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 ... Self
George Foreman ... Self
Don King ... Self
James Brown ... Self
B.B. King ... Self
Mobutu Sese Seko ... Self (President of Zaire)
Spike Lee ... Self
Norman Mailer ... Self - Writer
George Plimpton ... Self - Writer
Thomas Hauser ... Self
Malick Bowens ... Self - Artist (as Malik Bowens)
Lloyd Price Lloyd Price ... Self - Concert Promoter
The Spinners ... Themselves
Miriam Makeba ... Self
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Drew Bundini Brown Drew Bundini Brown ... Self - 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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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

[first lines]
Muhammad Ali: Yeah, I'm from Africa. Yeah, Africa's my home. Damn America and what America thinks. Yeah, I live in America; but, Africa's the home of the black man. And I was a slave 400 years ago and I'm going back home to fight among my brothers. Yeah!
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Connections

Referenced in Criminal Lovers (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

When We Were Kings
Written by Andy Marvel, Amy Powers and Arnie Roman
Liedela Music (ASCAP), W&R Group (ASCAP), World of Andy Music, Inc. (ASCAP)
Romanesque, Inc. (ASCAP), Powers That Be Music (ASCAP)
Performed by Brian McKnight and Diana King
Brian McKnight appears courtesy of Mercury Records
Diana King appears courtesy of The Work Group
Produced by Andy Marvel
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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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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

14 February 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

When We Were Kings See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,479, 27 October 1996

Gross USA:

$2,789,985

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,789,985
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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