IMDb > "Roots" (1977)
"Roots"
Quicklinks
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
Overview
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany creditsepisode listepisodes castepisode ratings... by rating... by votes
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsmessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summaryplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
Promotional
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

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

Photos (See all 35 | slideshow) Videos (see all 4)
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

User Rating:
8.5/10   7,865 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Down 54% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Contact:
View company contact information for Roots on IMDbPro.
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 »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won Golden Globe. Another 15 wins & 35 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A story that needed to be told... See more (61 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)
(more)

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)

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)
 
Series Special Effects by
John Frazier .... special effects supervisor (12 episodes, 1977)
 
Series Stunts
Craig R. Baxley .... stunts (12 episodes, 1977)
 
Series Camera and Electrical Department
Víctor Pérez .... lighting technician (12 episodes, 1977)
Joseph W. Calloway .... key first assistant camera (10 episodes, 1977)
Lee Heckler .... gaffer (2 episodes, 1977)
 
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)
 
Series Other crew
Calvin Spencer .... double: Lloyd Bridges (3 episodes, 1977)
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)
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

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:
The installment which aired in 30 January 1977 in the USA was the most-watched TV show in US history (since surpassed by the "M*A*S*H" (1972) finale in 1983 and "Who Shot J.R.?" episode of "Dallas" (1978)) in 1980. In the US 36.38 million households or 51.1% watched it giving it a Neilsen share of 71%.See more »
Goofs:
Factual errors: The ship "Lord Ligonier" is flying a White Ensign flag even though this is a merchant ship. The White Ensign is only flown by ships of the Royal Navy. Merchant ships fly the Red Ensign.See more »
Quotes:
Kunta Kinti:What's snow, Fiddler?
Fiddler:Never you mind, boy, never you mind. Let's get on back to home. I got enough trouble teaching you the difference between manure and massa. 'Course there ain't all that much difference when you gets right down to it.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Diggstown (1992)See more »
Soundtrack:
OluwaSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
A story that needed to be told..., 19 May 2011
Author: Naberrie218 from United States

I decided to look up Roots recently after remembering that LeVar Burton starred in it. I had heard about it somewhere years ago, as a kid, and knew it was about slavery, but not much else about it. I'm glad I decided to take the time and watch it. It's a story that should be seen by all people, regardless of skin color or background, for it is first and foremost, a human story. That people could treat other human beings the way the slaves were treated is completely appalling.

It is heartbreaking to see an innocent young man taken away from his home and forced to be a slave. It is sickening to see the grim reality of slavery and how people were treated worse than animals because of their skin color. Although many parts of the movie are disturbing, it is necessary that that those things are shown in order to fully understand the extent of what these human beings had to endure. Kunta Kinte is the image of the indomitable human spirit, and has become one of my favorite characters. I admire how he refused to submit and be treated like he was nothing, how he fought to keep his name and heritage though they were all trying to change him.

If you are human, then you will definitely feel immense compassion for the main character, and for all the slaves who had to endure such cruelty from people who called themselves human and civilized. There are many parts of it that will leave you feeling disgusted about how anyone could do such things to human beings.

The actors do a great job of making you love or hate their characters. You will feel repugnance at characters like Slater and Ames, and Edward Asner does a great portrayal of a Captain Davies, commanding a slave ship but at the same time deeply bothered by his own conscience and morality.

Of course, the star is LeVar Burton and he is excellent as Kunta Kinte, bringing all the emotions of his character to life. Through Kunta's eyes, you see the horrors he is forced to endure, you feel his pain, and the endearing innocence of his character makes it all the more heartbreaking. The only thing I did not like about the movie is how they used two very different actors to portray the same character. Especially since John Amos doesn't look, sound, or act like Levar Burton.

I understand that they couldn't believably make a 19 or 20 year old LeVar Burton look like like he was 50, so getting an older actor to play that part was necessary, however, John Amos came into the movie way too soon. In 1776, Kunta is only 26 years old and still a young man. It makes no sense that they got John Amos to play him at that age, it should have definitely been LeVar Burton still portraying Kunta. (And as many people know, in real life, LeVar still looked pretty much the same in his 30s as he did at 19) I also feel that they should have gotten an actor who resembled LeVar a bit more than John Amos did and that he shouldn't have come into the movie until much later, when Kunta was to be portrayed as a graying and middle-aged man, not someone still in his 20s. What they did took away from the continuity of the story and I lost some of that sense of immersion that I'd felt since up till then.

That said, the story itself is a great one, a very tragic and heartbreaking human story that reflects the struggle of all the oppressed people in this world, as well as educates people about the grim and disturbing reality of a part of this nation's history. It also is a reminder that they can never take away who you are as a person, no matter what, and that the strength of the human soul rises above all. Now that I've seen it on screen, I'm definitely going to read the book, which will undoubtedly have more details than can be shown on screen and enrich the story even more.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (61 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for "Roots" (1977)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Yaphet Koto - What episode or part does he appear in ? LesterFester
Why was Belle allowed to discipline Missy Anne as a kid? vivflow
Why pick a black actor for the part of Chicken George? french-ingenue17
My Favorite Scene - What's Yours ? LesterFester
Kunta chained TwiztidRoman
Food served on the Lord Ligonier chihuahuaboydh-724-612855
See more »

Recommendations

If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
"Roots: The Next Generations" Glory Gone with the Wind Mandingo Beloved
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Episode guide Full cast and crew Company credits
External reviews News articles IMDb TV section
IMDb Drama section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.

You may add a new episode for this TV series by clicking the 'add episode' button