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535 Ratings

When We Were Kings

Directed by Leon Gast
United States, 1996
Sport, Documentary


A documentary covering the 1974 heavyweight championship bout in Zaire between champion George Foreman and Muhammad Ali.

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When We Were Kings Directed by Leon Gast

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

1997 | Winner: Best Documentary, Features

Sundance Film Festival

1996 | Winner: Special Jury Recognition

Independent Spirit Awards

1997 | Winner: Truer Than Fiction Award

Directors Guild of America

1997 | Nominee: Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary

Critics reviews

One of the best moments shows the joy that spreads across Ali’s face as he, thrilled by his own verbal pyrotechnics, recites a signature impromptu rhyme after a press conference at the Waldorf Astoria announcing the Kinshasa brawl: “Last night I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalized a brick.” He pauses before concluding the killer couplet: “I’m so mean, I make medicine sick.” Ali’s lingual dexterity shows up the inanities of [some] of the reputedly silver-tongued pundits in the film.
June 14, 2016
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