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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
[Responding to Howard Cosell]
I'm gonna let everybody know that that thing you got on your head is a phony, and it comes from the tail of a pony!
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I recall attending a closed circuit telecast of the Ali-Foreman fight in Miami in 1974, and when "The Greatest" actually pulled it off - regaining HIS title after the enforced exile - most of the audience went nuts. Rarely have I been in an environment of such absolute joy. This first class documentary leaves me wishing I had been in Zaire to experience that emotion "live". This is terrific film making about one of the most complicated and extraordinary heroes of the twentieth century and is richly deserving of the Academy Award which it received.
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