Director: Leon Gast
You won't find a documentary subject in this list who's more charismatic than Muhammad Ali. Because of that, When We Were Kings is major entertainment. Covering the pugilist's famous 1974 "Rumble in the Jungle" bout against then-champion George Foreman, which took place is Zaire, director Leon Gast's film is a stirring love letter to the man who "floats like a butterfly" and "stings like a bee."
Ali's a superhero to the people of Africa, a standing that gives When We Were Kingsan outright position of being 100% pro-Ali, as it should. With his larger-than-life personality, Ali's a living, breathing quote machine, dropping gems like, ""You think the world was surprised when Nixon resigned? Just wait'll I kick George Foreman's behind."
Greatly assisted by some remarkable in-ring boxing footage, Gast's film is, in terms of sports docs, unbeatable. —MB