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When We Were Kings (1996)

8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 10,476 users   Metascore: 83/100
Reviews: 53 user | 60 critic | 21 from Metacritic.com

A documentary of the 1974 heavyweight championship bout in Zaire between champion George Foreman and underdog challenger Muhammad Ali.

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Title: When We Were Kings (1996)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Himself
...
Himself
...
Himself
...
Himself
...
Himself
Mobutu Sese Seko ...
Himself (President of Zaire)
...
Himself
...
Himself - Writer
...
Himself - Writer
Thomas Hauser ...
Himself
...
Himself - Artist (as Malik Bowens)
Lloyd Price ...
Himself - Concert Promoter
The Spinners ...
Themselves
...
Herself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Drew Bundini Brown ...
Himself - Ali's Ass't Trainer (as Drew 'Bundini' Brown)
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Storyline

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 <slug@mail.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The untold story of the Rumble in the Jungle


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for images of violence, brief nudity and some language | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 February 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

When We Were Kings  »

Box Office

Gross:

$2,666,118 (USA) (6 June 1997)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Quotes

Muhammad Ali: It is befitting that I leave the game just like I came in, beating a big bad monster who knocks out everybody and no one can whup him. That's when little Cassius Clay from Louisville, Kentucky, came up to stop Sonny Liston. The man who annihilated Floyd Patterson twice. HE WAS GONNA KILL ME! But he hit harder than George. His reach is longer than George's. He's a better boxer than George. And I'm better now than I was when you saw that 22-years old undeveloped kid running from Sonny Liston. I'm...
[...]
See more »


Soundtracks

Gonna Have A Funky Good Time
Written by James Brown
Fort Knox Music Inc. (BMI) / Trio Music Co. (BMI)
Performed by James Brown
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Last Hero
2 March 2002 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

This is not a film without flaws. At certain points, I cringe at some of the implications, at the juxtaposition of images and thoughts. If this film were on a different topic, I would probably dislike it.

That withstanding, it is a film about something so rare and exquisite, so moving, so profound: a hero. Muhammad Ali is the only man I can think of in the 20th Century deserving of this title. Just to look at him is to feel awe. His beauty, his conviction, his strength, his piety, all bound together in a contradictory but exquisite whole. Ali is a Whittman poem of flesh and blood.

Shortcomings of this film aside, I can watch it again and again, and cry every time. And feel both shame and strength, and perhaps some hope, when confronted with Ali. If I ever have children, they will watch this film, if only because I can find nothing else that I can say stands for what I believe in.


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