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Roots on blu ray? Lost scenes

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#1 of 15 Guest__*

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Posted April 24 2011 - 02:35 PM

I have been asking for a full remastering of the film in its original 8 part configuration for years. At the last WB chat, the participants said that they weren't aware of any missing footage. When the 8 parts were combined into 6 later on, the openings for some hours were cut and the footage that played under those openings was also cut. Well, someone on ebay is listing a 16mm copy of the series and lo and behold they posted some screencaps of those scenes!




The footage is faded but if you look at the first several frames you can see the opening to the original Episode 6 with George Hamilton singing. This is one scene not on any home video/dvd release. There are over 100 stills posted on this site, along with the lost scenes. Please, WB, restore the original 8 part version for 2012 (the 35th Anniversary.)

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Posted April 25 2011 - 12:31 PM

Here is another still from an opening scene cut for the 6 episode version. The cut scene lasts about 2 minutes and includes the first part of Chicken George returning hope from England.




#3 of 15 OFFLINE   benbess



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Posted April 25 2011 - 12:36 PM

I think this is a classic show worthy of release on blu-ray. I hope they do put back in these lost scenes Eric is talking about.

#4 of 15 OFFLINE   Ethan Riley

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Posted April 26 2011 - 12:27 AM

Did they just cut out all the opening credit scenes for the dvd?  


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Posted April 26 2011 - 01:15 AM

No, and there are opening scenes..it's complicated.   Here is how the original broadcast was divided up:   Night 1-Two Hours Night 2-Two Hours Night 3-One Hour Night 4-One Hour Night 5-One Hour Night 6-Two Hours Night 7-One Hour Night 8-Two Hours   ....Now, the dvds have opening credits at the start of each "two-hour" block. However, look at Night 6....the first hour is now the final hour of Episode 4 and the second hour is now the first hour of Episode 5. Not only are these openings cut but someone goofed on the end credits and dvd episodes 4 and 5 have partially incorrect credits. This is a bummer for the crew members who only worked on an hour (and there were a few.) They don't get any credit now! Let's just say that when it comes to combining these episodes, it is very confusing and a bit of a mess! And it isn't confined to the dvd versions...all vhs, dvd, and re-broadcast versions (except for the 1978 re-run on ABC, which was a five part series of two and three hour episodes) are the exact same. Also, the opening has been slightly changed. Originally, at the end of the opening theme, we saw a blue screen and the novel rose up to a vertical position and we saw the cover of the novel with "An ABC Novel for Television" on screen. Now, it is simply a black screen with the ROOTS title.

#6 of 15 OFFLINE   Ethan Riley

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Posted April 26 2011 - 10:51 AM

OIC--I actually haven't watched them since their original airings, except for the first chapter which a teacher ran for us in college. I think I recall we actually had a thread about Roots and these cuts when it came out on dvd back in the day... BUT--it's high time they had another look at it for blu. If you have the highest-rated mini-series of all time, you'd want to keep making money out of it, right? I think it should be a big boxed set (or two) with Next Generations and the Gift. And since I'm sure WB heard a lot of negative feedback about the cuts, they'll want to look into the vaults and see what they can find. Let me see...2013 would be the 35th anniversary...


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Posted April 26 2011 - 12:34 PM

The actual 35th Anniversary date is January 23rd, 2012. I feel lucky to have viewed the lost scenes at the Museum of Television and Radio in New York. During last year's chat with WB, I brought this issue up and the reps from WB were not aware of anything missing. I hope they took notes and are looking into it. Roots is still very popular and well-known. I am currently doing research for a ROOTS book and have become very well read when it comes to the making of the show and its impact on viewers in 1977 and beyond. It's a masterpiece.  

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Posted December 26 2011 - 02:35 PM

Come on WB! We're counting on you!  

