooper.
Is this a joke to you, kid?
- What'd I do?
- Nothing.
That's the problem.
We had a fight plan.
Plan? Angie, look at him.
I'm beating the shit
out of that tomato can.
Damn right he is.
Rumble, young man, rumble!
Listen, if you're not
gonna keep your hands up,
can you at least finish him off?
I don't want to get
too close to him.
I get any more of his blood
on my trunks,
my mama ain't never
gonna be able to get it out.
Nobody gives a damn about
blood on some boxing trunks.
These is my lucky trunks.
Your mama's still doing
your laundry?
Shut up.
Would you both shut the fuck up?
Three rounds in,
and it's not looking good
- for Henry the Hammer.
- No, it is not.
This Wembley Park
crowd was expecting
a better showing
from local lad Cooper
against American upstart
Cassius Clay.
They've been saying
the Louisville Lip's theatrics
overshadow his actual skills
in the ring.
I doubt Cooper agrees
with that assessment tonight.
Let's just hope
Clay can put this bloke
out of his misery soon.
I think we may have all
Cassius Clay, Ronnie.
Perhaps he is
as good as he says he is.
Finish him off!
I'll finish him
when I'm good and ready to.
Let's go, Cooper.
You ain't got nowhere to be,
do you, Henry?
Jab him! Jab him!
- Push!
- Let's go.
Let's go, now, Cassius.
Let's go.
There you are.
There you are.
- That's right.
- No holding, Henry.
- Cooper, hang on.
- Don't stay in too long. Move.
- Move!
- Dance, Cassius. Keep moving.
- Come on.
- Clay is mocking Cooper.
There it is. There you are.
Got to dance with him.
You got to dance.
The crowd doesn't like it.
None of that.
- Hands! Hands up!
- Come on, Henry!
- What is he doing?
- I don't know. Playing around.
Don't walk this guy down.
That's how you do it.
Keep your eyes in the ring.
Is that Elizabeth Taylor?
Anything might happen.
Keep those hands up!
There you go!
That was
the end of the fourth round,
and he hit him.
- Get up!
- So close, before the end of the round.
That was lucky.
Get up there, Cassius. Come on.
Get up.
You're okay!
You're okay! Come on.
Clay took one chance too many,
and he still doesn't know
where he is.
He's still half out, Clay.
I want you to imagine a man
who, for 25 years of his life,
arrived to work
every morning at 9:00.
You could set your watch by him.
Then suddenly one morning,
after 25 years
of punctual 9:00-in-the-morning
not only is he late but
he doesn't look like himself.
Big lump on his head,
two black eyes, bloody nose,
torn lip, clothes ripped
and disheveled.
His boss says, "What in
the world happened to you?"
He says, "Oh, fell down
a whole flight of stairs,
almost got killed."
His boss says,
"So this took you an hour?"
Jules, work with us.
The Copa has rules.
Band members sit
in the bandstand.
Cliff's not dressed.
You don't even have
a chair for him.
- If your guy's a real singer...
- Real singer?
...then he don't need no guitar
player on the floor with him.
My guy's first single
was number one in America.
He ain't had any hits in here.
I never should've booked him.
We could've had Mark Wilson
in this slot.
Who? The magician?
From The Magical Land
of Allakazam?
I love that show, man.
See? Even that guy knows,
and he looks like an idiot.
- Fuck you, man.
- My dear good friends,
you've been
a wonderful audience.
Thank you very much,
and good night.
- So?
- Thank you.
Should I tell Myron
to do an encore?
He's the one
these people paid to see.
- Sam.
- Give it up for Myron Cohen,
ladies and gentlemen.
Myron Cohen.
- All right, fine. Fine.
- Fine.
- Next up...
- Better not fuck up my arrangements.
...we have a young man
coming to the Copacabana
for the very first time.
You all know him from
his hit song "You Send Me."
Ladies and gents, let's give
a warm Copacabana welcome
for Sam Cooke!
It's great to be
at the Copacabana!
How's everybody feeling tonight?
Uh, I-I want
to tell you that, uh,
ever since I started singing,
before I even knew
I wanted to be a singer,
playing the Copa has always
been a dream of mine.
So thank you for being here
on the night
that dream comes true.
I thought I'd start off
this evening, uh,
with something that
you all might recognize.
Cigarettes, ma'am?
- What time is it? What time is it?
- Uh...
I liked this song so much better
when Debbie Reynolds sang it.
Boy, you... you really did
bomb tonight, Sam.
Motherfucker, have you ever made
a quarter of a million dollars
- Sam, no.
- Well, I have.
So until you do,
keep your fucking mouth shut!
He ain't wrong, though.
You did kind of stink
the place up tonight.
Yeah, I did.
Told him not to sing that song.
- He got all them hits; he chose that one.
- I know.
Yes? May I help you?
Yes, ma'am.
I'm here to see Mr. Carlton.
Would you tell him
that Jim Brown is...
Jim Brown? Oh.
God! From the NFL!
Jim Brown from the NFL is here,
and he wants to see you.
Well, I never.
Would you look
at who's on my porch.
James Nathaniel Brown.
Hello there, Mr. Carlton.
Don't you "hello" me.
Put her there, son.
Come now, have a seat with me.
Can I get you
something to drink?
Lemonade, maybe?
Oh, that's all right.
Thank you, though.
Well, suit yourself.
I'm certainly having me some.
Fetch us a couple glasses
of that lemonade,
- would you, sweetie?
- Yes, Grandpa.
Just in case
you change your mind.
How long you been
back on the island?
Oh, I just got in last night.
And you came by to say hello?
How thoughtful of you, Jimmy.
Well, my aunt says
you were anxious to see me.
I'm an early riser, so I
thought I'd come right on over.
Mm, the early bird
does catch the worm.
But you already know that.
You caught a hell of
a lot of worms this year.
I guess you can say that.
No man who's run
1,860 yards in a season
needs to be so humble.
Actually, it was 1,863.
- Oh, that's more like it.
- Mm-hmm.
That record is gonna stand
the test of time.
You know, I'd happily
give that record back
for a win over the Packers
in that last game.
That Packers win
is gonna be forgotten
by anyone who doesn't live
in Goose Bay by tomorrow.
Your record is gonna be
remembered forever.
I don't see why
I can't have the record
and the win next time.
Right you are, son.
Right you are.
Jimmy, I-I just wanted
to-to let you know,
if there's ever anything
I can do for you,
you should never hesitate
to reach out.
Um, that's...
That's-that's mighty kind
of you, sir.
Oh, our families go way back.
Been looking after one another
since the first folks
settled on this island.
I wanted to make sure
that I told you face-to-face,
as long as I'm still here,
that ain't ever gonna change.
Well, my aunt would be
very happy to hear
such a kind sentiment
from you, Mr. Carlton.
Not everyone else on the island
has been so supportive.
Ah, crabs in a barrel, I say.
To hell with them all.
I, for one, think
that you are a credit
not only to this community but
to the entire state of Georgia.
I've never been prouder to say
that I live on
St. Simons Island
- than I am now.
- Mm.
And I would make
a point of adding
"the place where
the great Jim Brown is from."
- Here you boys go.
- Ah.
Two lemonades.
Thank you, darling.
- Well, thank you.
- Mm.
Uh, sorry to bother you while
you're entertaining, Grandpa,
but if you could
come move that bureau,
when-when you have a moment.
Oh. Sorry.
I almost forgot.
You, uh... you moving
some furniture?
Well, you know, uh, you should
let me help you with that.
Ah, so considerate
of you, Jimmy,
but you know we don't allow
niggers in the house,
so it's quite all right.
It really is wonderful
to see you, son.
You keep up the good work.
Do us all proud.
While city officials,
state agencies, white liberals
and sober-minded Negroes
stand idly by,
a group of Negro dissenters is
taking to street corner
step ladders, church pulpits,
sports arenas
and ballroom platforms
across the United States
to preach a gospel of hate
that would set off
a federal investigation
if it were preached
by Southern whites.
For some time between
now and 1970,
Elijah Muhammad,
founder and spiritual leader
of the group,
Has intimated
that he will give the call
for the destruction
of the white man.
Here you will hear
Elijah Muhammad
introduced by
minister Malcolm X,
the Muslims' New York leader
and ambassador-at-large
for the movement.
Now, in the church,
we-we used to sing the song
"Good News,
the Chariot Is Coming."
- Is-is that right or wrong?
- That's right.
But what we must bear in mind
is that what's good news to you
might be bad news to another.
And while you sit here today
knowing that you have come
to hear good news,
you must realize in advance,
what's good news for the sheep,
well, that might be
bad news for the wolf.
I expected you back hours ago.
I know, I know, I know, I know.
I got back as fast as I could.
Thank goodness you're safe.
...and the wisest
and most fearless
Black man in America...
Where are the girls?
I put them to bed.
Oh, I promised I'd be here
in time to tuck them in.
I'm really sorry.
But you can put them to bed
tomorrow night.
Did you speak to him?
Louis X said that if I decide
to leave the Nation of Islam,
I will be doing so on my own.
- Damn him!
- Betty.
Please just...
don't wake up the girls.
He wouldn't even be
in the Nation if not for you,
let alone running
the Boston temple.
And he remains thankful
for my mentorship.
You told him about
the Messenger's indiscretions?
All of the secretaries,
all of the children?
And that didn't sway him at all?
No, the Honorable
Elijah Muhammad...
Oh, don't say "Honorable."
...was his lure to the Nation,
just like he was for me
and so many others.
Now imagine convincing someone
to convert to Christianity and
then telling that same person
to leave the church because
Christ was not
who you said he was.
Louis could stroll right over
to any of the seedy apartments
Elijah Muhammad has those
poor young girls holed up in
and see the proof of his deeds
with his own eyes.
Perhaps Louis X just isn't
ready to see that truth.
Maybe none of them are.
What are we gonna do now?
The Nation owns this house.
The car.
Everything we have.
The second they learn
about your plan...
I am hoping our friendship
will keep Brother Louis
from sharing our plans
with anyone else.
You can't count on that.
I have to.
I have to until I can
make other arrangements.
What else can be done?
You... We are all alone
if we go through with this.
For the moment.
But I have one more
potential ace up my sleeve.
He can't even swim.
That boy gonna mess around
and drown.
You need to get on out of there
'fore you get yourself killed.
He's right, kid. You need to
get your head into this fight.
My head is
into the fight, Angie.
You sat in on any more
of Liston's training sessions
like I asked?
No need.
No need, no need.
Watching Sonny Liston train
is like... being at the circus.
He looks like one of them
big ugly bears they have
riding around
on tiny little bikes.
All he needs is that
itty-bitty hat on his head.
He ain't no boxer.
He's an animal.
He's an animal that can tear
you apart if you don't focus.
You make the same mistakes
with him as you did with Cooper,
you won't be walking away
from it.
I won that Cooper fight,
didn't I?
You got saved by the bell.
And he would've finished the job
if they didn't stop the fight
from all the bleeding.
Oh, woulda, coulda,
shoulda, didn't.
A win is a win, Ferdie.
I'll be back in a bit.
And where on earth
are you going?
To check on Malcolm.
Oh, good grief.
You got something else
on your mind, Angie?
Do I need to remind you how
unhappy the Louisville Group is
about him being here?
What they got to be mad about?
I been training hard as hell
for this fight.
Well, they're the ones paying
for all the training.
They're paying for all of us.
I'm just letting you know
they've been giving me
a lot of grief.
What business is Malcolm
of theirs?
You don't understand why
a bunch of white businessmen
might be a little stung by a guy
who says they're all
natural born demons?
Mm-hmm. That'd do it.
He said "devils."
Malcolm's never been anything
but kind to you, Angelo.
I know,
but the investors only know
what they see on TV,
and that ain't good.
They pay for my training.
They don't get to choose
my friends for me.
Well, training's what they want
their money going towards,
not some white-man-hating
demagogue's airfare.
What did the investors say
when they gave me my money?
That it was yours to do with...
To do with as I please, Angie.
And if it pleases me
to bring my friend down
to give me
the spiritual support I need
to win this fight,
then that's what I'm gonna do.
They want their money back,
I'll pay it back to all of 'em,
with interest,
after the fight.
Now, if you all will excuse me,
I'll see you back here
in an hour.
He'll be all right.
You got to have faith in him.
Got to have
a little bit of faith.
That sounds nice.
It does, doesn't it?
Ah, shit.
That sounds great.
If I was singing it, maybe,
but not for L.C.
It don't sound
like nothing he'd ever say.
You got that right.
He's more like...
Your brother is so country.
Yeah, look who's talking.
I'm sophisticated.
I don't know why
I go through all the trouble
of getting
a nice hotel room like this
for a old country gal like you.
I didn't ask to stay
at the Fontainebleau.
I'd have been perfectly happy
over at the Sir John
with Cassius
or the Hampton House
with Malcolm
and the rest
of the Black folks like us.
But I do like it here.
It's nice.
And, uh...
...I am glad I decided to come
down here for this, Sam.
With you.
You haven't sung to me
in... a long time.
I know it.
Brother Sam?
Uh, Malcolm!
Is Brother Cassius
there with you?
No. He's probably doing some
last-minute prep for the fight.
- Why?
- Oh, uh...
I thought he might come by
before heading
to the convention center
so we might have a word or two.
Well, have you tried Jim?
Yes. Uh,
Jimmy hadn't seen him, either.
Well, if he calls, I'll tell
him you're looking for him.
Ah. I appreciate that,
Brother Sam.
We'll see you
at the convention center.
- Yeah. I wouldn't miss it.
- All right.
Come in.
Yes, Brother Kareem.
You have a visitor,
Brother Malcolm.
Brother Cassius.
I thought you might not
be able to make it.
Hey, man, ain't no way
I'm going into that ring
without my insurance policy.
All right.
Allahu Akbar.
- Thank you.
- Mm-hmm.
Allahu Akbar.
Allahu Akbar.
You ready for tonight?
Man, I've been training
three years for this fight.
I'm as ready
as a person can be.
Well, uh...
Well, still, it might not hurt
to just tone down the rhetoric
till after the fight.
Why would I do that?
May be easier for you
to focus, Cash,
you know, if, for once,
the only person
gunning for your head
is the guy in the ring
and not the entire arena.
You watch rassling?
Wrestling, no, I can't say
it's part of my daily viewing.
I figured not.
Well, my favorite rassler
is Gorgeous George.
A good-looking fellow,
I take it.
In the European way, sure.
Head full of blond hair
teased up into a nice do.
- Ooh, the crowds must love him.
- Nah.
He preens and he prances around
like a peacock,
talking all kind of smack.
They boo him,
they scream at him,
and the more they scream,
the more he eggs 'em all on.
Oh, so, so he-he's the villain?
Well, sort of.
Rassling is complicated.
And why would you model yourself
after a person
everyone hates, Cash?
Because everyone in that arena
pays $100
to see George lose.
The way I figure it,
win or lose the fight,
George has already won the war.
Well, maybe you fellas just like
going around with targets
on your backs.
Oh, we learned from the best,
Brother Minister.
I got you a ticket
in the second row,
right next to Sam.
- And Jimmy?
- Oh, he's doing, uh,
commentary r-ringside,
but don't worry.
I already told all of them,
after the fight,
we're all coming back here
for the champ's victory party.
And did you...
you tell 'em anything else?
Oh. I didn't.
I didn't get around to it.
I mean, um...
I mean, I plan to.
No, no.
It's all right, my brother.
It's, uh...
The journey is different
for each of us.
Thank you, Malcolm.
All right.
- I got to get back to my team.
- Mm-hmm.
The fight... is at 10:00.
- Don't be late.
- I won't.
Peace be unto you,
young brother.
Peace be unto you.
Stay on top of him.
Clay in the white trunks
with the red stripes,
and an inch and a half taller,
is really bringing the fight
to the champ.
Come on, sucka. Come on.
Come on, Cassius!
Honestly, I'm really happy
that we're here.
I think we got
a really good show. Oh.
Oh. All right.
That's what I'm talking about
right there.
- Come on, Cash!
- Stay on him! Stay on him!
Bang, bang, in and out, Cassius.
- Stay in there! Stay in there!
- Bang, bang.
Outside, in and out, Cassius.
There you are.
There you are.
That's what you want.
Come on, boy.
You gonna get that whuppin'.
Give him
that Liston punch, baby!
Yes. Yes.
Now, see,
the thing about him, man,
he stays on his toes.
Nobody moves like him.
He's just dancing. He floats.
All right, come on, Cash.
Come on, Cash.
Come on.
That's what you want.
That's what you want.
- Stick him, Cash!
- Cash looks good.
He's staying warm.
He's moving well. He's...
Oh, watch that hook, Cash.
Watch that hook.
Come on!
Liston's got Clay
against the ropes.
Get off the ropes, Cash.
Get off the ropes.
Watch him, ref.
Watch him, ref. Come on.
Yeah. There you go.
There you go.
Stay on him.
Damn, Sonny.
You gettin' uglier.
- Get out of there.
- Make a move, Cash!
Take that with you.
Come on, Cash!
- Stick and slide.
- Come on, champ, move!
There we go. You see?
See, he's a smart fighter.
- There you are. Stay on him.
- Stick and slide.
Keep surrounding that jab,
all right?
