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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

Gross USA:

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

Company Credits

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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: And you're always talking about, "Muhammad, you're not the same man you were 10 years ago." Well, I asked your wife, and she told me you're not the same man you was two years ago!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bongwater (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Young Rabbits
Written by Wayne Henderson
EMI U Catalog Inc. (ASCAP)
Performed by The Crusaders
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Impressive Documentary of an Historic Event!
1 May 2013 | by SylSee all my reviews

The fight between Muhammad Ali aka Cassius Clay and George Foreman in Zaire. The fight was nicknamed the rumble in the jungle. The documentary follows Ali and Foreman. It also has insight from writers and witnesses, Norman Mailer and George Plimpton, and African American film director, Spike Lee, who later directed the film, "Ali." This documentary is a rare treasure that captures history, culture, and relationships. Ali is the underdog in the ring against Foreman on October 30, 1974. The outcome is remarkable as is the story behind both fighters. Ali is proud of being an African American, honest, opinionated, and vocal about civil rights in America and in Africa. He was proud to see Africans who flew, lived, and governed their own country. Sadly, Ali isn't well with Parkinsons. The disease has crippled his voice but not his message in recent years. The documentary is historical for so many reasons.


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