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When We Were Kings (1996)

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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 »

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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

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,479, 27 October 1996

Gross USA:

$2,789,985

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,789,985
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

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 »

Connections

Features Soul Power (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Rumble In The Jungle
Written by Wyclef Jean, Prakazrel Michel, Lauryn Hill, Benny Andersson,
Björn Ulvaeus, Stig Anderson, Chip Taylor, Kamaal Fareed, Malik Taylor,
, Trevor Smith, and John Forte
Tete San Ko Publishing Inc. / Obverse Creation Music Inc. (ASCAP)
(Admin. by Sony/ATV Songs LLC) (ASCAP)/EMI Blackwood Music, Inc. (BMI)/
Union Songs AB/Sweden Music AB/PolyGram Int. Music Publ. Ltd./
Zomba Enterprises, Inc./Jazz Merchant Music
(Admin. by Zomba Enterprises, Inc.) (ASCAP)/Trevor-Smith/John Forte
Performed by Fugees featuring Q-Tip and Phife of A Tribe Called Quest,
Busta Rhymes and John Forte
Produced by Wyclef Jean and Lauryn Hill for Refugee Camp Entertainment
Engineered by Warren Riker
The Fugees appear courtesy of RuffHouse/Columbia Records
Q-Tip and Phife appear courtesy of Jive Records
Busta Rhymes appears courtesy of Elektra Entertainment Group
Contains elements of "The Name Of The Game"
Written by Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus & Stig Anderson
Performed by ABBA
ABBA appears courtesy of PolyGram Records, Inc., by arrangement with PolyGram Film and TV Licensing
By permission of EMI Grove Park Music, Inc./Union Songs AB/Sweden Music AB/PolyGram Int. Music Publ. Ltd.
Contains elements of "Angel Of The Morning"
Written by Chip Taylor
By permission of EMI Blackwood Music, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Last Hero
2 March 2002 | by Stu-24See 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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