A dramatization of author Alex Haley's family line from ancestor Kunta Kinte's enslavement to his descendants' liberation.
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1  
1977  
Top Rated TV #199 | Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 16 wins & 35 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
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 Bud Harvey (8 episodes, 1977)
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 Dr. William Reynolds (5 episodes, 1977)
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 'Toby' / ... (5 episodes, 1977)
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 Bell Reynolds (5 episodes, 1977)
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 Fiddler (5 episodes, 1977)
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 Ames (5 episodes, 1977)
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 Ol' George Johnson / ... (4 episodes, 1977)
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 Kunta Kinte / ... (4 episodes, 1977)
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 Mrs. Reynolds (4 episodes, 1977)
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 Mathilda / ... (4 episodes, 1977)
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 'Chicken' George Moore / ... (4 episodes, 1977)
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 Mrs. Moore (4 episodes, 1977)
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 Kizzy Reynolds / ... (4 episodes, 1977)
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 Tom Moore (4 episodes, 1977)
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 Missy Anne Reynolds (4 episodes, 1977)
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 Capt. Thomas Davies (3 episodes, 1977)
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 Wrestler (3 episodes, 1977)
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 Slater (3 episodes, 1977)
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 John Reynolds (3 episodes, 1977)
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 Harlan (3 episodes, 1977)
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 Evan Brent (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Tom Harvey (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Nyo Boto / ... (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Kintango (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Omoro (2 episodes, 1977)
Hilly Hicks ...
 Lewis Harvey (2 episodes, 1977)
Hari Rhodes ...
 Brima Cesay (2 episodes, 1977)
William Watson ...
 Gardner (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Irene Harvey (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Fanta (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Sam Harvey (2 episodes, 1977)
Sally Kemp ...
 Lila Harvey (2 episodes, 1977)
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 John Carrington (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Grill (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Virgil Harvey (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Martha Johnson (2 episodes, 1977)
Lee de Broux ...
 Trumbull (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Fanta / ... (2 episodes, 1977)
Tanya Boyd ...
 Genelva (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Noah (2 episodes, 1977)
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 The Drummer (2 episodes, 1977)
Pat Corley ...
 Referee (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Mingo (2 episodes, 1977)
Stan Haze ...
 Field Singer / ... (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Man at Cockfight (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Ordell (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Stephen Bennett (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Melissa (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Sam Bennett (2 episodes, 1977)
Elma V. Jackson ...
 Mama Ada (2 episodes, 1977)
Lillian Randolph ...
 Sister Sara (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Leonard (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Jemmy Brent / ... (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Binta (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Aurelia (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Kailuba (2 episodes, 1977)
Ann Weldon ...
 Mary (2 episodes, 1977)
Rebecca Bess ...
 Girl on Ship (2 episodes, 1977)
Fred Covington ...
 Auctioneer (2 episodes, 1977)
Joe Dorsey ...
 Calvert (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Slaver (2 episodes, 1977)
Rachel Longaker ...
 Caroline (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Young Missy Reynolds (2 episodes, 1977)
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Storyline

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, 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

Taglines:

The Saga of an American Family.

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Raíces  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$6,600,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(8 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When ABC programmed it to air on several consecutive nights in prime time, it was considered a revolutionary approach to programming a mini-series. Most were aired once or twice a week over several weeks. Years later, the network revealed that it was aired that way to get the show "out of the way" in a hurry. The network felt that nobody would watch the story if it aired over a longer period of time. See more »

Goofs

When Kunta holds baby Kizzy for the first time, Kunta's mouth is visible at the left edge of the screen. He speaks, but his mouth doesn't move. See more »

Quotes

Tom Harvey: Listen to me, Jimmy Brent! Listen to me! And take this message with you to Hell! The last hands to touch you in this Earth... was my BLACK hands!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Good Bad Flicks: Masters of the Universe (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Oluwa
by Quincy Jones
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User Reviews

 
120 years worth crammed in to over 9 hours! Amazing!
18 September 2004 | by (England) – See all my reviews

There is nothing quite like Roots and i don't think anything will be done like it again. I first saw this about 5 years ago and since then i've seen it all 3 more times. It is a phenomenal achievement!

*SPOILERS*

Roots starts off around 1750 when an African baby is born called Kunta Kinte and follows his life. He gets enslaved by slavers when he's 15 and is taken to a white supremest America where he is sold at a slave market to a Virginian tobacco business man. From there we follow Kunta all the way through to old age and beyond and after he dies we follow his daughter and when she dies as an old lady we follow her son and so on. Basically the main characters die off and then the newish minor characters become main characters as well as there are new characters which are brought in from time to time. All the while though the black people are slaves and treated as 3rd class citizens. We see how they struggle with their hard life and how some of them are happy to be slaves as they've never known anything else and how some dream of freedom. Over the years and generations we see good white people, indifferent white people and very bad white people. It passes quickly through the war of independence but focuses longer on the civil war mainly because this is the beginning of the end of black slavery in America which leads to the KKK part of Roots.

After watching Roots it really does feel like you have watched 120 years of a families generations. From the beginning where Kunta is born all the way to the end where a very old Chicken George leads his family to a new free life. It is quite mind boggling.

I could write a huge review about this mighty saga but i ain't got the time and i doubt anyone would read it anyway. As a white guy i am ashamed at how white people treated black people so badly even though to a lesser extent that still goes on in the world today.

The story is amazing, the acting is award winning and i have no quips with Roots at all apart from one thing. Everyone ages through this except the amazing ageless Mr Moore. Over a span of around 50 years he doesn't age a day. When he is first introduced he looks about 50 and 50 years later he still looks like 50. I think he must be a Highlander or something! LOL

Of course, Roots was made possible by the writer Alex Haley who was a descendant of Kunta Kinte which is explained at the very end. I recommend Roots very highly. It's for people who enjoy history and an engrossing story. You will also get attached to the characters and feel a sense of loss when one of them die. I've only covered the very basics and left a ton of stuff out in this review. Just like Schindler's List you have to watch this because it is an important piece of film making based on a true story. One word....Brilliant! 10/10


35 of 50 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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This is all a work of fiction...Alex Haley was a plagiarist jrb19690
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