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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  
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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Saga of an American Family.


Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

23 January 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Raíces  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,600,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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(total run time)

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One ABC executive explained the blockbuster ratings by saying "One third of America was snowed in, one third of America is black, and one third watches ABC anyway." See more »

Goofs

Kizzy, a slave who works in the fields, has long, beautifully manicured fingernails. 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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Connections

Referenced in Deep Roots (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

Oluwa
by Quincy Jones
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User Reviews

Completing the picture
29 January 2005 | by See all my reviews

I was born in 1980, and had heard of Roots from reading about LeVar Burton being the only real "name" to join Star Trek: The Next Generation. I came across the boxset at my local library and was able to find out what this "Roots" thing was all about. Having the series on DVD was definitely a boon as (despite being in NTSC) it has a crisp and clear appearance, usually stuff on TV from the 70's or 80's has a characteristic fuzziness.

Despite it's lowish budget, and age, Roots has a certain kinetic energy, it kept me interested from the start. Being able to see a young LeVar Burton was great, and without any visors or contact lenses. The casting was excellent all around and the actors put in 100% effort. My only bone to pick was using two different actors for Kunta Kinte. They were physically very different, John Amos doesn't look, act or sound like LeVar Burton, which disrupts the sense of continuity the rest of the multi-episode characters had.

By the end I found I had become quite involved with the series and enjoyed seeing it unfold, I liked it so much I viewed the whole nine hours again with commentary (well, I had time to kill). It is interesting that Roots carries a sense of history (as in the late 70's) and culture with it, it's not just a TV show, there's a whole air surrounding it. I'm glad I got the opportunity to see it, I gained a clearer understanding of where African-Americans as a people are coming from, and I hope everyone who hasn't seen it yet gets the opportunity to do so.


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