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Roots 6 Video Box Set [VHS] (1977)

LeVar Burton , Olivia Cole  |  NR |  VHS Tape
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (512 customer reviews)

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Frequently Bought Together

Roots 6 Video Box Set [VHS] + Alex Haley's Queen (3 VHS Set) + Roots - The Next Generations [VHS]
Price for all three: $61.24

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Product Details

  • Actors: LeVar Burton, Olivia Cole, Ben Vereen, John Amos, Leslie Uggams
  • Writers: M. Charles Cohen
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Subtitles: English
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 6
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • VHS Release Date: December 12, 1994
  • Run Time: 563 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (512 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6302571251
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #195,407 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

From the moment the young Kunta Kinte (LeVar Burton) is stolen from his life and ancestral home in 18th-century Africa and brought under inhumane conditions to be auctioned as a slave in America, a line is begun that leads from this most shameful chapter in U.S. history to the 20th-century author Alex Haley, a Kinte descendant. The late Haley's acclaimed book Roots was adapted into this six-volume television miniseries, which was a widely watched phenomenon in 1977. The programs cover several generations in the antebellum South and end with the story of "Chicken" George, a freed slave played by Ben Vereen whose family feels the agony of entrenched racism and learns to fight it. Between the lives of Kunta and George, we meet a number of memorable characters, black and white, and learn much about the emotional and physical torments of slavery, from beatings and rapes to the forced separation of spouses and families. Nothing like this had ever confronted so many mainstream Americans when the series was originally broadcast, and the extent to which the country was nudged a degree or two toward enlightenment was instantly obvious. Roots still has that ability to open one's eyes, and engage an audience in a sweeping, memorable drama at the same time. --Tom Keogh

Product Description

From the moment the young, Kunta Kinte is stolen from him life and ancestral home in the 18th century Africa and brought under inhumane conditions to be auctioned as a slave in American, a line is begun that leads from this most shameful chapter in U.S. history t the 20th century author, Alex Haley, a Kinte descendent. The late Haley's acclaimed book Roots was adapted into the six volume television miniseries, which was a widely watched phenomenon in 1977. The programs cover several generations in the antebellum South and end with the story of Chicken (George), a freed slave played by Ben Vereen whose family fels the agony of entrenched racism and learns to fight it. Between the lives of Kunta and George, we meet a number of memorable characters, black and white, and learn much about the emotional and physical torments of slavery, from beatings and rapes to forced separation of spouses and families. Nothing like this had ever confronted so many mainstream American when the series was originally broadcasted, and the extent to which the country was nudged a degree or two enlightenment was instantly obvious. Roots still has that ability to open eyes and engage an audience in a sweeping, memorable drama at the same time.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
553 of 563 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Roots DVD is Cut 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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251 of 263 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must-have TV show 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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64 of 66 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Missing alot February 10, 2008
By Viewer
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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115 of 125 people found the following review helpful
By forrie
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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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Roots 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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48 of 51 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This is not the origional version of Roots 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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45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vary good miniseries BUT 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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Tremendous Value!!
I bought this for a family member, and they are very happy with my purchase. It's so affordable and the story is great!
Published 6 days ago by Thundercats!
5.0 out of 5 stars Roots review
Bought this set as a gift - terrific price of around $15! I thought it would be hard to find, but amazon made it easy.
Published 9 days ago by Rachelle Gibbons
5.0 out of 5 stars good
I am thrilled to add copy of this movie to my library and know the rest of the story of this family.
Published 14 days ago by tg2012
5.0 out of 5 stars Roots
Thanks for offering Roots at a price that I can afford and at a good quality. To be able to get the entire set was what I was looking for.
Published 17 days ago by Pollie R.
5.0 out of 5 stars ROOTS
I REALLY ENJOYED WATCHING THIS MOVIE. I LEARNED A LOT OF THINGS THAT I WAS UNAWARE OF BEFORE THIS MOVIE CAME OUT.. Read more
Published 20 days ago by SANDRA FISCHER
5.0 out of 5 stars Movie
I really was educated by this movie and decided to purchase a copy for my video library. I would reccomend this movie for those who really want to know what took place to African... Read more
Published 23 days ago by Rich
4.0 out of 5 stars Must have for your DVD library.
It's a great film. I bought it because my wife never seen the movie. Best part? No commercials. Get it
Published 24 days ago by Jimbot
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best.
This is the best TV miniseries ever made. It is as close to the book as it could have gotten, with the exception of young Chicken George's life. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Calamity Jane
5.0 out of 5 stars No Comments
I have no comments other than the rating I gave above. "I love it." Nothing else to say. Thank you.
Published 1 month ago by Carolyn L. Lewis
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't mess up a classic.
Got it on time, packaging was great (case to cover all DVD's together as a set) and don't doubt that the movies themselves are as they were when first made.
Published 1 month ago by Natural Peace
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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
dvd Be the first to reply
Watched this DVD in one night until 2AM with my Sister Be the first to reply
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