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A dramatization of author Alex Haley's family line from ancestor Kunta Kinte's enslavement to his descendants' liberation.
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Top Rated TV #220 | Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 16 wins & 35 nominations. See more awards »



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The characters of Kunta Kinte and Fiddler from Roots are back in this movie. In this movie, the two of them accompany their owner to another plantation at Christmas time and they learn that... See full summary »

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Series cast summary:
 Dr. William Reynolds 4 episodes, 1977
 Mrs. Reynolds 3 episodes, 1977
 Mathilda / ... 3 episodes, 1977
 'Chicken' George Moore / ... 3 episodes, 1977
 Tom Moore 2 episodes, 1977
 John Reynolds 2 episodes, 1977
 Old George 2 episodes, 1977
 Lewis Harvey 2 episodes, 1977
 Irene Harvey 2 episodes, 1977
 Sister Sara 2 episodes, 1977
 Sam Harvey 2 episodes, 1977
 Lila Harvey 2 episodes, 1977
 Virgil Harvey 2 episodes, 1977
 Martha Johnson 2 episodes, 1977
 Field Singer / ... 2 episodes, 1977


A saga of African-American life, based on Alex Haley's family history. Kunta Kinte is abducted from his African village, sold into slavery, and taken to America. He makes several escape attempts until he is finally caught and maimed. He marries Bell, his plantation's cook, and they have a daughter, Kizzy, who is eventually sold away from them. Kizzy has a son by her new master, and the boy grows up to become Chicken George. He's a legendary cock fighter who leads his family into freedom. Throughout the series, the family observes notable events in U.S. history, such as the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, slave uprisings, and emancipation. Written by Eric Sorensen <Eric_Sorensen@fc.mcps.k12.md.us>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Saga of an American Family.


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Parents Guide:





Release Date:

23 January 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Raíces  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$6,600,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(total run time)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


LeVar Burton and Louis Gossett, Jr. reprised their roles on Roots: The Gift (1988). See more »


According to the story's timeline, the Akan and Kunte Kinte discuss running north to the safety of the abolitionist movement in the late 1700's. The abolitionist movement was a fringe movement until the early 1800s. See more »


Kintango: Who can tell me if there was a tribal war, and the men of Mandinka had the enemy surrounded on three sides, what should be the next thing done?
Boy: The men of the Mandinka will enclose the circle and surround the enemy.
Kintango: No, the goal of war is not to kill. The goal of war is to win. By surrounding the enemy, you would force him only to fight more desperately. If you surround him on three sides and leave him an escape route, he will leave your land and there will less blood spilled on both sides. For...
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Referenced in Are You Being Served?: Roots? (1981) See more »


by Quincy Jones
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User Reviews

Completing the picture
29 January 2005 | by See all my reviews

I was born in 1980, and had heard of Roots from reading about LeVar Burton being the only real "name" to join Star Trek: The Next Generation. I came across the boxset at my local library and was able to find out what this "Roots" thing was all about. Having the series on DVD was definitely a boon as (despite being in NTSC) it has a crisp and clear appearance, usually stuff on TV from the 70's or 80's has a characteristic fuzziness.

Despite it's lowish budget, and age, Roots has a certain kinetic energy, it kept me interested from the start. Being able to see a young LeVar Burton was great, and without any visors or contact lenses. The casting was excellent all around and the actors put in 100% effort. My only bone to pick was using two different actors for Kunta Kinte. They were physically very different, John Amos doesn't look, act or sound like LeVar Burton, which disrupts the sense of continuity the rest of the multi-episode characters had.

By the end I found I had become quite involved with the series and enjoyed seeing it unfold, I liked it so much I viewed the whole nine hours again with commentary (well, I had time to kill). It is interesting that Roots carries a sense of history (as in the late 70's) and culture with it, it's not just a TV show, there's a whole air surrounding it. I'm glad I got the opportunity to see it, I gained a clearer understanding of where African-Americans as a people are coming from, and I hope everyone who hasn't seen it yet gets the opportunity to do so.

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