When We Were Kings ()

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Boxing documentary on the 1974 world heavyweight championship bout between defending champion, George Foreman, and the underdog challenger, Muhammad Ali.

  • Won 1 Oscar. Another 11 wins & 5 nominations.
  • See more »

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Cast verified as complete

Self (President of Zaire)
Self - Writer
Self - Writer
Self - Artist (as Malik Bowens)
Lloyd Price ...
Self - Concert Promoter
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Self - Ali's Ass't Trainer (as Drew 'Bundini' Brown)
Odessa Clay ...
Self - Ali's Mother
Self - ABC Sports
Wilton Felder ...
Self (as The Crusaders)
Self (archiveFootage)
Wayne Henderson ...
Self (as The Crusaders)
Stix Hooper ...
Self (as The Crusaders)
Jim Jacobs ...
Self (archiveFootage)
Stewart Levine ...
Self - Festival Producer
Self (archiveFootage)
Alan Pariser ...
Self - Festival Coordinator
Danny 'Big Black' Rey ...
Self - Performer (as 'Big Black')
Dick Sadler ...
Self - Foreman's manager
Joe Sample ...
Self (as The Crusaders)
Philippé Wynne ...
Self (as The Spinners)
Zach Clayton ...
Self - Referee (uncredited) (archiveFootage)
Self (uncredited)
Lola Love ...
Self - Dancer (uncredited)
Self (uncredited)
Self (uncredited) (archiveFootage)
Jersey Joe Walcott ...
Self (uncredited) (archiveFootage)

Directed by

Leon Gast

Produced by

Leon Gast ... producer
Taylor Hackford ... producer
Vikram Jayanti ... co-producer
Keith Robinson ... co-producer
David Sonenberg ... executive producer

Cinematography by

Maryse Alberti
Paul Goldsmith
Kevin Keating
Albert Maysles
Roderick Young

Film Editing by

Leon Gast
Taylor Hackford
Jeffrey Kusama-Hinte ... (as Jeffrey Levy-Hinte)
Keith Robinson

Editorial Department

Jamie W. Billett ... post-production assistant
Donald Blank ... post-production assistant
Wendy Caplin ... assistant editor
Joseph Fusco ... post-production assistant
Mark Ginsberg ... color timer
Sara Spolan ... post-production assistant
Stan Sztaba ... negative matcher
Terry Tragianopoulos ... assistant editor
Joe Violante ... advisor: Technicolor
Jeff Mack ... colorist: dailies (uncredited)

Production Management

St. Clair Bourne ... unit manager
Ossie Brown ... unit manager
Barrie Singer ... production manager
Robert Warmflash ... post-production supervisor

Sound Department

Robert Cardelli ... sound editor
Bill Daly ... location sound coordinator
Gene Defever ... location sound recordist
Bernard Fox ... location sound coordinator
Petur Hliddal ... location sound recordist
Gary Kelgern ... sound recordist: concert sound
Ed Lockman ... location sound recordist
Alan Manger ... sound recordist: concert sound
William Markle ... sound post-production
Tony Miller ... location sound recordist
Frank Morrone ... re-recording mixer / sound mixer
Mark Paturet ... location sound recordist
Randal Shepard ... location sound recordist
Tony V. Stevens ... stereo sound consultant: Dolby
Christopher L. Stone ... sound recordist: concert sound (as Chris Stone)
Richard Wells ... location sound recordist
Shane Zarintash ... location sound recordist (as Shane Zarantash)
Yuri Gorbachow ... noise reduction engineer (uncredited)

Camera and Electrical Department

Joe Arcidiacono ... assistant camera
Michael F. Barrow ... gaffer
Joseph W. Calloway ... additional cinematographer
Everett Easton ... gaffer
Robert Fletcher ... additional cinematographer
Wardell Gaynor ... additional cinematographer
Jack Harris ... additional cinematographer
Larry Kirsch ... key grip
Bob Kragen ... key grip
Norman Leigh ... gaffer
Roy Lewis ... additional cinematographer
Bill McManus ... concert lighting director
Roland Mitchell ... additional cinematographer
Dave Samuel ... gaffer (as David Samuel)
Karma Stanley ... additional cinematographer
Egon Stephan Jr. ... camera technician (as Egon Stephan)
Burleigh Wartes ... additional cinematographer

Music Department

Peter Denenberg ... post music mixing
Scot McCracken ... music supervisor
Rick Rowe ... music premix

Additional Crew

Jonathan Angier ... production assistant
Larry Bullard ... production assistant
Frank D'Angelo ... production assistant
Ronnie Dee ... musician/vocalist
Bill Durborow ... coordinator: Das Films Ltd.
Richard Edelen ... production assistant
John Ginnes ... production coordinator
Eileen Greene ... coordinator: Das Films Ltd.
Cynthia Henry ... production assistant
Bob Hewitt ... production assistant
Laurie Horsley ... production assistant
Jeffrey Kusama-Hinte ... avid services (as Jeffrey Levy-Hinte)
Peter Lasoff ... production assistant
Stewart Levine ... concert producer
Louise Marshall ... production coordinator
Hugh Masekela ... concert producer
Chip Monck ... concert line producer
Don Nolan ... 35 mm blow-up
Alan Pariser ... festival coordinator
Lloyd Price ... concert producer
Andréa Timpone ... coordinator: Das Films Ltd. (as Andrea Timpone)
Rick Wardell ... production assistant
Richard Warner ... production assistant
Peter D. Graves ... executive marketing consultant (uncredited)


Odessa Clay ... in memory of
Howard Cosell ... in memory of
Alex Haley ... in memory of
Sonny Liston ... in memory of
Joe Louis ... in memory of
Malcolm X ... in memory of
Rocky Marciano ... in memory of
Elijah Muhammad ... in memory of
Sugar Ray Robinson ... in memory of
Philippé Wynne ... in memory of (as Felipe Wynne)
Crew believed to be complete

Production Companies




Special Effects


Other Companies



Plot Summary

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

Plot Keywords
Taglines The untold story of the Rumble in the Jungle See more »
Parents Guide View content advisory »

Additional Details

Also Known As
  • When We Were Kings - Einst waren wir Könige (Germany)
  • When We Were Kings. Cuando éramos reyes (Spain, Castilian title)
  • Kiedy byliśmy królami (Poland)
  • Когда мы были королями (Russia)
  • Kelebek Gibi Uçar Ari Gibi Sokarım (Turkey, Turkish title)
  • See more »
  • 88 min
Aspect Ratio
Sound Mix
Filming Locations

Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross $4,771,473

Did You Know?

Trivia When the film won the Academy Award for Best Feature Documentary, George Foreman and Muhammad Ali came to the stage with the filmmakers to show they had made peace. Foreman helped Ali, stricken with Parkinson's Disease, climb the steps to the stage. See more »
Movie Connections Edited from The Rumble in the Jungle (1974). See more »
Soundtracks Am Am Pondo 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 experienced now, professional. Jaws been broke, been knocked down a couple of times, I'm bad! Been chopping trees. I done something new for this fight. I done wrestled with an alligator. That's right. I have wrestled with an alligator. I done tussled with a whale. I done handcuffed lightning, thrown thunder in jail. That's bad! Only last week I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalised a brick! I'm so mean I make medicine sick!
Don King: Bad dude!
Muhammad Ali: Bad, fast! Fast! Fast! Last night I cut the light off in my bedroom, hit the switch and was in the bed before the room was dark.
See more »

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