A dramatization of author Alex Haley's family line from ancestor Kunta Kinte's enslavement to his descendants' liberation.
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Episodes

Seasons


Years



1  
1977  
Top Rated TV #216 | Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 16 wins & 35 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
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 Bud Harvey (8 episodes, 1977)
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 Dr. William Reynolds (5 episodes, 1977)
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 'Toby' / ... (5 episodes, 1977)
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 Bell Reynolds (5 episodes, 1977)
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 Fiddler (5 episodes, 1977)
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 Ames (5 episodes, 1977)
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 Ol' George Johnson / ... (4 episodes, 1977)
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 Kunta Kinte / ... (4 episodes, 1977)
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 Mrs. Reynolds (4 episodes, 1977)
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 Mathilda / ... (4 episodes, 1977)
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 'Chicken' George Moore / ... (4 episodes, 1977)
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 Mrs. Moore (4 episodes, 1977)
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 Kizzy Reynolds / ... (4 episodes, 1977)
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 Tom Moore (4 episodes, 1977)
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 Missy Anne Reynolds (4 episodes, 1977)
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 Capt. Thomas Davies (3 episodes, 1977)
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 Wrestler (3 episodes, 1977)
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 Slater (3 episodes, 1977)
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 John Reynolds (3 episodes, 1977)
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 Harlan (3 episodes, 1977)
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 Evan Brent (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Tom Harvey (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Nyo Boto / ... (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Kintango (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Omoro (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Lewis Harvey (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Brima Cesay (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Gardner (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Irene Harvey (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Fanta (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Sam Harvey (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Lila Harvey (2 episodes, 1977)
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 John Carrington (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Grill (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Virgil Harvey (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Martha Johnson (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Trumbull (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Fanta / ... (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Genelva (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Noah (2 episodes, 1977)
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 The Drummer (2 episodes, 1977)
Pat Corley ...
 Referee (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Mingo (2 episodes, 1977)
Stan Haze ...
 Field Singer / ... (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Man at Cockfight (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Ordell (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Stephen Bennett (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Melissa (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Sam Bennett (2 episodes, 1977)
Elma V. Jackson ...
 Mama Ada (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Sister Sara (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Leonard (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Jemmy Brent / ... (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Binta (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Aurelia (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Kailuba (2 episodes, 1977)
Ann Weldon ...
 Mary (2 episodes, 1977)
Rebecca Bess ...
 Girl on Ship (2 episodes, 1977)
Fred Covington ...
 Auctioneer (2 episodes, 1977)
Joe Dorsey ...
 Calvert (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Slaver (2 episodes, 1977)
Rachel Longaker ...
 Caroline (2 episodes, 1977)
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 Young Missy Reynolds (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

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Raíces  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$6,600,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(8 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Novelist Harold Courlander successfully sued author Alex Haley for plagiarizing works which led to the book that served as the basis for the mini-series. Haley paid $650,000 in an out-of-court settlement. See more »

Goofs

Much of the topography and flora throughout the series is wrong for the areas in which it was set. The Reynolds plantation, in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, is in a mountainous with a lot of plants native to dry areas, like Southern California. In real life, Spotsylvania County is flat and rainy. See more »

Quotes

Kunta Kinti: What Christmas, Fiddlah?
Fiddler: Christmas is when White folk give each other stuff don't neither of em need.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Scrubs: Her Story II (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Oluwa
by Quincy Jones
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User Reviews

Completing the picture
29 January 2005 | by (Adelaide, Australia) – 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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