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Roots 6 Video Box Set [VHS] (1977)

LeVar Burton , Olivia Cole  |  NR |  VHS Tape
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (523 customer reviews)

List Price: $54.98
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Frequently Bought Together

Roots 6 Video Box Set [VHS] + Roots - The Next Generations [VHS] + Alex Haley's Queen (3 VHS Set)
Price for all three: $64.50

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Product Details

  • Actors: LeVar Burton, Olivia Cole, Ben Vereen, John Amos, Leslie Uggams
  • 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: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (523 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6302571251
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #225,617 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
567 of 577 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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259 of 272 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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69 of 71 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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53 of 54 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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119 of 129 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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55 of 58 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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50 of 53 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
4.0 out of 5 stars Great buy. It's a classic I loved it. It also is a teaching tool for...
Great buy. It's a classic I loved it. It also is a teaching tool for the age worthy young.
Published 5 days ago by Reginald Sutton
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This movie came on time and is as advertised.
Published 7 days ago by Mavis J Lopez
4.0 out of 5 stars great towatch again
Classic movie, great to watch again!
Published 10 days ago by Ernie
5.0 out of 5 stars Roots,
This was truly an interesting mini series. I did enjoy watching all the A-list actors (in the 70's) involved with the movie. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Sunsetdesire
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic
This item was bought as a gift. It was shipped fast and the DVDs were a good quality. If you haven't seen this series you should. It's a great way to spend cold or rainy nights.
Published 1 month ago by Dwayne Parsons
3.0 out of 5 stars The DVDs are not the full show
I wish I had read the reviews before buying the DVDs. They DVDs have cut many scenes. I bought these to show to my children and many of the scenes that I remembered are not there. Read more
Published 1 month ago by K. Toblesky
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Own
This classic series should be apart of every American DVD collection! And at these rates you can get a copy for a friend or family member.
Published 1 month ago by Tameka A
5.0 out of 5 stars Good as always
While the discs skipped frequently the story lost nothing in the almost 40 years since it's screening on television. It was still great!
Published 1 month ago by Mary A. Pardue
5.0 out of 5 stars Roots Dvd
Used and perfect product, the complete set played all dvd's well. Four dvd's are included and the shows are very interesting.
Published 1 month ago by Kim
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good
Had not watched this series since it aired thirty tears ago, we did not remember a lot of things that happened in the movie. It was a great movie, one that everyone should see.
Published 1 month ago by Jerry D. Greenwood
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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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