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When We Were Kings (1996)

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

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Himself
...
Himself
...
Himself
...
Himself
...
Himself
Mobutu Sese Seko ...
Himself (President of Zaire)
...
Himself
...
Himself - Writer
...
Himself - Writer
Thomas Hauser ...
Himself
...
Himself - Artist (as Malik Bowens)
Lloyd Price ...
Himself - Concert Promoter
The Spinners ...
Themselves
...
Herself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
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 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 February 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Amikor királyok voltunk - Muhammad Ali  »

Box Office

Gross:

$2,666,118 (USA) (6 June 1997)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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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 The 50 Greatest Documentaries (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Sweet Sixteen
Written by B.B. King and Joe Josea
Powerforce Music
Admin. by Careers-BMG Music Publishing, Inc. (BMI)
Performed by B.B. King
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Clearly deserving of the Oscar it received
28 April 1999 | by (West Palm Beach, Florida) – See 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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