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When We Were Kings
     

When We Were Kings

4.6 3
Director: Leon Gast

Cast: Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, James Brown

 

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Leon Gast's superb documentary about Ali and Foreman, When We Were Kings, comes to DVD with a pair of transfers. The widescreen transfer preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1, while the standard image produces an image with an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. The English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital Stereo. Spanish and French subtitles are

Overview

Leon Gast's superb documentary about Ali and Foreman, When We Were Kings, comes to DVD with a pair of transfers. The widescreen transfer preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1, while the standard image produces an image with an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. The English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital Stereo. Spanish and French subtitles are accessible, and the soundtrack is closed-captioned. Supplemental materials include biographies of the cast and the filmmakers. This is a solid release from USA Entertainment.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Regina Raiford
Believe the hype. This much-praised documentary about one of the most famous boxing matches in history deserves every one of its accolades. Blending sports drama and biography with a touch of political analysis, When We Were Kings relates the who, when, where, and most importantly the why of the 1974 George Foreman/Muhammad Ali world championship fight in Zaire. Splicing together old news footage, photos, and contemporary interview clips, director Leon Gast captures the excitement and chaos that led up to the famed "Rumble in the Jungle" and the incredible characters and events surrounding the thrilling bout. The documentary explores a gamut of issues that defined the 1970s and impacted the African-American community: the Vietnam War and the draft, the nascent "Black is Beautiful" movement and idealization of Mother Africa, and the brutal reality of post-colonial dictatorships. But it is the charismatic and bombastic Muhammad Ali at the center of it all who steals the show with the sheer force of his inimitable personality. When We Were Kings reminds us why Muhammad Ali truly was "The Greatest."
All Movie Guide - Tom Wiener
Filmmaker Leon Gast caught an ironically lucky break when the footage he shot of the famed 1974 heavyweight match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman got tied up in legal red tape for the better part of two decades. With the passage of time, the fight has taken on even larger dimensions than its status as one of the more dramatic upsets in boxing history: It was one of Ali's last big hurrahs; it humbled the chiseled and glowering Foreman, who was eventually reborn as a roly-poly, genial, bald fighter; it was wily promoter Don King's coming-out party on the world stage; and it provided Norman Mailer with material for one of his best books, The Fight. Starting with its title, When We Were Kings has the character of a bottle of vintage wine, allowed to age until all the facets of its true flavor can come out. Gast has assembled all the archival footage you could want, and he scores a great one-two punch by interviewing Mailer and George Plimpton 20 years after the fight, and then freezing a frame of film to show the two men in 1974, ringside and slack-jawed in disbelief as Ali wades in with his final flurry of punches to win the bout.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/05/2002
UPC:
0025192228223
Original Release:
1996
Rating:
PG
Source:
Universal Studios
Presentation:
[Full Frame]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital]
Time:
1:34:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; Standard and widescreen formats; Interactive menus; Digitally mastered; Film and cast biographies; English Dolby Pro Logic; English closed captioning; French subtitled; Spanish subtitles

Cast & Crew

Scene Index

Side #1 -- Widescreen
1. Opening Credits [4:26]
2. Talk the Talk [9:17]
3. Press Conferences [6:17]
4. Welcome to Zaire [7:56]
5. President of Zaire [6:01]
6. Postponement [9:16]
7. The Concert [9:41]
8. Prepare to Fight [6:31]
9. In the Ring [11:39]
10. Reflections [6:00]
11. "When We Were Kings" [5:39]
12. Closing Credits [4:38]
Side #2 -- Standard
1. Opening Credits [4:26]
2. Talk the Talk [9:17]
3. Press Conferences [6:17]
4. Welcome to Zaire [7:56]
5. President of Zaire [6:01]
6. Postponement [9:15]
7. The Concert [9:41]
8. Prepare to Fight [6:31]
9. In the Ring [11:39]
10. Reflections [6:00]
11. "When We Were Kings" [5:38]
12. Closing Credits [4:38]

Customer Reviews

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When We Were Kings 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the best documentary I have ever seen on any subject. It is truly wonderful. My wife hates sport, especially boxing, but she too was completely transfixed by this and thanked me for nagging her to see it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this documentary. If for no other reason, watch it to see George Foreman's German Shepard at his press conference in Africa. Ali truly is the Greatest.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago