Leon Gast
USA 1996

On October 30, 1974, America was poised to watch a knockout punch that would redefine it as a nation of champions. In the atmosphere of a three-ring circus, in Zaïre, a little known country ruled by a military dictator, on the little-noticed continent of Africa, two American fighters held the world's attention. One would capture the world's imagination.
Leon Gast's When We Were Kings is like a time capsule; the original footage has waited all these years to be assembled into a film because of legal and financial difficulties. It is a new documentary of a past event, recapturing the electricity generated by Muhammad Ali in his prime. Spike Lee, who with Norman Mailer and George Plimpton provides modern commentary on the 1974 footage, says young people today do not know how famous and important Ali was. He is right. \"When I fly on an airplane\", Ali once told me, \"I look out of the window and I think, I am the only person that everyone down there knows about.\" It is not bragging if you are only telling the truth. (Roger Ebert)

  • B.B. King
  • James Brown
  • Muhammad Ali
  • George Foreman
  • Don King
  • Mobutu Sese Seko
  • Spike Lee
  • Leon Gast
  • Frank Morrone
  • Robert Cardelli
  • Albert Maysles
  • Kevin Keating
  • Paul Goldsmith
  • Maryse Alberti
  • Roderick Young
  • Leon Gast
  • Taylor Hackford
  • Jeffrey Levy-Hinte
  • Keith Robinson
  • Scot McCracken
DAS Films David Sonenberg Production, Polygram Filmed Entertainment
IPMA (NBC Universal) 100 Universal City Plaza Bldg. 2282 RM 124 Universal City, CA 91608, USA T +1 818 763 7788
35 mm
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