Okay? Just keep staying
with the plan.
Water, water.
Looking good. Looking good.
He's right where you want him.
He's right where you want him.
All right? Finish him off.
Take that belt home, okay?
Stay on him.
He's looking bad over there.
He's looking bad.
- You got him.
- I told you he's ugly.
- Oh, yeah.
- You should see him up close.
Oh, man, he's ugly.
Let's go. Let's go home.
- Stick him, Cash!
- Let's go, Cassius!
Stick him!
Cassius Clay!
Come on, quit, Sonny.
You're ready to quit.
Go on, quit.
That's it.
Come on, quit.
Go on, quit.
That's it, boy.
That's it, Sonny.
That's it.
- Go on. Quit, then.
- Okay, that's it.
- Go on! Quit, then!
- That's it.
You're the champ!
You're the champ!
I'm the greatest!
I'm king of the world!
- You're the champ!
- I'm king of the world!
I'm a bad man!
- I told them! I told them!
- You're the champ!
You're the champ.
- I told them! I told them!
- You told them! You told them!
I told you! I told you!
I'm the greatest!
I'm king of the world!
- I'm king of the world! I'm pretty!
- You the champ!
That's Sam Cooke.
That's the world's greatest
rock and roll singer.
That's Sam Cooke.
He too pretty.
He too pretty. We both pretty.
- That's Sam Cooke.
- You're beautiful!
- You're beautiful!
- We shook up the world!
We shook up the world!
They got another excuse.
See you at the Hampton House,
They got another excuse.
They say he threw his arm out.
That's Sam Cooke.
Get out my way.
Out my way, out my way.
Get off me.
Malcolm! Malcolm!
Aah! I told 'em! I told 'em!
Eat your words!
Eat your words!
Eat your words! I remember you!
I remember you!
You picked him!
I told you!
I remember you,
and I remember you.
Is this where the party's at?
Mr. Cooke.
I'm Brother Kareem.
The brother minister
instructed us
to let you in
if you arrived early.
I'm the first one here?
That's correct.
Me and my fast-ass cars.
This way, please.
It's a damn dump.
Maybe, maybe, maybe.
Whew, you got to admit,
that brother sure can sing.
If you're into
that sort of thing.
- Too quick, man.
- Too fast!
- I'm fast, man.
- I-I couldn't see...
I think he caught a glimpse
of his own reflection
and got scared.
Is that what it was?
- That was beautiful, Cash.
- Oh.
- What a night!
- Whoa.
Oh, man.
Yes, sir.
He ran out of gas.
There wasn't
a station around nowhere.
I'm telling you, man,
this is the start.
This is the start right here,
- Come out for the seventh.
- Just the beginning.
- That's right.
- Hey.
- Just the beginning.
- Just the beginning.
Where are we going?
What are we doing?
- Whose night is it?
- Where's-where's Sam?
- Come on, man. Show us the way.
- Who's the champ?
- Who's the champ?
- Oh, you know who the champ is.
- Who's the champ?
- You know who the champ is.
- Who?
- I thought I was the champ.
Told 'em. I told 'em.
- You got him in six, Cash.
- I told 'em, El Negro,
Campiano, King Bacadero...
Your friend has already arrived.
- What the hell does that mean?
- I'd assumed.
- King of Miami.
- His car is hard to miss.
- All right.
- Yes.
Well, we let him into your room
as you instructed.
Oh, that's much appreciated.
Is there anything else you need?
No, brother.
We'll be fine from here.
- God is great.
- He really is, isn't he?
The hell took y'all so long?
Ah, well, we didn't run
every damn red light
between the convention center
and Overtown.
Man, we told you
to ride with us.
What, and leave my car
at the arena parking lot?
Fuck that. Besides,
I had to drop off Barbara.
Well, was you sad, Sam?
Sitting in here
all by your lonesome?
I don't need y'all around
to entertain myself.
We figured you'd have
rounded up some girls
before we even got here, boy.
- Where they at?
- Shit, ain't you too tired?
Tired? Boy, I'm energized.
Was before I even threw
the first punch.
All right.
Man, can you believe
they had the nerve
to trot Willie Pastrano
into the ring before the fight?
You know, they say he boxes
just like you, Cash.
Like me?
- Are you insane?
- Hey.
Willie Pastrano... that's
the dancing master, ain't it?
Shit, if he's
the dancing master, I must be
the motherfucking inventor
of dance.
- Just ask Sonny.
- Oh, you goddamn right.
I am 210 and a half pounds
of trouble, boys.
And what they didn't know
was when they weighed me in,
a half pound of it
wasn't even me.
Oh, what was it, Cash?
It was
a half pound of divine skill
- bestowed upon me from God up on high!
- Hey! -JIM: Oh.
- This motherfucker here.
- All right.
They had Joe Louis
on one side of the ring,
Rocky Marciano in the other.
Halfway through the sixth,
out the corner of my eye,
I saw them looking at each other
like they was asking themselves,
"Why couldn't we do that
when we was young?"
I'm serious.
If tonight don't prove God
was with me, then nothing does.
Well, he sure as shit
wasn't with Sonny.
Oh, man,
you know Sonny a damn heathen.
And what do they always say,
The penalty one pays
for avoiding the path
of righteousness
- is walking whatever other path they choose alone.
- Mm-hmm.
Yes, that's right.
Yes, yes, Cassius Marcellus Clay
is the new heavyweight champion
of the world, boys!
- Yes, he is! Yes, he is!
- And I don't even have
a scratch on my fa...
Oh, my goodness.
- Cassius.
- What's wrong, Cash?
What? Cash, what...
Why am I so pretty?
And I'm only 22 years old.
There is no way
I'm supposed to be this great.
Look, Alexander the Great
conquered the whole world
at the age of 30...
- Yeah.
- ...and I conquered the world of boxing at 22,
without sustaining
so much as a scratch.
- That's right. -Ah!
- There he goes!
- You do the math.
- All right.
Where and when is
this party going down?
Yeah, that's a good question.
What's on the agenda, Malcolm?
Well, I thought this would be
a wonderful chance for us
to reflect on
what's happened tonight.
Like our young brother said,
there's no denying
that greater forces
were at work.
You mean...
no one else is coming?
Oh, rest assured, my brother,
you're not missing anything.
But I...
I wanted some pussy tonight.
Ah, it'll be all right, Jimmy.
I think you'll live.
Hey, hey, Malcolm, I...
I-I did not give up a chance
to stay and party
at the Fontainebleau
for this shit.
The Fontainebleau?
The Fontainebleau Miami Beach?
What, you just walked
right up to the counter
- and booked yourself a room, Brother Sam?
- Malcolm, relax.
Allen booked the room.
Allen booked the room.
Allen Klein. The white man.
- That's his job.
- Oh, that's his job?
To tell the other crackers that
you're one of the good ones?
- To do what I ask him to do.
- Will you two quit
the philosophical debate
for five seconds?
Ain't you just heard Jim say
he's getting blue balls?
All right.
We at least have something
to eat while we reflect?
Yes, as a matter of fact,
we do, Brother Sam.
Just because I'm militant
doesn't mean I don't know
how to have a good time.
- What'd I do?
- Yeah!
Ice cream.
I don't suppose you have
any beer in there?
Stupid question.
Chips, then. Maybe chips?
Uh... I'm sure I can send
one of the brothers out
to get some, Sam.
Well, what flavor is it?
Well, we have vanilla, Jimmy...
...and vanilla.
- Shit.
- How's that for irony?
Last time I checked,
Brother Sam,
vanilla was
your flavor of choice.
- Ooh-hoo-hoo.
- All right.
That's right, Jack.
Hey, fellas, I'm just saying,
can't we at least
go some place hoppin'?
The entire city of Miami
is celebrating Cassius's win.
Yeah, they was all expecting
to be partying
with Sonny Liston tonight.
Yeah, and it seem to me
it's not a great idea,
your first night as world champ,
starting it off by throwing
away all that goodwill.
Goodwill? Goodwill from whom?
Goodwill from the press,
who threw their support
behind that thug,
hoping that he'd put
our young brother in his place?
No, you out of your mind, Sam.
And besides, besides,
part of the reason we're here
is to celebrate
Cassius's official transition.
To what?
Shall we give them the news,
Well, I suppose if, uh,
you want to tell them, Malcolm.
Now, wait a second.
You ain't about to say
what I think you gonna say?
I've been thinking
long and hard about it, boys,
and I'm officially joining
the Nation of Islam.
Cassius, are you sure
that's such a good idea?
Why not?
Well, I thought this Muslim jive
was something
to rile up white folks.
- No, it's no jive, Sam.
- The cameras are off, Malcolm.
He became champion
on his own terms.
