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When We Were Kings [VHS] [1997]

Muhammad Ali , George Foreman , Leon Gast    Parental Guidance   VHS Tape
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
Price: 8.49
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Product details

  • Actors: Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, Don King, James Brown, B.B. King
  • Directors: Leon Gast
  • Producers: Leon Gast, David Sonenberg, Keith Robinson, Taylor Hackford, Vikram Jayanti
  • Format: VHS
  • Language: English
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Uca
  • VHS Release Date: 23 April 2003
  • Run Time: 84 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004R6WC
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 251,169 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

From Amazon.co.uk

Muhammad Ali's 1974 knockout of George Foreman to regain the heavyweight championship of the world at the age of 32 was probably the greatest sporting moment of the 20th century. Leon Gast's documentary on the "Rumble In The Jungle", When We Were Kings, eventually released in 1996, is probably the finest ever boxing film. The background to the contest was almost as dramatic as the fight itself. It was the first major coup for promoter Don King, a character described in this film as "very clever but completely amoral"--yet this was his finest hour. President Mobutu, unsavoury dictator of Zaire and a more frightening figure than either boxer, had spent millions of his country's money to host the event. George Foreman, like Sonny Liston before him and Mike Tyson after him, was considered unbeatable, expected to slaughter Ali. Seeing him pounding a dent the size of a grapefruit into a heavy bag during training, you can understand why. Ringside American journalists George Plimpton and in particular Norman Mailer offer exceptionally shrewd insights. As we stare into Ali's face during the minute interval at the end of round one, Mailer talks us through his probable thought processes. "That was the only time I ever saw fear in his eyes." Ali, of course, is the star, besting the sullen Foreman in the build-up with his freewheeling, hilarious braggadocio then outfoxing him in the fight with his "rope-a-dope" technique. Like Ali, the "Rumble In The Jungle" transcended sports in its inspirational significance. --David Stubbs

Product Description

The true story of the legendary 'Rumble in the Jungle' of 1974, in which Muhammad Ali endured a titanic battle with George Foreman. The fight took place in Zaire amidst a wealth of publicity and political intrigue, and this film, pieced together over 20 years, chronicles it all. Featuring the music of the Fugees, James Brown and BB King, 'When We Were Kings' won an Oscar for Best Feature Documentary.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best documentary ever 10 Nov 2003
This is magical stuff. Whether you're a fight fan or not, the way this film is made is beyond compare. Outlining Ali's early rise from Louisville, Kentucky to become heaviweight champion, and then in detail through the build up to the Rumble in the Jungle fight with Foreman in Zaire, this is not merely a story about a boxer. This shows Ali as a political leader, a philosopher, a poet, a bully, a gentle giant, an arrogant kid, a graceful ambassador... all a man can be and more. With input from some of the great journalistic talents of our time - George Plimpton, Norman Mailer - and a soundtrack that is so much more than background music (James Brown amongst others), this is how all films should be made, let alone documentaries.
Inspiring, exciting, and memorable, this film deserved its Oscar, and deserves its place in every collection.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When they were truely Kings 13 Feb 2004
By A Customer
When we were Kings is a stunning portrait of not only one of the most famous World Title Fights of all time, but a real insight into a 'Time' and a 'Place'.
The 'Time' being 1974, a time when the World was still reeling from one of the greatest political scandels of all time, with the fall of the Nixon Administration. It was also a time of coulor, and music, which are beautifuly conveyed in this presentation.
The 'Place' was the relatavly unnoticed and mysterious land of Zaire, in the forgoten continent of Africa.
Zaire was the chosen venue to bring these two Kings into the same ring, due to a massive financial investment, made by the then military dictator, President Mobutu.
The Champion, the unforgiving brooding George Forman, was at the height of his short career, where the proud American had seen off all the big name challengers to his crown with relative ease.
The Challenger, the former champion, and soon to be idle of Zaire, Muhammed Ali. The well informed fight writers, and Ali fans in general, made no secret of the fact that they feared for Ali in this fight.
Ali dominates the biuld up to this fight, and openly courts the people of Zaire, calling them his true brothers. In return, he gained an overwhelming support in the build up, and at the fight itself. Ali continualy impressed his true brothers, and fight fans prior to the fight, with his continual promise that he was 'gonna dance!'
The presentation moves at pace toward the highly anticipated showdown, and the fight itself delivers a twist which many at the time will never truely forget.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful! 9 Jan 2001
Format:VHS Tape
Your chance to see the most beautiful, exciting and charismatic sportsman of all time, at his peak. You don't need to be a fight fan to enjoy this. This film is excellently crafted with just the right amounts of tension, humour, action and documentary. Ali is irresistible in and out of the ring. His wit and charm will leave you smiling for hours and his boxing will take your breath away. Added to the colour of african dancers, Don King; the music of James Brown and BB King; excellent interviews with Norman Mailer and Spike Lee and you know, you're watching a classic. I can't reccomend it highly enough.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magic Muhammed 18 April 2002
This is possibly the best DVD I have in my collection. Ali for me is the greatest sportsman of all time and his quick witted comments and sense of humour make him one in a million. The film charters the build up, the fight and the aftermath of 'The Rumble In The Jungle'. Ali's performance both in and out of the ring is almost magical and it is clear to see why he is regarded throughout the world as the greatest fighter ever. You will be captivated by this film and you will want to watch it again and again.
Although the sound and picture quality are not up to the standard of modern day films the quality of the documentary makes up for it easily. Buy this DVD!!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a rumble!!! 23 May 2001
By A Customer
This roving documentary is a perfect testament to one of the most remembered fight in boxing history. Of course everyone knows the result, but this film goes behind just two men in a ring: it shows all the build-up to the fight, including Foreman's cut and best of all, Ali's magical hold over the people who would all chant, "Ali, Bomaye" which translates as "Ali, kill him". In short, an excellent film and one that you will watch again and again.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 90 minutes of pure joy 5 Sep 2007
By Ali fan
To say that this documentry is about a boxer in one of his greatest fights is the stranger's view, the uneducated opinion.

