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

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Roots: Season 1: Episode 1 -- In Gambia, West Africa, Kunta Kinte, son of Omoro and Binta, distinguishes himself in manhood training rituals. But he does not enjoy his new status long: slave traders sweeping the countryside seize him. Chained with other captives, Kunta begins an agonized odyssey to the New World.
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:
8.6/10   8,366 votes »
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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 »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won Golden Globe. Another 16 wins & 35 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A well told story, but after looking further into it, I can't praise it TOO much See more (61 total) »

Cast

 (Series Cast Summary - 64 of 68)

Olivia Cole ... Mathilda (6 episodes, 1977)

Robert Reed ... Dr. William Reynolds (5 episodes, 1977)

John Amos ... 'Toby' / ... (5 episodes, 1977)

Madge Sinclair ... Bell Reynolds (5 episodes, 1977)

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

Louis Gossett Jr. ... Fiddler (5 episodes, 1977)

Vic Morrow ... Ames (5 episodes, 1977)

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

Lynda Day George ... Mrs. Reynolds (4 episodes, 1977)

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

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

Sandy Duncan ... Missy Anne Reynolds (4 episodes, 1977)

Chuck Connors ... Tom Moore (4 episodes, 1977)

Edward Asner ... Capt. Thomas Davies (3 episodes, 1977)
Ji-Tu Cumbuka ... Wrestler (3 episodes, 1977)

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

Lorne Greene ... John Reynolds (3 episodes, 1977)

Thayer David ... Harlan (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)

Maya Angelou ... Nyo Boto / ... (2 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)

Paul Shenar ... John Carrington (2 episodes, 1977)

Gary Collins ... Grill (2 episodes, 1977)

Lee de Broux ... Trumbull (2 episodes, 1977)

Beverly Todd ... Fanta (2 episodes, 1977)
Tanya Boyd ... Genelva (2 episodes, 1977)

Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs ... Noah (2 episodes, 1977)
Raymond St. Jacques ... The Drummer (2 episodes, 1977)
Stan Haze ... Field Singer / ... (2 episodes, 1977)

John Schuck ... Ordell (2 episodes, 1977)

Roxie Roker ... Melissa (2 episodes, 1977)
Elma V. Jackson ... Mama Ada (2 episodes, 1977)
Lillian Randolph ... Sister Sara (2 episodes, 1977)
Davis Roberts ... Leonard (2 episodes, 1977)
Richard McKenzie ... Sam Harvey (2 episodes, 1977)

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

Tina Andrews ... Aurelia (2 episodes, 1977)

John Quade ... Sheriff Biggs (2 episodes, 1977)
Ernest Thomas ... Kailuba (2 episodes, 1977)
Ann Weldon ... Mary (2 episodes, 1977)
Rebecca Bess ... Girl on Ship (2 episodes, 1977)
Fred Covington ... Auctioneer (2 episodes, 1977)
Hank Rolike ... John (2 episodes, 1977)
Pat Corley ... Referee (2 episodes, 1977)
Joe Dorsey ... Calvert (2 episodes, 1977)

John Dennis Johnston ... Man at Cockfight / ... (2 episodes, 1977)

Brion James ... Slaver (2 episodes, 1977)
Rachel Longaker ... Caroline (2 episodes, 1977)

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

Richard Farnsworth ... Slave Catcher (2 episodes, 1977)

Tracey Gold ... Young Missy Reynolds (2 episodes, 1977)
(more)

Series Directed by
Marvin J. Chomsky (2 episodes, 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)
 
Series Thanks
Randy Miller .... special thanks (1 episode, 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:
Ernest Thomas, who plays Kailuba, screen tested for the role of Kunta Kinte.See more »
Goofs:
Audio/visual unsynchronized: When Kunta holds baby Kizzy for the first time, we see her in close up. At the left edge of the screen we can see Kunta's mouth. We hear him speaking, but his mouth isn't moving.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 Pink Floyd The Wall Redux (2002)See more »
Soundtrack:
OluwaSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
14 out of 26 people found the following review useful.
A well told story, but after looking further into it, I can't praise it TOO much, 14 September 2007
Author: Electrified_Voltage from Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Back in 1999, not too long before I became a teenager, I got to see this 1977 mini-series on TV. I didn't catch the very beginning, but started watching at one point during the first episode, and then watched the rest of the episodes from start to finish as they aired weekly. I had no clue what "Roots" was about when I started watching, so I was in for some surprises, and it was one unforgettable experience! I've finally watched the hit mini-series again after eight years (all of it this time), but by this time, I had learned that it appears it's not what I thought it was for many years!

This mini-series is an adaptation of the book of the same name, written by Alex Haley, which is supposed to be about his family history. It starts with Kunta Kinte, who is born in an African village in 1750. Sadly, as a teenager, he is kidnapped by slave traders and taken across the Atlantic Ocean to America, where he is sold into slavery and given the name Toby. From there, the story focuses on the life of Kunta as a slave on a plantation in Virginia, and then his descendants in the next several generations that follow.

Haley has received a lot of praise for tracing back his ancestry so far and writing about it, but there seems to be a lot of evidence indicating that he didn't really do it, and his story is a fraud. Obviously, he would have had to make SOME things up for the story, but apparently, he plagiarized a lot of it from a book called "The African", written by an author named Harold Courlander, which he was sued for. It has also been revealed that the story is mostly fictional. Many have pointed these things out already, and I'm just trying to put them into my own words. I'm not going to say anything else about it, but you could easily find a lot more information elsewhere.

The reason why I have given this adaptation of "Roots" a 6/10 is that despite what I've mentioned above, it's still an interesting story, with some very moving scenes! Some parts may not have been scripted as well as they could have been, but overall, it's a VERY memorable mini-series. For that, I give it an above average rating, but would give it a higher one if it weren't for the negative things I've learned about it. The fact that it was presented as a family history when it really isn't, and is still advertised as such today (like I saw on the back of the DVD set) just isn't right. It's common for films based on true stories to be very inaccurate, but "Roots" isn't even really based on a true story! So, it's not a bad mini-series, but don't watch it thinking it's what it says it is (like I once did).

Was the above review useful to you?
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