- Naysayers be damned.
- We can't all just go out
and declare the white man
the devil.
Oh? Why not?
We're entering a new time
where no one can hold us back
from voicing
our honest opinions.
Look at Jimmy.
Jimmy hasn't bitten his tongue
for one day of his career.
Well, you ain't lying.
- Oh, so you agree with him?
- Look, man,
I'm always in the hot seat,
all right?
But as long as I keep winning,
ain't one fucking thing
any racist poot butt
can do about it.
That's right.
Well, if it's such a good idea,
why don't you become
a Muslim, too?
Shit. Have you tasted
my grandmother's pork chops?
I like white women, too.
Fuck that.
Oh, you'll see the light
soon enough, Jimmy.
I don't need to,
hanging around you.
Ain't you ever heard
of guilt by association?
Well, you already do
have plenty of nice suits.
You given any thought
to switching
from straight to bow ties?
Malcolm, you ain't never
gonna catch me
dressed up as
one of your soldiers of Allah.
Ah, no.
I-I've already seen it, Jimmy.
Th-Those pictures I took of you
going to practice looking sharp as a razor.
The spitting image, Cash,
of a-a powerful,
Black Muslim warrior.
- I know it.
- A photo never lies, Jimmy.
Photo never lies.
It-it al...
What's wrong, Malcolm?
Just remembered I left
my new camera in the car.
- Better go get it.
- Now?
Yeah. I just got that camera.
Oh, don't sweat it, man.
The bodyguards have
this whole place locked down.
They'll see anybody
messing with your car.
Is everything all right,
Brother Malcolm?
Yes, brother. I just need
to get something from the car.
I'll accompany you.
Watch the door.
Yes, brother.
Hey, what's wrong, brother?
Ain't your shit safe here
in the Black community?
Your friend is
quite the truculent one.
Well, entertaining white people
in the South
will bring the truculence
out of any Black man.
What are you,
a giant fucking baby?
No, man.
I can't help it.
I'm full of energy.
Well, this party's
off to a hoppin' start.
I-I just know we are not
fittin' to sit here
in this little-ass room
all night.
It's not like anyone else
is planning a victory party.
The diner downstairs
is open all night.
We could throw
this shindig there
if Malcolm would
lighten the hell up.
He's just looking out
for me, Sam.
He's a big boy, Cash.
Still, you ain't
got to antagonize him.
He should be able to handle
being called out on his shit,
especially since he's made
such a name for himself
calling everyone else out
on theirs.
Why you got
to push back so hard
on everything, Sam?
'Cause I'm
a pushy motherfucker.
- And I ain't changing.
- Oh, grow up.
Mm... you two.
You want some ice cream?
Everything okay, brother?
Yes, brother.
I should make a call
while I'm down here.
Well, is the phone in your room
not working?
I prefer privacy
when I speak to my wife.
I'd rather not
send all the fellas out.
I'll be right back.
You know the thing that'll
make this a little bit better?
- Sam's stash.
- Fuck y'all.
- Come on, man. Where is it?
- No. No way.
Hey, check his guitar case.
For what?
Just look, fool.
Ain't gonna find it.
I bet he will find something.
I bet you that cheap
purple suit we will.
Don't drink
all my shit, neither.
Hi, Daddy.
Hey, sweetheart.
What are you doing up so late?
You woke me up.
Oh, I'm sorry. I'm sorry.
I didn't mean to wake you up,
uh, but I'm glad you answered
because I've got
something for you.
You want it now?
All right, well, I need you
to get down from the stool.
I want you to take
three big jumps forward.
Now look to your left.
Now what's in front of you?
Books, that's right.
Now I want you to take
one of those books.
Which one?
It's your favorite number.
One, two, three,
four, five, six.
There you go.
Now open it up.
Take a look inside.
You see it?
- Thank you, Daddy.
- You be a good girl
- and you read that to your sisters, okay?
- Okay.
It's time to go to bed.
It's Daddy.
I understand, sweetheart,
but it's time to go to bed.
Can I talk to him
for a few more minutes?
Where are you?
Who is it?
Can I get anything for you,
Nah, man.
We're all good in here.
Oh, good. Good.
Say, champ,
you don't suppose you could
see your way to signing
an autograph for me?
Uh, yeah, of course, man.
Yeah, come on in.
Yeah. You got to make sure
your superior officer
don't catch you?
Oh, yeah. Brother Kareem
can run a pretty tight ship,
but he's committed to teaching
the young brothers discipline.
Yeah, well, I never been a fan
of no tight ship.
Oh, quit messing with
the young brother, Jim.
- Here, give him an autograph.
- Oh, yeah.
That-That'd be great.
And, actually, champ,
I-I'm a couple
of years older than you.
Oh, see,
I'm such an overachiever,
sometimes I forget.
- Yeah.
- Now, you know Jim Brown here
is the strongest man
in the whole world?
Oh, yeah.
See, I'm from Toledo.
We've been watching Mr. Brown's
games for years now.
Actually, I almost
got to go to one.
- Oh, yeah?
- Yeah.
Nah, I didn't have no money.
Mr. Cooke.
If you wouldn't mind.
Oh, sure thing, brother.
Hey, man.
Mind if I ask you a question?
Yeah, sure.
You like being a Muslim?
Well, it... it beats being
a purse thief from Toledo.
Yeah, I know that's right.
No, I mean, but...
I mean, was it hard,
you know, giving up stuff?
Well, I reckon so.
I used to love me a nice
Champale every now and then.
Certainly miss
my grandmama's pork chops.
- See?
- And it can be difficult.
- You know, like, the schedule.
- Yeah.
I mean, but none of that's
gonna apply to you anyway, so...
What you mean?
I'm just saying, I don't think
you'll be spending much time
handing out pamphlets is all.
Yeah. Yeah,
I suppose you're right.
Say, man.
Do you have any regrets?
Oh, regrets? I...
You know, with hitching
your cart to the Muslim train.
Yeah. Uh...
Yes, um...
I th... I-I think
you can say I do.
I regret that I didn't join up
when I was even younger.
This kid named Rollo
used to chase me home
from school every damn day.
He's the reason I stopped going.
Now, I reckon if I would've
gotten with the brothers sooner,
we could've nipped it in the bud
and put a foot in Rollo's ass.
You know what I'm saying?
Yeah, you don't need religion
for that, kid.
You could just join a gang.
What's the damn difference?
Anyway, I-I better get going
before Brother Kareem gets back.
Hey, we're all proud
of you, champ.
- Thanks, brother.
- Yeah.
Drink up while you can.
- Damn.
- Mm-hmm.
He did it.
I heard.
Praise Allah.
Are you crying?
I'm just... happy.
So am I.
So am I.
And is he going to...
He'll be announcing tomorrow
morning that he's a Muslim.
Well, do you think
he'll go along with your plan?
Well, it's too soon to tell,
but, uh, I feel good about it.
Oh, Malcolm.
You were the only one
who believed in him.
It's only fitting that you and
Cassius be blessed in this way.
That you do this thing together.
Well, I really do
believe in him, Betty.
Well, he believes in you, too.
As well as he should.
Hey, Cash.
Can I tell you something?
Of course, man, anything.
I did a movie.
You produced a movie?
Nah, man, I starred in one.
Oh, well, that's great, Jim,
but you're not an actor.
That's what I told the cat
who wanted to cast me,
but he put me
in his Western anyway.
- A Western, huh?
- Yeah.
Okay, so, uh,
who-who do you play?
I play a buffalo soldier.
I'm part of this special unit,
and, uh, we're tracking
this Confederate general.
He's being protected
by these Apaches.
- That sounds pretty good.
- Yeah.
- So you're the hero?
- One of them.
But my character gets killed
about halfway through,
so when...
No, nothing, man. I just...
I should've known as soon as
you said "Black action hero,"
the next part of that sentence
was gonna be "who gets killed."
It went well, man.
I think there might be
a future for me in this.
Being the sacrificial Negro
in some Western
ain't the same as the NFL, man.
But how much you getting paid
to be in this movie?
- Damn.
- Mm-hmm.
That's pretty good.
It's a lot easier
on my knees, too.
Yeah, but the only reason
they want you in that movie
is 'cause people know you
from football.
I mean, you need the game,
just like I need boxing.
We're all just gladiators, Cash,
with our ruler
sitting up there in his box,
giving us the thumbs up
or the thumbs down.
Well, I don't want
no damn ruler.
All right?
Shit, it's only so much running
one man can do, anyway.
Oh, speak for yourself.
I plan to run, dance and fight
well into my old age.
Is everything
okay at the house?
The girls behaving themselves?
As best as they can.
Is everything okay?
Yes, everything's fine. Uh-huh.
- Evening.
- Hi, Sam Cooke.
