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Roots (Four-Disc 30th Anniversary Edition)
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610 of 623 people found the following review helpful
on May 27, 2007
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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265 of 279 people found the following review helpful
on April 6, 2002
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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88 of 91 people found the following review helpful
on February 11, 2008
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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66 of 67 people found the following review helpful
on July 23, 2007
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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65 of 68 people found the following review helpful
on June 4, 2007
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
on August 2, 2003
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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61 of 65 people found the following review helpful
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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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on May 29, 2007
It's hard to find sufficient words to praise Roots, and I am excited to add this new 30 year anniversary edition to my dvd library. I remember watching the series with my parents when it originally aired in 1977, and I'll be doing the same with my own children in a few years as well. And for those who have not read the book, please do. You won't regret it.

There's no question that the mini-series itself was unforgettable. This particular DVD version, however, is a little disappointing. I guess I was expecting a little more by way of restored/improved video and audio quality, but this version definitely shows its age. There are one or two new extra features on this dvd that are very interesting, but I would not recommend purchasing this version if you already own the older DVD version.

Perhaps we'll get lucky some day, and they'll give this mini-series the proper restorative attention it deserves!
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on February 12, 2002
I thought I was losing my mind. I, like so many others, was eagerly anticipating my favorite miniseries release on DVD; however, I am having the same problems (on my second copy) with the unwanted subtitles (I'm using a Toshiba SD-1600 as is another reviewer, and this is the first time this has happened). I'm keeping my copy because I loved the story so much (can't wait for Roots: The Next Generation, but I hope WB does come up with some solution.
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36 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on March 14, 2002
Watching 'Roots' as a adult 25 years after its release in 1977 is bittersweet. There are scenes that I could recall very easily, like when Kunta Kinte was named in the moonlight, or when Kizzy spit in Missy Anne's water. But the rest of the 6 episodes were so brand new and fresh. It was a great feast for the eyes, ears and heart. I was overwhelmed.
As a 7 year old little girl I watched with great pride. As an adult woman I watch with a renewed sense of how far we have come as a nation. I am in awe of the legacy Alex Haley has presented. A legacy that represents African people in the Western Hemisphere disconnected from our Motherland...Africa.
I can't wait for ...The Next Generation to be available on DVD.
This is a must for a lover of history...black, white, brown, yellow and everyone in between
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