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Roots (Four-Disc 30th Anniversary Edition)

711 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Roots 30th Anniversary Special Edition (DVD)

Based on Alex Haley's best-selling novel about his African ancestors, Roots followed several generations in the lives of a slave family. The saga began with Kunta Kinte (LeVar Burton), a West African youth captured by slave raiders and shipped to America in the 1700s. The family's saga is depicted up until the Civil War where Kunte Kinte's grandson gained emancipation. Roots made its greatest impression on the ratings and widespread popularity it garnered. On average, 130 million - almost half the country at the time - saw all or part of the series.

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Special Features

  • "Crossing Over: How Roots Captivated an Entire Nation" (2007)
  • Cast/crew commentaries with video option
  • Documentary "Roots: One Year Later" (1978)
  • "Remembering Roots" (2002)

Product Details

  • Actors: Various
  • Directors: Various
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: October 9, 2007
  • Run Time: 573 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (711 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000NA21S6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,854 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Roots (Four-Disc 30th Anniversary Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

618 of 632 people found the following review helpful By Eric S. Richard on May 26, 2007
Format: DVD
Warner Bros. has never given us a true representation of this classic on vhs or dvd. Roots originally aired over eight nights. Four of the eight episodes were one hour in length. All opening scenes from these episodes have been cut on dvd. Also the opening and closing credits are not the same...the episodes having been combined. The opening titles originally ended on a dark blue background with the cover of the book rising up and the words "AN ABC NOVEL FOR TELEVISION-ALEX HALEY's ROOTS THE SAGA OF AN AMERICAN FAMILY" on-screen. Also, these are the exact same discs as the ones from 2002, with the exception of a bonus disc. The audio error at the start of Episode Three is still there. It hasn't even been fixed. Come on guys. This isn't just any television program...it is an American treasure. We want to enjoy the show as closely to its original intent as possible, and to pass that original down through the generations. The Kinte family excelled at preserving their history. It's a shame that Warner Bros. can't follow their example.
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266 of 281 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 6, 2002
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This show aired for the first time when I was 8. I have to say I didn't watch it -but heard a lot about it-, so when I heard it was coming out on DVD, I take a chance and ordered it.
It's no wonder this show was the most watched in history. I have to say I'm not American, therefore the history itself isn't my history. Still, I felt totally touched by the series, and had to make an effort after each episode not to watch the next inmediately and go to bed. In my opinion, this is not a story for blacks, or Americans. This is a great story -whether you want to watch is as history or fiction, if makes you feel better somehow- that everyone will enjoy.
Anyway, most likely you already know what roots it's about. If you don't, well, it's the story of seven generations of a black family, from the capture in Africa of a free black (Kunta Kinte) to become a slave, to the writer of the book (Alex Haley) himself.
Actually note that the DVDs tell the story from Kunta Kinte until the generation where they become free, then explains in the final minutes happened to the rest. The story is told complete in Roots: The Next Generations, which isn't available on DVD yet.
I will comment on the DVD now. The box comes with three double sided DVDs (which I don't like, because I think they are more prone to be damaged). Total running time is 573 minutes. Region is 1. The primary track (English) is closed captioned, and there are subtitles in English, Spanish and French. Note that the additional commentary is not subtitled, so if you are impaired you will miss it.
Sound is in mono both in the English and the Spanish tracks (dolby digital, though) and is very decent.
Video is 4:3, and it's quite clean. It's interlaced (if you care about this because you use your PC to watch DVDs).
As for the box itself, it's convinient and doesn't take a lot of shelf space, which I appreciate very much.
There are no booklets included.
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67 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Douglas L. Mcleod on July 23, 2007
Format: DVD
The complete story was not there. There was a lot more to the actual Mini Series. We felt that we had been cheated.
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90 of 94 people found the following review helpful By Viewer on February 10, 2008
Format: DVD
I was able to watch the original series on tv in 1977 & enjoy history, but this cut 4 dvd version is pathetic. To many scenes removed, that gives a greater understanding of the story. I wouldn't recommend you buy this set as the original was awesome not this cut down version. I would have paid for a 5/6 dvd set to include the scenes that has been removed.
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67 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Demetria Thompson on June 3, 2007
Format: DVD
I can't believe this. I knew that this was too good to be true. This edited version is not satisfactory. I have seen the origional Roots and this is not it. I bought Roots thinking that I had the full version.
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124 of 137 people found the following review helpful By forrie on August 1, 2003
Format: DVD
200 years to unfold, 12 years of research to discover, 2 years to create, 8 nights to make television history.
Alex Haley's "ROOTS" a Pultizer Prize Winning Book adapated Srceen Play dominated TV and America in 1977. Winner of 9 Emmy Awards, the George Foster Peabody Award, the Television Critics Circle Awards and the Golden Globe Award. This was a mini-series which Ameica watched and it change us forever.
Alex Haley spent 12 years retracing and recreating his family tree. "ROOTS" was the result of this research and it tells an incredible story of one mans family and American slavery.
This story is a must viewing!! A very enlightening story of slavery and America.
Warner Brothers did a great job transferring this classic series to DVD. This Standard Format 3 DVD set (double sided) gives us the complete 'ROOTS" experience (over 570 minutes)to view over and over. The extras include; Complete Commentary by Producer David L. Wolper and numerous series stars, Behind the Scenes documentary, Video High lights, The ROOTS Family Tree and a documentary Remembering ROOTS (with most of the stars in the series in reflection).
Summary; His name was Kunta Kinte. Kidnapped from Africa and enslaved in America in 1767. The journey began to keep his heritage and reclaim freedom. This process covered generations and through word of mouth survive until it reached a young boy growing up in Tennessee. His name was Alex Haley and he proclaimed Kunta Kinte's name to the world.
Don't miss this outstanding must see family experience. Enjoy.
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62 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Johnathan P. Adkins on May 26, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
What everyone has to know is this a edited version of the original. Its was a 12 hours now down to 9 1/2 hours. its still one of the best shows ever just wished they give us the original.
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Anyone else having trouble with the DVD?
Yes, we had exactly the same problem, and ended up sending two copies back to amazon. they both skipped backward at exactly the same spot. why isn't everyone else writing in about this? We'd still love to get a good copy if such a thing exists.
Aug 18, 2007 by Joseph J. Dunn |  See all 6 posts
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