I was wondering what was taking
you so long to find a camera.
I had to check in with Betty.
Well, shouldn't you be checking
in with Barbara at the hotel?
Nah, she's on her way back
to Los Angeles.
I hope I haven't unnecessarily
kept you away from her.
What you looking at?
Let's make our way back
to the hotel, Sam.
Oh, here they come.
My goodness.
You must have super hearing
for real.
I'm Jim motherfucking Brown.
Hey, uh, remember, man,
just don't say anything
about the movie shit.
Why are you embarrassed
about it?
It's not a big deal.
Just don't say a goddamn thing.
Mum's the word.
Thank you.
Brother Malcolm.
What are you handsome, rich...
Brother Malcolm.
Is there anything
I can help you with?
Uh, no, brother.
We're-we're doing just fine.
Well, you know where I am
if you need me.
- God is great.
- Yes, he is.
What's with him?
He thinks
someone's following him.
You didn't see those two white
guys across the street, Sam?
I know when I'm being watched.
How you know
they wasn't watching me?
Shit, I'm famous.
They ain't all
after you, Malcolm.
Yeah, Hoover's lackeys
have been following me around
so long,
they know where I'm gonna be
before I do.
See what happens when you don't
get enough exercise?
Your mind goes haywire.
Yeah, as a matter of fact,
maybe some exercise
is just what we all need.
What say we stretch
our legs, boys?
- Are you serious?
- As a heart attack.
I know when
I'm being watched, Sam.
Well, your paranoia is really
cramping my style, Malcolm.
Come on, just 'cause
you can't see bugs don't mean
they ain't in the house, Sam.
Up on this dirty-ass roof.
Why don't you be like Bing
Crosby about that shit, man,
and accentuate
the motherfucking positive?
Look at this view.
I bet
they're doing them for me.
It's nice, ain't it, Malcolm?
Yeah, it's most definitely
soothing, Cash.
The air up here is cooler.
Far away from the prying eyes
of your G-men.
Yeah, well, you joke
all you want, Sam,
but I'm telling you
it's got worse
since the tension
between me and Mr. Muhammad.
I met with a writer in New York
a few weeks back.
There were two guys following
us through the airport.
Swear it was the same two.
I thought
you didn't trust writers.
This one was a brother, and...
well, this meeting
was important.
I figure I'd better start
getting my life story documented
in my own words while I can.
What are you talking about, man?
Jimmy, there's, uh...
...there's been this feeling
permeating the air as of late.
- Uh, anger?
- Anxiety?
More like menace.
Foreboding or...
Well, Jim's quitting football
- to become a movie star, y'all.
- Cassius! What the fuck?
Sorry, man. I had to do
something to lighten the mood.
Holy shit, you are?
Oh. Look, hey, hey, man.
I'm not quitting football, okay?
I'm just exploring other
options for after it ends.
I think it's a great idea.
Yeah, you get
that career going, Jim.
Yeah, well, L.A.'s the land
of milk and honey, baby.
We can do whatever
we want to out there.
You can't live in Beverly Hills.
Don't need to. Got our own
Black Beverly Hills.
And we got the better view.
Baldwin Hills, baby.
Top of the hill,
looks out over the whole city,
mountains in the distance.
Nicer than Harlem.
Hell of a lot nicer
than Overtown.
No tenements or slumlords.
It's just sunshine,
pools and beaches.
Don't need no Green Book
telling you
- where you can and can't go.
- Hmm.
The only color that matters
out in Cali is that green.
You sound like
you might be getting
a bit seduced
out there, brother.
Yeah, you know, I'm the one
doing all the seducing.
Well, you watch out
for this one, Jimmy.
He'll lead you down
the primrose path.
Shit, the only disasters
out in Hollywood
are up there
on that movie screen.
Now, trust me, Jimmy,
there's a real future in it.
Well, I should be
in movies, too, then.
Damn, I'm too pretty
not to be up on screen.
There you go!
- And you, too, Malcolm.
- Yeah?
Mm, you could be our-our director.
Come on, show us the camera.
Come on, man,
show us the camera.
Well...'s a pretty
fantastic camera.
All right.
Betty got it for me.
- It's a Rolleiflex...
- Bee sting!
- Oh! -That cam... camera...
- Damn, come on!
- Hey. Hey, guys, over here.
- Sam, please, please. Sam!
- Ha!
- Jimmy, what, you blew your wig?!
Give me the damn camera!
You lost your mind?
You know how much
this thing costs?
I think we done hit a nerve.
Malcolm done dropped the
affected speech and everything.
Yeah, that's right.
I got more rep than all three...
One, two, three of you clowns
put together.
Oh, come on, man.
Rep don't carry over
from decade to decade.
Tired-ass 1940s slang you using.
That was definitely
not hep, daddy-o.
Talking about "blew your wig."
Just show us the camera, Negro.
Fine, just stop joking
for a second.
SAM and JIM:
"You blew your wig."
- "Blew your wig."
- Oh, he's taking a picture.
Oh, uh, hold on. Wait.
- Looking sharp now.
- It's a Rolleiflex 3.5.
A German twin-lens
reflex camera.
It's a fine piece
of engineering, gents.
You see, it has this,
uh, pop-out viewfinder.
Well, it looks bulky.
No, Jimmy, it's a work of art.
Yeah. Besides, uh, you know,
I've always got my Nikon handy
for taking photos on the move.
Like when you're running
from the Feds?
Or, uh, riding on a camel.
Mm. Where to?
Ah, you're going
to Saudi Arabia?
All Muslims are
supposed to do it
at least once
in their lives, Sam.
And, well, since I'm not doing
any speaking right now, this...
this feels like
as good a time as any.
Oh, maybe I'll take a few
detours while I'm out there.
Be quite amazing to see
the Great Pyramids.
Man, that sounds fantastic.
Oh, it will be.
If your schedule permits,
you should join me.
Hey, count me in.
- Yeah?
- Count me in.
I mean, fine African sisters.
Come on, Jim,
I know you're down with that.
Oh, with the ladies,
most definitely.
But I'm up for another part.
So, see, in between that
and camp,
I won't have time
for a trip to Africa.
Hey, you should consider
coming as well, Sam.
Leaving this country
in the rearview for a while
is a great way
to get some perspective.
Nah, I'm busy, too.
One can never be too busy
for some added perspective.
Nah, I'm swamped, man.
And I got to prep
to go back to the Copa.
Oh, come on, man.
You need to go on
and forget about the Copa.
It was not that bad.
Come on, man.
All right, fine,
maybe it was that bad.
Well, y-you don't shuck
and jive enough
for those ofay tastes.
I may not dance around a stage
like Jackie or James Brown,
but that's not what
I'm selling, all right?
I'm selling my voice,
my words, my image...
my-my message.
Your message? Hmm.
The problem is, at the Copa,
you have to sell that message
to a bunch of white folks.
That don't matter.
They got souls, don't they?
And every living thing
with a soul
can have that soul tapped into.
- I thought you'd know that.
- Do you think,
just maybe,
your energy's misdirected, Sam,
trying to tap into
white people's souls?
No, I don't.
If I win them over,
playing our music,
I'm-I'm knocking down doors
for everybody.
You watch and see.
It's not gonna always be
the pop charts over here,
Black music charts over there.
- One day, it's gonna be one chart...
- Mm.
...with one music,
for all people.
What kind of message
are you sending, though,
by doing one show
for white folks
and a completely different show
for Black folks, Sam?
You... N-No, listen to me.
You're performing in-in places
where the only Black people
not onstage are the ones
serving the food.
Don't you think I know that?
Can't tell you how many times
I wanted to reach out
and punch somebody, but you c...
Then, then, then, then
strike with the weapon
that you have, man, your voice!
Black people...
We-we standing up.
We-we speaking out.
Sam, you have possibly
one of the most effective,
beautiful outlets of us all.
Y-You're not using it
to help the cause, brother.
The hell I'm not.
I got the masters to my songs.
I started a label.
I'm producing
tons of Black artists.
Don't you think my determining
my creative and business destiny
is every bit
as inspiring to people
as you standing up on a podium
trying to piss them off?
Oh, wait a minute. I forgot.
That's all you do!
Sam, I do plenty.
Oh, do you? Let's see.
You suck at sports.
Well, I-I was never
much into football.
Can't sing.
Damn sure can't make shit
out of no peanut.
Is there a point
to this rant, Sam?
My point is that sometimes
I feel like you're just like
all the rest of them people out
there, obsessed with the stars.
Oh, no, no, no, Cash.
- You look around. Look around.
- Let him finish.
Which one of us don't belong?
- Don't belong?
- Don't belong.
Brother Sam,
the only person here
white people seem to like...
That would be you.