Ali wasn't just the best boxer that has ever lived but one of those rare individuals that profoundly effected the lives of thousands, maybe millions, of people. Growing up just after his era, learning about him changed my life and taught me the meaning of courage, self sacrafice, tenacity and so much more.

Loving Ali isn't what makes this documentry great. It is watching his greatest sporting achievement viewed from so many angles, sporting, political, philosophical, pschological, socialogical, historical you name it by some fantastic minds, Norman Mailer, George Plimpton and some facinating characters Don King, James Brown and so on. It's like watching England win the world cup in 1966 and cutting to the views of famous journalists, politicians, music artists of the day saying what they were thinking at that precise moment and seeing behind the scenes footage of the preperation, all set to a killer sound track. Plus the profound effect his career has had on American society and therefore the world, the shockwaves resonating on into today through civil rights, the media, and the power that one man can have.

You may have gathered that I am an Ali fan(!) but if you are not particularly interested in him or boxing, it is a fantastic piece of film making. It is Hollywood in real life, the editting and voiceovers are top draw. I defy anyone to watch the scene where Ali talks about God inspiring to beat Foreman ('Suddenly he looks little in comparison to what I'm getting from it') without getting a chill down your spine.

It is a perfect intro to the great man for the uninitiated.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
many thanks.S.Duff.
Published 1 month ago by stevie
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb!
Bought because I had finally given up my VHS - this documentary, the interviews, the Music and underneath it all the historic proportions made this one I wanted to keep. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Sabine Ludowigs
5.0 out of 5 stars Great doc
In my opinion - until the recent 'Senna' this has to be one of the best sporting documentaries ever made. Read more
Published 3 months ago by G. Georgiou
5.0 out of 5 stars What heavy-weight boxing and boxers was all about.
saw the film many years ago, got the book and got this DVD for a friend. He agreed with me.
Published 12 months ago by F. Cudjoe
5.0 out of 5 stars What a fighter he was, and what a man!
This film is marvellous, a mixture of great fight footage, fascinating insights from luminaries such as Norman Mailer who were ringside on the night, short clips which really... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Peter Coats
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
No problems with the disc, arrived on time and it's a great movie. Had seen it before, but had to own it.
Published 16 months ago by KC
5.0 out of 5 stars Iconic DVD
Good to find this DVD of famous boxers of the past.Brought back lots of memories of Mohammad Ali and his famous fights.
Published 17 months ago by Irene D
5.0 out of 5 stars ali my hero
remembered the rumble in the jungle as a child watching this documentary made me cry its unreal to see ali at his best and all the interviews are amazing from a very clever... Read more
Published 17 months ago by gypsy
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Film
Bought this to bring the technology up to date. Have the video. One of the very few films that I have duplicated.
Published 19 months ago by Tex
5.0 out of 5 stars When We Were Kings
A fascinating document of a great moment in sporting and cultural history, When We Were Kings received an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. Read more
Published on 12 Dec 2011 by Colin
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