Roots: Miniseries (1977)


Miniseries
Roots

Critics Consensus

Roots may shave off the nuances of Alex Haley's landmark book for the sake of slicker storytelling, but excellent performances and the intrinsic power of this generational tale make for revelatory television.

76%

TOMATOMETER

Critic Ratings: 34

65%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 17

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Episodes

Air date: Jan 23, 1977

Part 1 of 6. The legendary saga begins with the birth of Kunta Kinte in 18th century Africa.

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Air date: Jan 24, 1977

Part 2 of 6. The captives try to revolt, but are ultimately auctioned off, with Kunta Kinte being sold to a Virginia tobacco farmer.

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Air date: Jan 25, 1977

Despite the abolition of slavery, the new world of opportunity fails to materialise. But Kunta Kinte's people continue a drive towards social justice and civil rights.

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Air date: Jan 26, 1977

Part 4 of 6. Kunta Kinte makes plans to run away with Fanta.

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Air date: Jan 27, 1977

Part 5 of 6. Kizzy, Kunta's daughter, learns to read and write with help from the owner's niece, Missy Anne Reynolds.

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Air date: Jan 28, 1977

Conclusion. Kizzy's son becomes a master chicken fighter while Kizzy is courted by a carriage driver, who wants to give her a chance to return to the plantation where she was born.

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Air date: Jan 28, 1977

Conclusion. Kizzy's son becomes a master chicken fighter while Kizzy is courted by a carriage driver, who wants to give her a chance to return to the plantation where she was born.

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Roots: Miniseries Photos

Tv Season Info

Cast & Crew

LeVar Burton
Kunta Kinte
Edward Asner
Capt. Thomas Davies
Maya Angelou
Nyo Boto
Moses Gunn
Kintango
O.J. Simpson
Kadi Touray
Robert Reed
Dr. William Reynolds
Lorne Greene
John Reynolds
Lynda Day George
Mrs. Reynolds
Madge Sinclair
Bell Reynolds
Sandy Duncan
Missy Anne Reynolds
Ben Vereen
'Chicken' George Moore
Doug McClure
Jemmy Brent
Lynne Moody
Irene Harvey
Burl Ives
Senator Arthur J. Justin
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Critic Reviews for Roots Miniseries

All Critics (34) | Top Critics (19)

The only discretion that should be exercised on Roots is to make sure everyone in your family plans to stay home every evening to watch it. It is the most important, most engrossing show of the television season.

May 4, 2021 | Full Review…

Breathless -- that's the word to sum up the impact Roots had on me and, if it doesn't have that same impact on the rest of Sydney's population, then Channel 10 might as well dig a hole and bury itself.

May 5, 2021 | Full Review…

Seldom has quality been so richly rewarded. Roots deserved every viewer it got.

May 4, 2021 | Full Review…

While I was watching Roots, the thought crossed my mind many times that it was a shame Haley's book couldn't have been put into the hands of a truly gifted writer-director... But it's pointless to speculate what might have been. What was wasn't' bad.

May 4, 2021 | Full Review…

Television's Roots has its faults, but it begins Sunday as a worthy and compelling dramatization of Haley's fascinating story.

May 4, 2021 | Full Review…

Distressingly unworthy of its subject... Judged strictly as filmmaking, the TV version of Roots was not as good as its source. The adapters relied too often on the most obvious and expedient dramatic treatment.

May 4, 2021 | Full Review…

I think the work is an insult. To say its a cut above most commercial television drama is a backhanded compliment at best. Most TV drama, to paraphrase the Duke Ellington song, is lower than a snake down in a wagon track

May 4, 2021 | Full Review…

Whoever it was who said that a picture is worth a thousand words has been disproved by this shallow, vulgarized adaptation of a powerful and moving book.

May 4, 2021 | Full Review…

How surprising that in 1977, any American, of any skin, can still be making such discoveries about his neighbors. So it seems the nation sorely needs more experiences like that of Roots, never mind its flaws.

May 5, 2021 | Full Review…

The brilliantly sensitive depiction of Alex Palmer Haley's Roots may accomplish for America's conscience in 1977 what Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin achieved in 1851.

May 5, 2021 | Full Review…

An illustrative example for the contention that anaemic high art is less worth having than low art with guts. It could be said that Roots is as low as art can get. It could even be said that it isn't art at all. But guts it's got.

May 5, 2021 | Full Review…

What will make Roots so special is that rarely, if ever, have these events, so lightly enumerated above, been shown with such feeling.

May 5, 2021 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Roots: Miniseries

  • Feb 02, 2021
    A good mini series worth watching.
  • Aug 06, 2018
    This must have been a big eye opener for the soft hearted racists. Great series.
  • Feb 07, 2018
    Roots is one of the best tv series I've ever seen! Just great!

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