Hey, y'all need
to cool it now, man.
You know, you always managed
to just be around for shit,
haven't you?
Maybe your daddy
should've beaten you better.
- Jimmy, I'm gonna kick this motherfucker's ass.
- Oh, whoa.
You can let him go. Let him go.
Everything all right,
Brother Malcolm?
- What do you want?
- Hey. Hey.
- Get your motherfucking hands off me!
- Hey. Hey.
Oh, I don't think so.
Our job here is to protect
the brother minister.
Listen, Kareem, I don't need
your protection, brother.
Well, now that that's settled,
away you go.
Negro, I will leave
when I am good...
You best think long and hard
'fore you wag that tongue at me.
God is great.
Yeah, greater than any of us.
Ah, yeah.
Your security people
are assholes.
Yeah, I don't choose them.
What's wrong with you, Sam?
You're supposed to be
smooth, man.
Ain't easy being smooth with
this sandpaper nigga around.
You two done fighting now?
I wasn't trying
to fight nobody.
That's Malcolm.
Always pissed off.
"Pissed off"?
You say "pissed off,"
Brother Sam?
You know, what is
going on around us,
it should make everyone angry.
Uh, you know,
you bourgeois Negroes,
you're too happy,
uh, with your scraps
to really understand
what is at stake here.
What, you-you think
Cash being the world champ
is gonna protect him
from the devils
that harassed him from
the first day that he got here?
Mm, I'd like to see them try.
- Huh? And Jimmy.
- Hmm?
Jimmy is the best
football player in the world,
but he is also giving money
to Black-owned businesses.
What, you-you don't think
that-that threatens
a lot of white people?
You don't think the FBI is
probably starting
to follow him around, too?
Oh, man, now you're gonna
fucking jinx me.
And that is why, Brother Sam,
this-this movement that
we are in is called a struggle.
Because we are fighting
for our lives!
And what words are we hearing
from you, brother?
Mm, Mr. Soul.
Or maybe this one.
Wow, Sam.
Your music is deep, brother.
Hey, man, I love them songs.
self-righteous motherfucker.
And, to boot, most of them are
versions of the church songs
that nurtured you.
You-you twisted them
and you perverted them
to feed a-a white crowd.
That is bullshit.
Most of the artists I work with
are gospel sing...
And do you have any idea what
I've given back to the church?
Do you know... h-how many times
do I have to hear that, Jimmy?
You know, that has got to be
the greatest fault
of you so-called,
uh, successful Negroes.
- You'll do something detrimental...
- Here he goes. your own people
with the promise that-that,
after you get rich, then you're
gonna make it back up to them.
With-with a handout.
Or some gesture of patronage.
- Malcolm, Malcolm, all right.
- No, Jimmy.
And what you don't get,
Brother Sam:
you've made it, brother.
But for all the others,
the majority of people
who had their own
self-destructive dreams
and didn't make it,
what they left behind?
No, all they left behind
is a legacy of negativity!
But that's okay,
'cause they all meant well.
Malcolm, will you please
have some damn ice cream?
You will never be loved
by the people
you're trying so hard
to win over.
You're just a windup toy
in a music box.
A-A monkey.
That's what you are.
You're a monkey dancing
for an organ grinder to them.
Y'all pulled out the knives.
And if I get cut,
I'm fittin' to hurt somebody.
who-who were those English boys
you-you were hanging out with
a couple days ago?
The Beatles.
Yes, The "Be-a-tles."
All that time you spent
on the road, Sam,
entertaining the children
of bigots,
and at the end of the day,
white folks would still rather
import their popular music.
Just hold on one second.
Now, yeah, The Beatles,
th-they're funny...
...but they ain't no Sam Cooke.
they're more of a fad.
Yeah, well, if not them,
then-then someone else, Cash.
The bottom line: this is
too important a time, brother,
to be wasting a-a brilliant
and-and creative mind
on pandering.
And it's too damn hot in here
to be wearing that blazer.
So what's your point?
My-my point is,
Brother Sam, that I am just
one voice in this struggle.
Just one.
And Cassius, Cassius...
He's another
who-who pushes us forward with
his fists and with his words.
And Jimmy, Jimmy pushes us
forward with his fearlessness
and-and his relentlessness.
My point is that you, brother,
you could be the loudest voice
of us all.
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad
says that if we...
No, hold on, hold on.
Now, I ain't ask you
what the Honorable
Elijah Muhammad thought.
I asked you what you thought.
There you go with,
"The Honorable Elijah Muhammad
says this,
Honorable Elijah Muhammad
says that."
And when the Honorable
Elijah Muhammad tells you
to shut the fuck up,
- you damn sure do that, too.
- No.
What is going on
between the Nation and me, Sam,
- is way more complicated.
- But you still obey them.
When they tell you
to come out here
and-and recruit Cassius
to become a member of something
you don't even seem to believe!
What are you talking about?
I'm not making... I'm not...
I'm not making Cassius
do anything!
Ca... He came to me for insight.
He-he had questions.
His passion for Islam
comes from a pure place, Sam.
"Passion" is...
...kind of a strong word.
Well, you couldn't stop talking
about how excited you were
- to come out with your faith to the world, Cash.
- True.
True. I was.
I am. It's just that...
- What is it?
- If we're being completely honest and all,
I guess being a Muslim
sounded like a much better idea
before tonight.
How could you have
any second thoughts, Cash? I...
You're on top of the world.
I-I don't understand.
He didn't actually think he was
gonna win tonight, Malcolm.
- Cash?
- Course I knew.
I'm the best...
I'm the greatest
there ever will be.
- I'm-I'm just saying that...
- Easy, Cassius.
No, I'm good.
I'm just a little nervous
is all.
That's natural, ain't it?
It takes a hustler
to see a hustle.
Say, let me ask you something,
Mr. Know-It-All.
How is it helpful
for Black people
to run their businesses
different than everyone else's?
Dumber than everyone else's?
No one's accused you of making
bad business decisions, Sam.
You might as well have.
You think I don't know
about the British Invasion?
I invested
in the British Invasion.
I have these protgs.
Five Womack brothers.
The youngest one, Bobby, wrote
this song, "It's All Over Now."
Great tune.
The band records it.
It's fantastic.
All over the R&B charts.
It even went to number 94
on Billboard's Hot 100.
Then I get a call from England.
One of these British bands
wants to record
- a cover version.
- The Beatles?
Nah, Cash. They call themselves
the Rolling Stones.
Oh, like the Muddy Waters song.
So, Bobby's like, you know,
"No damn way, man.
That's our song, man."
But... I get the final say,
and I'm looking
at the big picture.
And I give the Rolling Stones
permission to record it.
- You did?
- I did.
And the Rolling Stones' version
of the song
goes all the way to number one.
Not on the R&B charts.
Pop charts.
But, of course, you know,
once this version
of the song gets big,
Bobby's version just disappears.
Right? Falls off
the R&B charts. It's just gone.
So, of course, Bobby's crushed.
Yes, as well he should be, Sam.
Let me finish.
He's crushed
for about six months.
Because, six months later,
that first royalty check
comes in.
And because Bobby's the writer
and my company owns
the rights to the song,
that means every time...
Some white girl buys
a copy of that single,
she putting money
into my pockets.
Our pockets.
White boys out there
touring around,
they ain't even know
they working for us.
Next thing you know,
Bobby's like,
"The Rolling Stones
want to cover
any more versions of my songs?"
You know who gets paid more
than the writer of a song
that hits number 94
on the Billboard Hot 100?
The writer of a song that hits number one.
I already knew that.
Now Bobby knows it, too.
Tell me
how it's not empowerment.
Everybody talks about
they want a piece of the pie.
Well, I don't.
I want the goddamn recipe.
I congratulate you
on being so shrewd, brother.
You just don't get
how everything's not
so black and white
like you make it out to be.
In your mind, President Kennedy
getting assassinated
is just another one
of those white devils
getting what they deserve.
Well, I liked JFK, man.
My mama cried when he died.
Mine did, too.
How do you think it made me feel
to have her see my friend on TV,
talking about "good riddance"?
No. I-I didn't,
I didn't say... No.
Sam, I didn't say
"good riddance."
You said it was "chickens
coming home to roost"!
Yes, I was trying
to make a point, brother!
- You were paraphrasing.
- Tell you something else.
My whole family lives
on the South Side of Chicago,
not up in Harlem where you are.
- The Black Muslims...
- "The Nation of Islam" to you.
The Nation of Islam
is huge in Chicago.
I know where
Elijah Muhammad's house is.
It's the biggest one
for miles around.
Looks like
the mayor's residence.
Oh, yeah.
I been there for dinner.
Oh, you been there for dinner.
So you see how
he lives like a pharaoh.
