In America, we define ourselves in the superlative: we are the biggest, strongest, fastest country in the world. Is it any wonder that so many of our heroes are on performance enhancing ... See full summary »
It's 1974, Muhammed Ali is 32 and thought by many to be past his prime. George Forman is ten years younger and the Heavyweight champion of the world. Promoter Don King wants to make a name for himself and offers both fighters five million dollars apiece to fight one another, and when they accept, King has only to come up with the money. He finds a backer in Mobutu Sese Suko, the dictator of Zaire and the "Rumble in the Jungle" is set. A musical festival, featuring the America's top black performers, like James Brown and B.B. King, is also planned. Written by
Gary Dickerson <email@example.com>
Though almost all of the footage in this documentary was shot by producer/director Leon Gast in 1974, one reason it took 23 years to complete was because the negative and rights to the film were entangled in civil suits involving the Liberians who financed the movie's making. See more »
Muhammad Ali, he was like a sleeping elephant. You can do whatever you want around a sleeping elephant; whatever you want. But when he wakes up, he tramples everything.
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Extremely entertaining, Oscar-winning documentary covering the 1974 boxing match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, which became known as the Rumble in the Jungle. Through interview footage as well as archival footage, director Leon Gast's film perfectly documents the historic match and everything leading up to it. The boxing match itself is legendary and something most people know about and it's perfectly shown here but I think the real key to the documentary is everything we're shown leading up to the fight. This, of course, includes a lot of stuff dealing with Ali trash talking and getting involved with the African people. There are several scenes where Ali is simply out in the streets working out and trying to pump up the African people and of course get them in his corner. By contrast, we then see interview segments with Foreman where he's obviously not as deeply in with the people and doesn't have the same connection that Ali does. One really gets a great idea of the political climate heading up to the fight and the stuff with Ali training and just being himself are truly priceless. It's also fun hearing about how his career was thought to have been on the low-end as everyone was thinking that Foreman would destroy and possibly kill him in the ring. When we finally get to the fight footage it's presented in such a way that you really see what Ali was going for and how he pulled the upset. We see some terrific footage that is broken down and we're shown every little point that helped get Ali the win. WHEN WE WERE KINGS shows a historic fight and the surroundings around it and you can't help but be thankful that such an important event was captured in such a great form.
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