When We Were Kings

Synopsis: It's 1974, Muhammad Ali is 32 and thought by many to be past his prime. George Foreman is ten years younger and the Heavyweight champion of the world. Promoter Don King wants to make a name for himself and offers both fighters five million dollars apiece to fight one another, and when they accept, King has only to come up with the money. He finds a backer in Mobutu Sese Seko, the dictator of Zaire and the "Rumble in the Jungle" is set. A musical festival, featuring the America's top black performers, like James Brown and B.B. King, is also planned.
Director(s): Leon Gast
Production: Gramercy Pictures
  Won 1 Oscar. Another 11 wins & 5 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
88 min

Yeah, I'm in Africa.

Yeah, Africa's my home.

Damn America and what America thinks.

I live in America, but Africa's

the home of the Black man.

I was a slave 400 years ago

and I'm going back home to fight

among my brothers! Yeah!

'For these two African-Americans

'to come home was

of great, great significance.

'Because of Hollywood and TV

'a lot of us

had been taught to hate Africa.'

Once, if you called a Black person

African they'd be ready to fight.

'When I get to Africa we'll get

it on because we don't get along!'

I'm gonna eat him up!

Too much speed for him!

Too fast! Too fast!

I'm gonna retire the

heavyweight champion of the world!

I'm gonna retire

the heavyweight champion!

September 25th

the world'll be stunned!

Tell 'em, Ali!

If you think the world was surprised

when Nixon resigned

wait till I kick Foreman's behind!

'An 18-year-old amateur

champion with a charming smile

'took a physical examination

for his first professional fight.'

It won't be an easy fight

but my plan of attack

on a fighter like Alex Miteff

would be two fast left jabs,

a rapid right cross

and a left hook.

'But in the Belgian Congo,

'freedom was followed

by rioting and an army mutiny.

'For months,

the political pattern kept changing

'until pro-Red

Premier Lumumba was seized

'by the forces

of strongman Colonel Mobutu.'

After watching Mike DeJohn

and Eddie Machen,

I would rate myself number two.

I'm out to break

Floyd Patterson's record

and this being my 20th birthday,

today, January 17th,

that leaves me exactly one year

to reach my goal.

People do say I'm cocky,

some say I need a good whuppin',

some say I talk too much,

but anything that I say,

I'm willing to back up.

The other night I predicted

that I would knock out Banks

in four rounds and I did.

I knocked out Don Warner

and I just annihilated

George Logan in four rounds.

'Close your mouth

and keep it closed.'

- That's impossible.

- Keep it closed.

I'm the greatest

and I'm knocking out all bums.

And if you get too smart

I'll knock you out.

'You'd take him on

before the fight?'

Beat him like I'm his daddy.

I saw Sonny Liston a few days ago.

Ain't he ugly?

I'm young, I'm handsome,

I'm fast, I'm pretty

and can't possibly be beat.

Cassius Clay

goes into the record book

with Corbett, Tunney and Braddock,

bringing off another great upset

in heavyweight history.

It is befitting that I leave

the game just like I came in,

beating a big bad monster

who knocks out everybody

and no one can whup him.

When little Cassius Clay

stopped Sonny Liston,

the man who annihilated

Floyd Patterson twice.

He was gonna kill me!

But he hit harder than George.

His reach is longer,

he's a better boxer

and I'm better now than when you saw

that kid running from Sonny Liston.

I'm experienced now, professional.

Jaw's been broke, been knocked down

a couple of times, I'm bad!

Been chopping trees,

I done something new.

- I wrestled with an alligator.

That's right,

I have wrestled with an alligator!

I tussled with a whale. I handcuffed

lightning, thrown thunder in jail!

That's bad!

Only last week I murdered a rock!

Injured a stone!

Hospitalised a brick!

- I'm so mean I make medicine sick!

- Bad dude!

Bad, fast!

Fast! Fast! Last night,

cut the light off in my bedroom,

hit the switch and was in the bed

before the room was dark!

- Incredible.

- Fast!

You, George Foreman, all you chumps

are gonna bow when I whup him!

All of you! I know you got him picked

but the man's in trouble!

I'm gonna show you how great I am!

I think Ali was scared.

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "When We Were Kings" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 21 Jun 2021. <https://www.scripts.com/script/when_we_were_kings_23329>.

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