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Past Films

When We Were Kings (1996)

  • Director: Leon Gast
  • Genre(s): History, Sport, Documentary
  • Rating: PG
  • Running Time: 89 min.

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

"Enormously entertaining."
- Todd McCarthy, Variety
"A penetrating emotional analysis of the boxing which is nothing short of inspired."
- Time Out
"By the time the fighters enter that ring, the excitement factor is almost uncontrollable."
- Desson Thomson, Washington Post
"No comedian was ever funnier, no fighter ever faster than Muhammad Ali, who is caught at the top of his game in Leon Gast's valentine, When We Were Kings."
- Rita Kempley, Washington Post
"You don't have to be a sports fan to enjoy this.... All you need is an appreciation of recent history and a desire to learn more about an event that had far more importance in the world's eyes than any other heavyweight bout in the history of boxing."
- James Berardinelli, ReelViews
"The documentary is, in essence, not much more than a record of what happened in Zaire, but it has been assembled with a real feeling for the historical moment. It's literally a blast from the past."
- Peter Rainer, Dallas Observer
"It took director-producer Leon Gast 22 years to edit and finance When We Were Kings, his thrilling documentary about the legendary 1974 heavyweight-championship fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman in Zaire. But the lag time has only deepened the impact of this thrilling documentary: All sad thoughts of Ali as a wounded warrior fall away in the glow of seeing the champ at his best."
- Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly