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"Roots"
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"Roots" (1977) More at IMDbPro »TV mini-series 1977-

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Roots: :  -- A dramatization of author Alex Haley's family line from ancestor Kunta Kinte's enslavement to his descendents' liberation.
Roots: :  -- A dramatization of author Alex Haley's family line from ancestor Kunta Kinte's enslavement to his descendents' liberation.

Overview

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Contact:
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Seasons:
1
Release Date:
23 January 1977 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
A dramatization of author Alex Haley's family line from ancestor Kunta Kinte's enslavement to his descendants' liberation. Full summary »
Awards:
Won Golden Globe. Another 15 wins & 35 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
There is something for everyone, thanks to Roots See more (60 total) »

Cast

 (Series Cast Summary - 52 of 56)

Olivia Cole ... Mathilda (5 episodes, 1977)

Ben Vereen ... 'Chicken' George Moore (5 episodes, 1977)

LeVar Burton ... Kunta Kinte / ... (4 episodes, 1977)

John Amos ... 'Toby' / ... (4 episodes, 1977)

Leslie Uggams ... Kizzy Reynolds (4 episodes, 1977)

Carolyn Jones ... Mrs. Moore (4 episodes, 1977)

Louis Gossett Jr. ... Fiddler (4 episodes, 1977)

Vic Morrow ... Ames (4 episodes, 1977)

Chuck Connors ... Tom Moore (4 episodes, 1977)
Ji-Tu Cumbuka ... Wrestler (3 episodes, 1977)

Edward Asner ... Capt. Thomas Davies (3 episodes, 1977)

Ralph Waite ... Slater (3 episodes, 1977)

Robert Reed ... Dr. William Reynolds (3 episodes, 1977)

Lynda Day George ... Mrs. Reynolds (3 episodes, 1977)

Madge Sinclair ... Bell Reynolds (3 episodes, 1977)

Scatman Crothers ... Mingo (3 episodes, 1977)

George Hamilton ... Stephen Bennett (3 episodes, 1977)

Richard Roundtree ... Sam Bennett (3 episodes, 1977)

Lloyd Bridges ... Evan Brent (3 episodes, 1977)

Georg Stanford Brown ... Tom Harvey (3 episodes, 1977)

Brad Davis ... Ol' George Johnson (3 episodes, 1977)
Hilly Hicks ... Lewis (3 episodes, 1977)
Lynne Moody ... Irene Harvey (3 episodes, 1977)
Lane Binkley ... Martha Johnson (3 episodes, 1977)

Austin Stoker ... Virgil (3 episodes, 1977)

Sandy Duncan ... Missy Anne Reynolds (3 episodes, 1977)

Tracey Gold ... Young missy reynolds (3 episodes, 1977)

Moses Gunn ... Kintango (2 episodes, 1977)
Thalmus Rasulala ... Omoro (2 episodes, 1977)
Hari Rhodes ... Brima Cesay (2 episodes, 1977)
William Watson ... Gardner (2 episodes, 1977)

Renn Woods ... Fanta (2 episodes, 1977)

Lorne Greene ... John Reynolds (2 episodes, 1977)

Thayer David ... Harlan (2 episodes, 1977)

Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs ... Noah (2 episodes, 1977)

Roxie Roker ... Melissa (2 episodes, 1977)
Lillian Randolph ... Sister Sara (2 episodes, 1977)
Davis Roberts ... Leonard (2 episodes, 1977)

Maya Angelou ... Nyo Boto / ... (2 episodes, 1977)
Richard McKenzie ... Sam Harvey (2 episodes, 1977)
John Quade ... Sheriff Biggs (2 episodes, 1977)

Doug McClure ... Jemmy Brent / ... (2 episodes, 1977)

Cicely Tyson ... Binta (2 episodes, 1977)

Tina Andrews ... Aurelia (2 episodes, 1977)
Rebecca Bess ... Girl on Ship (2 episodes, 1977)
Henry Butts ... Sitafa (2 episodes, 1977)
Joe Dorsey ... Calvert (2 episodes, 1977)
Kermit Echols ... Vilars (2 episodes, 1977)

Richard Farnsworth ... Slave catcher (2 episodes, 1977)
Ronnie Leggett ... Kalila (2 episodes, 1977)
Rachel Longaker ... Caroline (2 episodes, 1977)
Ernest Thomas ... Kailuba (2 episodes, 1977)
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Series Directed by
Marvin J. Chomsky (1 episode, 1977)
John Erman (1 episode, 1977)
David Greene (1 episode, 1977)
Gilbert Moses (1 episode, 1977)
 
Series Writing credits
Alex Haley (12 episodes, 1977)
James Lee (7 episodes, 1977)

M. Charles Cohen (unknown episodes)

Series Produced by
Donald A. Ramsey .... associate producer (2 episodes, 1977)
 
Series Original Music by
Gerald Fried (1 episode, 1977)
Quincy Jones (1 episode, 1977)
 