Never says nothing about
the crooked Black alderman
who's running numbers,
pushing drugs,
doing all the things
to hurt the community,
meanwhile condemning
those white devils.
Come off it, Malcolm.
Oh, I got something
for your ass.
This is the clue that's gonna
solve the crime, Officer?
Oh, you could say that.
You know, I was thinking about
this song I heard on the radio
the other day, Sam.
It's a song
that made me think of you.
Turns out it's pretty popular.
I just love those lyrics.
Especially in the beginning.
"How many roads
must a man walk down
before you can call him a man?"
It's as though he's asking,
"How much do the oppressed
have to do
before they can be recognized
as human beings?"
That really gets you thinking,
don't it?
I already know
"Blowin' in the Wind," Malcolm.
I heard it
when it first came out.
It didn't make you angry?
Why would it?
Isn't this Bob Dylan fella
a white boy from Minnesota?
So what?
This is a white boy
from Minnesota
who has nothing to gain
from writing a song
that speaks more
to the struggles of our people,
more to the movement,
than anything
that you have ever penned
in your life, brother.
I-I know I'm not the shrewd
businessperson you are,
my brother, but since you say
being vocally in the struggle
is bad for business,
why has this old song
gone higher on the pop charts
than anything you got out?
Why has this song gone higher
on the pop charts
than anything you got out?
- Nope, nope, nope, nope, nope.
- Sam.
- Come on, Sam.
- Sam.
Come back here, man.
- Sam!
- Sam!
Goddamn it.
Good riddance.
That wasn't necessary.
Yes, that absolutely
was necessary, Cash.
- We're supposed to be friends, man!
- Yes!
Well, I am his friend,
and that is why
I am trying to give him
a wake-up call!
There is no more room
for anyone...
Not you, not me,
not Jimmy, not Sam...
No one to be standing
on the fence anymore!
Our people are literally dying
in the streets every day!
Black people are dying!
Every day!
And a line has got to be drawn
in the sand, Jimmy.
A line that says, "Either
you stand on this side with us,
or you stand over on that side
against us," Cash.
And I-I believe,
I believe in that brother's
potential, Jimmy,
too much!
Too much to let him stay
over on the other side.
I better go get him
before he drives off.
You know...
I always find it kind of funny
how you light-skinned cats
end up being so damn militant.
What do you mean?
Well, you are yellow as the sun.
When I think
about who the most outspoken,
consequences-be-damned brothers
out there are,
it's always
you light-skinned boys.
You know, you, W.E.B. Du Bois,
Adam Clayton Powell...
Well, I-I...
I never pay any attention
to complexions, Jimmy,
because we are all,
we are all Black people.
Don't suddenly talk to me
like I'm stupid.
You know we are all
far from the same.
When the white folks
ain't around,
you see
the-the light-skinned girls
gather together in one corner,
all the dark-skinned girls
gather in the other and...
You know.
Coming up,
light-skinned cats get it harder
from Black people sometimes
than they do
from the white people.
Yeah. What are you
trying to say?
I just wonder
if all this pushing
and "hard line" this
and "hard line" that
is really about trying to prove
something to white people,
or, Malcolm, is it about trying
to prove something
to Black people?
Oh, well, I...
It's, uh...
It's a very interesting way
of looking at things,
I suppose.
Just something I noticed is all.
I just don't think
you should begrudge Sam
for being about his business.
He's got to be.
I mean, if the goal is
for us to be free,
to really be free...
And you know it is.
...then the key
is economic freedom.
And no one's more
economically free than Sam.
Shit, technically,
he's the only one of us
not waiting on a paycheck
from a white man.
Oh, I-I'm not waiting
on no paycheck
- from no white man, Jimmy.
- You don't have a job, Negro.
Well, I...
Shit. In the literal sense.
- You-you... Yeah.
- I know what you...
Yeah, I-I know, I know.
I know what you meant.
Hey, man.
You know, the one thing
white folks are masters at
is tapping into our passions
to a point
that we forget
about the important stuff.
I thought you loved
being the hero of the NFL.
A hero, you say?
I ain't no damn hero to them.
You see, Malcolm,
some white folks...
some white folks
just cannot wait
to pat themselves on the back
for not being cruel to us.
Like we should be
singing hosannas
just because they found
the kindness in their hearts
to almost treat us
like real human beings.
I mean, do... do you expect
a dog to give you a medal
for not kicking it that day?
I hate those motherfuckers more
than the rednecks
who just put it all out there.
And I'll be damned
if I ever forget
what they really think of me.
Well, I have no doubt
that you won't, Jimmy.
And the thing
that I love about Sam... that
he doesn't forget, either.
And he does not deserve
you implying otherwise.
No, I'm not implying, J... I'm...
Jimmy, I am implying
that brothers like Sam
and you a-and Cassius...
You all are
our greatest weapons.
We are not anyone's weapons,
You need to be, Jimmy.
You need to be
for-for us to win.
Hey, man. Hey, hey.
Talk to me.
Tell me now,
what is going on?
Ain't no slug bug.
- I know that mother be trucking.
- Man.
Oh, man, they got bread.
Hold on.
Y'all got any spare change?
Uh, sure, kid.
Hang on.
- How's it going?
- How's it going, youngblood?
Y'all split that.
Thank you.
Hey, congratulations, champ.
- Hit me up with it.
- You got it, brother.
I could get used to that.
Watch out.
Malcolm will have 'em calling
you "Champ X" like a damn fool.
Malcolm's had it rough
these past few months.
Oh, Malcolm's had it rough?
He's getting worn down.
So, Muslim, huh?
It won't change my friendship
with you and Jim.
- You don't know that.
- The hell I don't.
We have to be there
for each other.
Because can't nobody else
what it's like being
one of us except us.
"One of us"?
You know.
Young, Black,
famous, unapologetic.
There's gonna be a target
on your back.
It was gonna be there anyway.
This ain't about civil rights.
Those activists ain't do squat
about them four little girls
that got bombed in Alabama.
That's why they're preaching
to a deaf congregation,
'cause they ain't giving Black
people what they really want.
And what's that?
What you have
but take for granted.
Black power.
I like the sound of that.
So do I.
My man.
So do they.
Power just means a world where
we're safe to be ourselves.
To look like we want.
To think like we want.
Without having to answer
to anybody for it.
And after all we put in, don't
Black folks deserve that much?
We can do whatever
we want now, brother.
So, tell me.
What do you want to do?
I want a damn party.
I mean, don't you?
So let's go.
Miami, are you ready?!
The champ!
Look now! You'll never see
something so pretty!
Hey, hey, the gang's all here.
Good. You caught him.
I wasn't running nowhere.
I am ready to take care
of, uh, hosting duties, though.
- Really?
- Malcolm, you've had the floor long enough.
It's time to take this party
to the Fontainebleau.
You've obviously forgotten
Brother Cassius
no longer drinks.
And you obviously haven't
smelled his breath
in the last hour.
Hey, let it go, man.
Let it go.
All right.
Sam, what is this, uh,
this problem between us, Sam?
I don't got no problem with you.
I got a problem with this guy.
You used to be, you used to be
such a fun cat.
Now you acting in private
the way you are on camera.
Sam, I-I...
was always this person.
Maybe, but you were also
always so much...
Fellas, y'all ready?
You remember, uh,
the first time we met, Sam?
I'm tired of answering
your questions, man.
Is that a no?
Of course I do.
It was, uh... Harlem.
You didn't even know who I was.
I said that at the time,
but I knew who you were.
A lot of the brothers
had been requesting shifts
- outside the Apollo that week.
- Is that a fact?
That's a fact.
And I understood
because I caught
one of your shows in Chicago.
You've been to one of my shows?
No. I've, uh, been to...
...five of them.
Including the one in Boston.
Shit. Boston?
Mm-hmm. Really.
Well, hell, what happened
in Boston?
You mind if I recount
the story, Sam?
No, no. Go ahead.
- Yeah?
- Yeah.
Well, uh,
this show, um, Sam, he was
playing with Jackie Wilson...
I was there to see Sam,
of course,
but Jackie was the opener.
He was doing his usual routine,
shuckin' and jivin'
like those types do.
Not really my cup of tea,
you know.
But thankfully,
it came to an end,
and, you know, Sam was
getting ready to come onstage.
Yeah, I knew he was
about to class this joint up.
Yeah! Hey!
I warmed them up for you,
Don't fuck up now.
Ladies and gentlemen,
let's give it up for Sam Cooke!
Sam comes, uh,
strolling out onto the stage.
Cash, the crowd...
Boom. Wow.
Ah! Boston!
Thank you.
Sam, I love you!
Sam steps up
to the microphone,
wraps his hand around it...
