When We Were Kings

When We Were Kings

DVD - 1997
Average Rating:
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It's 1974, Muhammed Ali is 32 and thought by many to be past his prime. George Forman 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 Suko, the dictator of Zaire and the "Rumble in the Jungle" is set
Publisher: [S.l.] : PolyGram Video, c1997
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (94 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in
Other Standard Identifier: 4400458472

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LPL_DanC Jun 07, 2016

When Muhammed Ali died, George Forman called him the greatest person he had ever known. This film documents an early chapter in that relationship, their famous "Rumble in the Jungle" heavyweight bout in Kinshasa, Zaire in 1974. Even if you're not into boxing, this movie will blow your mind, capturing as it does so many of the essential themes of the late-'60's and early-'70's: race relations, post-colonial social upheaval, a pop culture revolution. The musical aspect of this film is as powerful as the sporting event, as the fight was planned to coincide with a "black Woodstock" featuring a slate of musicians headed up by James Brown, and including B.B. King, Bill Withers, and many others, and the film includes nearly as much footage of these performances as it does boxing.

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stk22
Jul 31, 2013

An instant classic documentary. I would guess this was my 5th viewing. The story centers around the fabled heavyweight battle between George Foreman, a man who at the time was seen as one of the most destructive heavyweights of all time, capable of stopping big talent with his ability to cut of the ring and swing nonstop, powerful haymakers at his hapless opponents - and the legendary Muhammad Ali, a matured but still quick opponent who was a heavy underdog but had completely and utterly endeared himself to the people of Zaire. Even if you care not one bit for boxing, you will still be caught up in the drama of this award winning documentary.

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Ichigaga
Aug 13, 2011

Spectacular. The film focuses on Ali (and for good reason), but time is spent on the overall event. Performances of the Spinners, James Brown, and BB King, all in their prime are amazing. Be sure to watch the interview with the director. His telling of the Oscar backstage scene with Forman helping Ali is...wow.

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