Series Cinematography by
Stevan Larner (1 episode, 1977)
Joseph M. Wilcots (1 episode, 1977)
 
Series Film Editing by
James T. Heckert (1 episode, 1977)
Peter Kirby (1 episode, 1977)
Neil Travis (1 episode, 1977)
 
Series Casting by
Lynn Stalmaster (2 episodes, 1977)
 
Series Production Design by
Jan Scott (1 episode, 1977)
 
Series Art Direction by
Joseph R. Jennings (1 episode, 1977)
Jan Scott (1 episode, 1977)
 
Series Set Decoration by
Charles C. Bennett (1 episode, 1977)
Solomon Brewer (1 episode, 1977)
 
Series Costume Design by
Jack Martell (2 episodes, 1977)
 
Series Makeup Department
Lola 'Skip' McNalley .... hair stylist (2 episodes, 1977)

Gene Witham .... makeup artist (unknown episodes)
 
Series Production Management
Conrad Holzgang .... executive in charge of production (2 episodes, 1977)
George Taylor .... post-production supervisor (2 episodes, 1977)
Phillips Wylly Sr. .... manager production operations (2 episodes, 1977)
 
Series Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Mack Bing .... assistant director (1 episode, 1977)
Michael Kusley .... assistant director (1 episode, 1977)
Bill Lukather .... assistant director (1 episode, 1977)
 
Series Art Department
Terry Ballard .... property master (2 episodes, 1977)
 
Series Sound Department
Arnold Braun .... sound mixer (1 episode, 1977)
Willie D. Burton .... sound recordist (1 episode, 1977)
Larry Carow .... sound editor (1 episode, 1977)
Gene Corso .... sound effects editor (1 episode, 1977)
George Fredrick .... sound editor (1 episode, 1977)
Robert L. Harman .... sound mixer (1 episode, 1977)
Robert J. Litt .... sound mixer (1 episode, 1977)
Hoppy Mehterian .... sound mixer (1 episode, 1977)
Lorane Mitchell .... sound effects editor (1 episode, 1977)
Colin C. Mouat .... sound editor (1 episode, 1977)
Lawrence E. Neiman .... sound editor (1 episode, 1977)
Eddie Nelson .... sound mixer (1 episode, 1977)
Leonard Peterson .... sound mixer (1 episode, 1977)
David Pettijohn .... sound editor (1 episode, 1977)
George Porter .... sound mixer (1 episode, 1977)
Bruce Richardson .... sound editor (1 episode, 1977)
Bill Varney .... sound mixer (1 episode, 1977)
Donald L. Warner Jr. .... sound editor (1 episode, 1977)

Nicholas James .... sound restoration supervisor (unknown episodes)
Marvin E. Lewis .... boom operator (unknown episodes)
 
Series Special Effects by
John Frazier .... special effects supervisor (12 episodes, 1977)
 
Series Stunts
Craig R. Baxley .... stunts (12 episodes, 1977)

Gene Witham .... stunts (unknown episodes)
 
Series Camera and Electrical Department
Víctor Pérez .... lighting technician (12 episodes, 1977)
Lee Heckler .... gaffer (2 episodes, 1977)

Joseph W. Calloway .... key assistant camera (unknown episodes)
Curtis Foster .... lamp operator (unknown episodes)
 
Series Casting Department
Shirley Fulton Crumley .... extras casting (unknown episodes)
 
Series Costume and Wardrobe Department
Ed Fincher .... costumer: men (2 episodes, 1977)
Donna Roberts .... costumer: women (2 episodes, 1977)
 
Series Editorial Department
Fred Kaplan .... assistant editor (1 episode, 1977)
Mary Nelson-Duerrstein .... negative cutter (1 episode, 1977)
Darrell Upshaw .... assistant editor (1 episode, 1977)
 
Series Music Department
Tommy Morgan .... musician: harmonica (12 episodes, 1977)
Richard Nash .... musician: trombone (12 episodes, 1977)
Tommy Tedesco .... musician: guitar (12 episodes, 1977)

Dan Wallin .... score mixer (unknown episodes)
 
Series Transportation Department
Donald P. Desmond .... transportation co-captain (12 episodes, 1977)

Frank Khoury .... driver (unknown episodes)
 
Series Other crew
Marie McKellar .... production assistant (2 episodes, 1977)
Jody Richardson .... production assistant (2 episodes, 1977)
Ron Von Schimmelmann .... production administrator (2 episodes, 1977)
Wendy Winter .... assistant to the producer (2 episodes, 1977)

Calvin Spencer .... double: Lloyd Bridges (unknown episodes)
 

