8.4/10
16,169
70 user 12 critic

Roots 

Trailer
1:28 | Trailer
A dramatization of author Alex Haley's family line from ancestor Kunta Kinte's enslavement to his descendants' liberation.
Reviews
Popularity
388 ( 109)

Episodes

Seasons


Years



1  
1977  
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 16 wins & 35 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Series cast summary:
Robert Reed ...  Dr. William Reynolds 4 episodes, 1977
John Amos ...  Older Kunta Kinte / ... 3 episodes, 1977
Louis Gossett Jr. ...  Fiddler 3 episodes, 1977
Lynda Day George ...  Mrs. Reynolds 3 episodes, 1977
Olivia Cole ...  Mathilda / ... 3 episodes, 1977
Madge Sinclair ...  Bell Reynolds 3 episodes, 1977
Ben Vereen ...  Chicken George Moore 3 episodes, 1977
Lloyd Bridges ...  Evan Brent 2 episodes, 1977
Georg Stanford Brown ...  Tom Harvey 2 episodes, 1977
Chuck Connors ...  Tom Moore 2 episodes, 1977
Lorne Greene ...  John Reynolds 2 episodes, 1977
Sandy Duncan ...  Missy Anne Reynolds 2 episodes, 1977
Ralph Waite ...  Slater 2 episodes, 1977
Brad Davis ...  Old George 2 episodes, 1977
Edward Asner ...  Capt. Thomas Davies 2 episodes, 1977
Ji-Tu Cumbuka ...  Wrestler 2 episodes, 1977
Hilly Hicks ...  Lewis Harvey 2 episodes, 1977
Vic Morrow ...  Ames 2 episodes, 1977
Lynne Moody ...  Irene Harvey 2 episodes, 1977
Lillian Randolph ...  Sister Sara 2 episodes, 1977
Leslie Uggams ...  Kizzy Reynolds Moore / ... 2 episodes, 1977
Tanya Boyd ...  Genelva 2 episodes, 1977
Richard McKenzie ...  Sam Harvey 2 episodes, 1977
Renn Woods ...  Fanta 2 episodes, 1977
Sally Kemp ...  Lila Harvey 2 episodes, 1977
LeVar Burton ...  Kunta Kinte / ... 2 episodes, 1977
Thayer David ...  Harlan 2 episodes, 1977
Austin Stoker ...  Virgil Harvey 2 episodes, 1977
Lane Binkley ...  Martha Johnson 2 episodes, 1977
Stan Haze ...  Field Singer / ... 2 episodes, 1977
Fred D. Scott Fred D. Scott ...  Luther 2 episodes, 1977
Edit

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:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Georg Stanford Brown (Tom Harvey) and Lynne Moody (Irene Harvey) are the only actors to reprise their roles in Roots: The Next Generations (1979). See more »

Goofs

Hank Williams song "Take These Chains From My Heart,"released in 1947, is played in one episode. See more »

Quotes

Kintango: Who can tell me if there was a tribal war, and the men of Mandinka had the enemy surrounded on three sides, what should be the next thing done?
Boy: The men of the Mandinka will enclose the circle and surround the enemy.
Kintango: No, the goal of war is not to kill. The goal of war is to win. By surrounding the enemy, you would force him only to fight more desperately. If you surround him on three sides and leave him an escape route, he will leave your land and there will less blood spilled on both sides. For a...
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

The 40th anniversary Blu-ray release restores the entire series to its 8 episode format. Making it the first time it's been made available in this form since the original 1977 ABC airings. See more »

Connections

Version of Roots (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Oluwa
by Quincy Jones
See more »

User Reviews

Completing the picture
29 January 2005 | by stevewest-1See 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.


37 of 50 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 70 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 January 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Roots See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(total run time)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed