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Roots: The Gift [VHS] (1988)

Louis Gossett Jr. , LeVar Burton , Kevin Hooks  |  NR |  VHS Tape
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Roots: The Gift [VHS] + Alex Haley's Queen
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Product Details

  • Actors: Louis Gossett Jr., LeVar Burton, Avery Brooks, Kate Mulgrew, Shaun Cassidy
  • Directors: Kevin Hooks
  • Writers: David Eyre Jr.
  • Producers: Bernard Sofronski, David L. Wolper, Mark Wolper
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • VHS Release Date: September 28, 1999
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6302561795
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #428,722 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Christmas Eve 1775. For the celebrants at Parker Plantation, it's a time of joy and giving. For enslaved friends Fiddler and Kunta Kinte, it's a chance to give to other slaves the most precious gift of all: freedom. The Roots saga expands in a holiday-themed drama based on characters from Alex Haley's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. Louis Gossett, Jr. reprises the role of resourceful American-born slave Fiddler. LeVar Burton again plays Kunta Kinte, the Mandinka warrior who hopes to someday return home to Africa. Year: 1988 Director: Kevin Hooks Starring: Louis Gossett Jr., LeVar Burton, Avery Brooks

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm glad I saw this movie. December 9, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
I wasn't aware that they did a Roots Christmas story until I read the description in the cable guide.
I am willing to over look the slavery issue in this movie and the fake southern accents too. That is not what attracted me to this movie. Self-sacrifice and the true meaning of Christmas did.
There are several gifts that I saw in this movie. The next generation of children that realize slavery is wrong. The older brother explaining how he feels about slavery to the younger sister and she said to Fiddler that Toby doesn't have to be her camel in the Christmas Pagent. The mother's gift to wait until after the holidays to tell the father about her son being an abolitionist.
The sacrifice Avery Brooks' character makes when, as a freed slave, he puts his life on the line to help lead others to freedom through the underground railroad. He actually gets caught and has to wear a collar of bells. They end up hanging him because he is an abolitionist and educated to boot. I like it when he shouts out the word freedom.
Fiddler puts his own hide on the line trying to keep Kunta Kinte out of trouble when he covers for Toby when he isn't on the plantation and when he tries to stop the slave catchers from brutalizing Avery Brooks' character.
The promise of a free black child and the ultimate sacrifice both Fiddler and Toby make by deciding not to get on the boat. Actually Fiddler confesses to the abolitionist that he knows nothing about being free. Kunta Kinte remembers his life in Africa before the slave traders caught him. Fiddler also realizes that he may not survive another winter on the plantation, but Toby will not leave without him.
This was an excellent movie. I plan to watch it again when it comes on cable.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The most precious gift of all... January 14, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
Based on a true story written by Alex Haley, Roots: the gift is a good incorporation of the previous six part series. The film is centred around the 'underground railroad' slave uprisings to the North during the late seventeenth century. It is a touching and thought provoking tale of white dominance, where the ultimate gift is freedom.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A gift that keeps on giving October 4, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
Although the story behind Roots: The Gift may be completely fictitious, it does provide a look into the cruelty of slavery, the need for freedom, and the ability to change. The cast of characters provides a window into these different aspects of society from the rich overbearing masters to the lowly slaves. (With actors such as Avery Brooks, LeVar Burton, Kate Mulgrew, and Tim Russ, it is a must see for all Star Trek fans.) I found the story moving, especially the climax, which is a endearing scene of self-sacrifice. If one can overlook the exceedingly forced and artificial Southern accents it is an enjoyable 94 minutes.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent film! July 30, 2005
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
I am a huge fan of Roots Vol 1-6 that was introduced to me during a High School history class in 1995. Supringly it was not until Christmas 2002 that I discovered RTG. The story of RTG takes places sometime in between Vol II and III. Levar Burton returns as Kunta, and Louis Gossett Jr. returns as the Fidler. I do not wish to give the entire plot away, but will say that Kunta gets another shot as escape (as well as Fidler) but turns down the opportunity. The plot and story on this one was not quite as good as the others, but the director seems to be of the same quality, and the music score is also the same. The feel of the film is like the others. However outside of Levar and Louis all the actors are different. One of the actors laters goes on to play in the X-files.

However I will say that this movie tires allot faster than the other Roots. My other gripe is the lack of this movie on DVD. It should have beeen released on DVD by this time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I cried! October 24, 2013
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
This film is very powerful and it made me very angry. Slavery was an evil thing and it hurt people. All African Americans who see this film should see the importance of working hard and getting an education. We have to strive for excellence in life. Levar and Lou were great as usual but Avery's performance really touched me. A welcome addition to the Roots saga. A must see for fans of Roots.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great movie February 15, 2014
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
i am tired of trying to order from this company and have to go through this everytime I want to get a movie, so I will go else where since my e-mail and name is not enough
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5.0 out of 5 stars I Love It! December 31, 2012
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
It is a very educational video that shows kindness in the face of suffering. It is a great tool that can teach empathy for others.
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