Page 2's Top 20 Sports Movies of All-Time
No. 20: When We Were Kings (53 points)
Year released: 1996.
Cast: Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, Don King.
What we like: The way Ali interacted with the people of Zaire; the way "Ali bomaye!" (Ali, kill him) took on a life of its own as a catchphrase; the way, even though Foreman was the defending champ, there was no doubt that the "Rumble in the Jungle" was Ali's show; and, most of all, the way all that wonderful music made for a perfect backdrop to what we were seeing from two great champions.
What we're willing to overlook: Having to relive the birth of Don King, fight promoter; the one thing this documentary missed, (also what Michael Mann's "Ali" missed) was the reaction of Americans, all kinds of Americans, to Ali.
Maybe the greatest boxing story ever told, and it's true. Incredible footage, great soundtrack. -- Page 2 columnist Eric Neel
It has a wonderful beat and rhythm throughout that just sweeps you up into the film. And when Muhammad Ali is the central figure, you can't possibly look away. -- Page 2 editor Kevin Jackson
I realize it was probably one of the toughest editing jobs of all the movies on the list (along with "Hoop Dreams"), if not of all-time, culling through all that videotape and trying to turn it into a story; well, it's not a story so much as it is a song; as a story, it actually was more a study of the chosen narrators' reactions. -- Page 2 columnist Ralph Wiley
This slice of Ali's life shows that anything Hollywood tries to recreate about Ali (like the recent biopic) is doomed to fall short of the real thing, caught on film or even on faded "Wide World of Sports" videos. -- Page 2 columnist Jeff Merron