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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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1,073 ( 201)

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1  
1977  
Top Rated TV #224 | Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 16 wins & 35 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
...  Dr. William Reynolds 4 episodes, 1977
...  Older Kunta Kinte / ... 3 episodes, 1977
...  Fiddler 3 episodes, 1977
...  Mrs. Reynolds 3 episodes, 1977
...  Mathilda / ... 3 episodes, 1977
...  Bell Reynolds 3 episodes, 1977
...  'Chicken' George Moore / ... 3 episodes, 1977
...  Evan Brent 2 episodes, 1977
...  Tom Harvey 2 episodes, 1977
...  Tom Moore 2 episodes, 1977
...  John Reynolds 2 episodes, 1977
...  Missy Anne Reynolds 2 episodes, 1977
...  Slater 2 episodes, 1977
...  Old George 2 episodes, 1977
...  Capt. Thomas Davies 2 episodes, 1977
...  Wrestler 2 episodes, 1977
...  Lewis Harvey 2 episodes, 1977
...  Ames 2 episodes, 1977
...  Irene Harvey 2 episodes, 1977
...  Sister Sara 2 episodes, 1977
...  Kizzy Reynolds Moore / ... 2 episodes, 1977
...  Genelva 2 episodes, 1977
...  Sam Harvey 2 episodes, 1977
...  Fanta 2 episodes, 1977
...  Lila Harvey 2 episodes, 1977
...  Kunta Kinte / ... 2 episodes, 1977
...  Harlan 2 episodes, 1977
...  Virgil Harvey 2 episodes, 1977
...  Martha Johnson 2 episodes, 1977
...  Field Singer / ... 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. 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>

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Taglines:

The Saga of an American Family.


Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

23 January 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Raíces  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,600,000 (estimated)
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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The installment that aired on January 30, 1977 was the most-watched television show in U.S. history at the time. It got a Nielsen share of seventy-one, with 36.38 million households, or 51.1 percent, watching. It has since been surpassed by the M*A*S*H (1972) finale, and the "Who Shot J.R.?" episode of Dallas (1978), season three finale, "A House Divided". See more »

Goofs

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.
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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 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


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