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57 user 67 critic

When We Were Kings (1996)

Trailer
1:43 | Trailer

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

Director:

Leon Gast
Won 1 Oscar. Another 11 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Muhammad Ali ... Himself
George Foreman ... Himself
Don King ... Himself
James Brown ... Himself
B.B. King ... Himself
Mobutu Sese Seko Mobutu Sese Seko ... Himself (President of Zaire)
Spike Lee ... Himself
Norman Mailer ... Himself - Writer
George Plimpton ... Himself - Writer
Thomas Hauser Thomas Hauser ... Himself
Malick Bowens ... Himself - Artist (as Malik Bowens)
Lloyd Price Lloyd Price ... Himself - Concert Promoter
The Spinners ... Themselves
Miriam Makeba ... Herself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Drew Bundini Brown Drew Bundini Brown ... Himself - Ali's Ass't Trainer (as Drew 'Bundini' Brown)
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Storyline

It's 1974, Muhammad Ali is 32 and thought by many to be past his prime. George Foreman 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 Seko, 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

Genres:

Documentary | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 February 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Amikor királyok voltunk - Muhammad Ali See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$2,666,118, 8 June 1997
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Almost all of the footage was shot in 1974. The film took 23 years to complete because the negatives and rights were caught up in civil suits involving the Liberians who financed it. See more »

Quotes

[Responding to Howard Cosell]
Muhammad Ali: 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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Connections

Referenced in Siskel & Ebert: Men in Black/Wild America/Out to Sea (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm Coming Home
Written by Thom Bell and Linda Creed
Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp. (BMI)
Performed by The Spinners
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User Reviews

 
Clearly deserving of the Oscar it received
28 April 1999 | by darrell-3See all my reviews

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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