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
60 min (10 episodes)
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Originally broadcast on ABC as eight programs. Four 1-hour and four 2-hour episodes apiece, as follows: Episodes 1, 2, 6 and 8 were two hours apiece. Episodes 3, 4, 5 and 7 were one hour apiece. Presented on VHS, DVD, and re-broadcast as six two-hour episodes.See more »
Goofs:
Anachronisms: When the Slave Doctor is examining Kunta Kinte in Annapolis in 1767, he is singing and humming "Pop Goes the Weasel". The music was written around 1799, and the full lyrics were published in America in 1850.See more »
Quotes:
Kunta Kinti:I'm a Mandinka warrior!
Fiddler:[turns to stable horse] Horse! I hear tell that you ain't a horse at all. I hear tell that you think you a mighty crow! I hear tell that you fly from here 'bouts all the way to Annapolis and back again. Now horse... you look mighty like a horse to me. And you sure SMELLS mighty like a horse. So I'm saying to you, that you... is... a horse! What you think you is don't matter a damn bit.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Cinema Snob Movie (2012) (V)See more »
Soundtrack:
OluwaSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
17 out of 23 people found the following review useful.
There is something for everyone, thanks to Roots, 7 January 2006
Author: Chei Mi Rose from United States

I normally don't start out this way, but I feel it matters. I am a Southern White, and I have not seen this movie up until the other night.

I thought this mini-series was one of the top three or four I have ever seen. Throughout the years since this came out, I never really bothered, thinking it would be simply white bashing. It was not. I felt it might be in contradiction with the kind people and relatives I grew up knowing. It was not.

I feel that this mini-series realistically blends black history in with the history we have been fed from the Northern side as well as the Southern side.

Most southerners were not slave owners. They were represented. I think this movie strove to show the kindness in people, as well as the darkness. I look at the South with fondness, but I know that what this movie portrayed was true - in spirit, if not fact.

Sometime after this originally came out there was some controversy over Haley faking some of this. I thought (at the time), A HA! It's bull! Again, remember that I had not watched it. Upon seeing it I realized that though some of this might be fiction, it certainly rang true.

What I didn't like about the movie: Watching Sandy Duncan and Leslie Uggams play teenagers. The acting was okay. Duncan reminded me of that spoiled brat in Little House on the Prairie. My guess is that Duncan was cast so she would look like an adult child and not seem out of place compared to Uggams. It is perhaps that during the seventies Hollywood did not want to take such a chance on a younger African-American to play Kizzy. It was an important role, and our society had not allowed Blacks to come into their own. Hollywood seems to want to force their views on society, yet they are often the last to come into line.

John Amos, whom I really like, seemed to be good and bad for his role. Someone said he sounded like he was in "Good Times" at some points. I don't feel that way. I do feel that his dialect seemed slightly out of place during some moments. He did not detract from the story, though. He carried on Burton's eternal fight for freedom with the same bullheadedness.

Ben Vereen: What can I say? When he started doing Variety Shows in the Seventies, I really admired him. He could play instruments, as well as sing, dance, and act. He does not disappoint here. I was so sad when he lost his role in Silk Stalkings due to an accident. Thankfully he has recovered over time.

Madge Sinclair: What an actress! and beautiful woman, to boot. I didn't know she had leukemia during the days I watched her on Trapper John. There were some episodes where she seemed older than her years, though always beautiful. In Roots she manages to capture and portray an inner beauty and let it shine through her bondage.

Most of the white actors were well cast, Duncan aside. I didn't realize how busy Lloyd Bridges was doing so many mini-series. He makes you hate him here, so he did his job.

Ed Asner had a very poignant remark about no one really being free. It was that he felt he was becoming a slave to his job. Please do not think I am comparing the miseries of forced slavery to a large scheme of celestial bondage, but it was pointed out in this film, that at the end of the war, freedom simply meant going from slavery into some other forced form of servitude. I'm retired, yet I often feel bound to government restrictions and the things I am forced to do routinely to simply maintain my retirement. The African-Americans added to Asner's moment by later saying that when someone died, the smile on his face meant he was finally free.

When Roots came out I remember the cries of many saying, "We now have our history!" Yes, and it was blended well into all of our histories, as I have mentioned. About five years ago, when my daughter married a man of color, he made her watch Roots. She asked me what I thought of him doing that. My response was that she needed to look at all things objectively, and know that most of life is a shade of gray. I also mentioned that had I been the same city, I would have liked to have viewed it with them. Now I can at least share my thoughts and hear my son-in-law's thoughts as well.

My biggest complaint is that the DVD is already out of print. HUH? One of the greatest mini-series ever made and I have to pay scalpers' fees for a used copy? (I borrowed my copy from the library) Please, someone! put this in a continual printing, and PLEASE, do not do what you did with others (cutting whole sections out to save a buck).

This movie (along with North and South) should be required viewing for all people. For the African-Americans, this movie should be made available forever, so that it does not simply fade into folk and family lore the way that Kunta-Kinte did - with only bits and pieces remaining.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for "Roots" (1977)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
White man still needs to pay mill722002
My Favorite Scene - What's Yours ? LesterFester
Poor Missy Anne never had a chance vivflow
Am I the only one who loves Chicken George? Candyliciousxox
A Defense For Missy Anne Reynolds vivflow
Some offbeat casting... angmc43
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