You know how Sam does,
like, uh, he caresses it,
like, uh,
one might caress
a delicate piece of crystal.
Or a pretty little fox.
An NFL championship trophy.
- You want me to finish this story, Jimmy?
- Oh, go ahead.
Yeah. Like I was saying,
he-he... he caresses the mic,
pulls it close to his lips,
opens his mouth...
Sound went out.
- What?
- Mm-hmm.
That wasn't the sound system, was it?
The microphone is off!
I know. H-How's that
for some bad luck?
Bad luck, my ass.
Jackie was always
the king of sabotage.
Sam was now stuck onstage
with no sound
and a worked-up Boston crowd.
Well, things escalated quickly.
My band was out of there
like some runaway slaves.
Where the fuck y'all going?
We're musicians,
not bodyguards, baby.
Good luck.
But Sam, he just, he just
stood there on that stage.
I remember thinking to myself,
"This young brother is fittin'
to get himself killed."
W-Well, then what happened?
Something, uh...
Something amazing happened.
Y'all know "Chain Gang"?
All right,
I'm-a, I'm-a do it
a cappella, all right?
I'll kick your ass!
All right, let's go.
- All right.
- Let's go.
Come on.
Let me hear you.
Yeah, and I saw him up there,
covered in sweat and...
and singing to 'em.
But, you know,
in the back where I was,
you couldn't hear anything
except that chant.
You know, and...
you know what?
That was, uh...
that was good enough.
Yes, that was...
...that was
one hell of a show, Sam.
That sounds like something.
It really was, Cash.
It really was.
Brother, you could
move mountains
without lifting a finger.
Listen, if-if I give you
a hard time, it's...
you know, it's only because
I-I think so highly of you.
You know, you brothers,
you-you all are-are
our bright and shining future.
I... I never, I never
lose sight of that.
Well, you're part of
that future, too, Malcolm.
I'm flattered, really. I'm...
Taking the world
on your shoulders is
bad for your health.
Yeah, well,
he won't have to carry it
by himself much longer.
'Cause we gonna be
in the Nation together.
I know.
I know.
What is it?
Well, like I said, my, um...
my relationship
with, uh, the Nation has...
has gotten complicated.
I-I don't know how much longer
I'll be in it.
Wait a second. You're leaving
the Nation of Islam?
I thought once you went in,
you were in it for life.
I guess I'll be, uh...
I'll be putting that theory
to the test, Sam.
Why would you want to leave?
All the things you told me.
The things you showed me
that the Nation does.
Oh, Cash, there's...
there's lots of good and
righteous brothers and sisters
in the Nation,
but it's the leadership
that has-has shown
that it's not up to the task.
So you're gonna help me
cross over to being a Muslim
and then quit being Muslim?
No. No, no, no. No, Cassius.
I will always, always be Muslim.
I-In, you know, in fact, I-I...
I guess you could say, uh, I'm
becoming more Muslim than ever.
I'm not understanding.
Well, uh...
I'm not leaving just to be
out alone in the world.
I'm leaving to...
I'm leaving to start
a new organization,
one-one that adheres
more closely to the, uh, honest
and, uh, righteous tenets
of Islam.
Who's gonna be
in this new organization?
I think lots of people
will follow me over, Cash.
Especially, uh...
...i-if you-you come with me.
Say something.
- You motherfucker!
- Wait, wait, wait, wait.
Hey, hey, Cash, Cash, Cash.
You've been using me!
No, no, brother,
I'm trying to save you.
- Wait.
- You're the only one that needs saving!
- No.
- Cash.
If you don't believe
in your heart
I've been
an honest friend to you,
then-then you shouldn't
join me, brother.
If there's any-any part of you
that-that believes
that our time together
has been motivated in any way
by selfishness
or-or opportunism on my part...
brother, I...
brother, I encourage you,
walk away from me.
Walk away from me with
a clear mind and conscience,
knowing that that is
the right thing,
that's-that's the only thing
you can do.
Cassius Marcellus Clay,
you in there, champ?
Tell us about what happened...
We got a bunch
of reporters out here.
There they are.
Some... someone must have saw
me and Sam downstairs.
Uh, well, you can't blame them
for wanting a word
from the new world champion.
I guess I got to go
talk to them,
help them sell a few papers.
You coming?
Well, I...
I don't have any comments
to make right now, Cash. I...
And besides, they're
here to see you, brother.
Not here to see me.
I want you standing with me.
Very well.
You brothers will excuse us.
I told you suckers
I was the greatest!
All of you must bow!
Oh, I think you guys...
This is one strange
fucking night.
Hey, you know I know what's
going on out there, right?
Uh, yeah.
You know, Cassius, he out there
talking to the press.
No, I mean out...
out-out there.
I mean...
just 'cause I haven't released
any records about the movement
don't mean I haven't written
any songs about the movement.
Come on, man.
Look, you know Malcolm.
He's all fire and brimstone
about everything, man.
But when I heard the
Bob Dylan song, I was mad, man.
'Cause it's fucking good.
Well, good.
You should feel
competitive, man.
It's not just 'cause
it was good. It's...
I felt like...
...felt like I should've
written that song.
I mean, I'm-I'm calling myself
"Mr. Soul," and I...
I haven't written anything
like that.
Why don't you start?
I started working on something.
started working on something
the first day I heard the song.
Yeah, but it's-it's...
it's different.
And I haven't even played it
for a crowd yet.
How does it go?
All these so-called experts
were all wrong.
Next time, don't-don't ask
no bookies who's gonna win.
You come to me.
I'll tell you who's gonna win.
Cassius, uh,
is it fair to assume
that, since Malcolm X
is standing here with you,
that you're seriously
considering becoming a Muslim?
I'm not considering anything.
I am a Muslim.
And from this day forward,
I no longer want to be called
- by the name Cassius Clay.
- Mm.
That is a slave name.
What are we supposed
to call you, then?
You will refer to me
as Cassius X.
have you been giving Clay advice
- on his religious beliefs?
- Look at that.
Well, he's my brother and...
New heavyweight champion
of the world. friend.
I express what I know
and understand, but...
he has a mind of his own,
- an understanding of his own.
- Mm-hmm.
Uh, Cassius, are you gonna
- give Sonny Liston a rematch?
- Cassius.
- Cassius. -Cassius.
- Oh, no, man. Come on.
Sonny Liston a rematch?
He's still in the hospital
from after tonight.
Say, man,
now that this is out the way,
don't you think
it's about time to party?
- I'd say so.
- Yeah, definitely.
Man, I'm so fast!
I'm so fast, after the fight,
Miami Vice tried to give me a speeding ticket!
If you take Sonny Liston,
Joe Louis
and Rocky Marciano...
I'll whup 'em all
the same night!
That's what I'll do next time!
You know I'm the greatest.
- Yeah!
- Who's the greatest?
- You are!
- That's right.
Malcolm, come on.
Put that thing down.
Come over here.
Someone get a picture of us.
Come on.
I want a picture with Malcolm.
Come on.
Let's see, man.
You know it's right.
That's what I'm talking about.
Give me some, brothers.
That's it. My brother.
My main man.
And you, too.
I told 'em! I told 'em.
I proved it. I was in Rome.
They said they had
a man who could beat me.
- Yeah!
- Malcolm, come on.
Get over here.
I whupped him, too.
Yes, sir.
You know, we came
all the way down here
There it is. Huh?
- Come on over here.
- Why, thank you.
All right.
- How you doing, Johnny?
- Fantastic.
- Thank you so much for having me.
- I'm great.
Sam, have a seat.
Well, he sings well,
doesn't he, Ed?
- Incredibly well, Johnny.
- Thank you.
Sam, tell us.
How do you come up
with so many great songs?
Uh, well, I just really try
and observe
what's going on around me.
What do you mean?
Well, if you try and see
what's going on
and figure out
how people are thinking
and really just determine
the-the times of your day,
well, I think
you can always write
something people
will understand.
Would you mind singing
one more song for us?
Would you like that, folks?
What do you say, Sam?
Got anything
the people will understand?
I-I do have something
that I've been working on,
something new I haven't
really shared with anyone yet.
Anyone except
for some friends of mine.
Well, that sounds great.
We'd love to hear it.
- All right, let's do it.
- All right.
Let's do it.
Ladies and gentlemen,
once again, Mr. Sam Cooke.
The world champion
will no longer be known
as Cassius Clay.
He will be known
as Muhammad Ali.
Betty, move, move, move, move.
- Come on.
- Girls, go.
Because my filming schedule
conflicts with the
Cleveland Browns training camp
and since the Browns
have said that I have no option
to return to camp late
without incurring hefty fines,
effective immediately,
I am retiring from the NFL
to pursue
my movie career full-time.
Now, if y'all excuse me,
I got to get back to work.