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Posted February 07 2012 - 10:17 PM

Still no word, unfortunately. Another mistake made for dvd was Roots: The Gift. It was only available in the Roots: The Complete Collection box set. The Gift was presented in faux widescreen, cropping the vertical picture information. I don't know why they made this decision. What I would like to see in a blu-ray release:


The Features:

     Roots-original 8 part ABC version with the original openings and endings restored, and all teasers and recaps included.

          **As an extra, they could include the current Episode 5 opening that wasn't shown in 1977. It's on the current dvd.


    Roots: One Year Later (it's on the current release, but with a different title)[*]
    Roots: The Next Generations-with original WB logo at the end (as on the vhs version)[*]
    Roots: The Gift-in original full-screen (the end credits on every available version omit the Eastern Airlines voice over/footage, resulting in a weird edit of the music. Probably can't be corrected.)[*]



    Bumpers for all shows[*]
    Promos for all shows (the one for ROOTS was on youtube a while back. It was almost documentary-like, with interviews from people who saw a preview screening.)[*]
    News reports from ROOTS Week[*]
    Roots: 25th Anniversary tv Special[*]
    Alex Haley interviews on various shows[*]
    Alternate 6 episode version (currently on dvd...probably the version the filmmakers were planning before ABC changed the schedule at the last minute.)[*]
    Behind the scenes footage (it is available and has shown up in various retrospectives.)[*]
     A tour of the Fox Ranch where much of the original show was filmed.[*]
     A tour of the Oak Ranch where the 2nd series was filmed (and some of the buildings still stand.)[*]
     A tour of Henning Tennesse where Alex grew up and is buried (in the front yard of his grandparents' house, which figures prominently in the 2nd series.)[*]
     Difference in the book/movie[*]
     A complete look at the ROOTS phenomenon[*]
     Any deleted scenes that may still exist[*]
     Emmy Awards footage[*]
     All Bonus Features from the current dvd[*]
     Collectible booklet containing information about each epsiode with broadcast dates, ratings for that night, complete cast/crew, photos, complete list of Emmy nominations/wins,

          list of other awards won, bios of Alex Haley, David Wolper, Stan Margulies, and major cast members, and a ROOTS family tree with photos.

      Numbered boxed set[*]
      Each series would be placed in its own case in the box.[*]
     Collectible Roots mini-poster from the original airing's promotional title artwork


...The goal of this release would be to re-create as best as possible the original broadcasts, sans the commercials (and with the bumpers placed in the extras section.)

...The series made not only television history, but American history as well. Please save this history and preserve it for future generations as a record of what took place the week the shows were




#10 of 15 OFFLINE   Kripnar



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Posted February 04 2013 - 02:09 AM

lol Maybe they'll have a documentary about Alex Haley getting sued for plagerism and losing the case. I doubt it, though..:P

#11 of 15 OFFLINE   David_B_K


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Posted February 04 2013 - 03:30 AM

lol Maybe they'll have a documentary about Alex Haley getting sued for plagerism and losing the case. I doubt it, though..:P
Because of the plagiarism, I don't take Roots seriously as a true story, or as Haley's story. However, at the least, it can be admired as well-researched fiction. What I wonder is why people register here at HTF to make "drive-by" postings such as yours.

#12 of 15 OFFLINE   Dr Griffin

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Posted April 09 2013 - 07:00 PM

There may be complaints about the releases but the latest DVD set looks fantastic! The image is first rate and very close to Blu-ray quality when upscaled on a 1080 display.

#13 of 15 OFFLINE   Jack P

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Posted April 10 2013 - 02:14 PM

Because of the plagiarism, I don't take Roots seriously as a true story, or as Haley's story. However, at the least, it can be admired as well-researched fiction. What I wonder is why people register here at HTF to make "drive-by" postings such as yours.


Ignoring the fact that the poster was a drive-by guy, I think it's high time that any presentation of "Roots" address the unsavory aspect of plagiarism and the fact that Haley engaged in a massive cover-up to hide the matter of his plagiarism and the fact that much of this story was fiction sold to the public as factual.   To this day the 1997 BBC documentary "Uncovering Roots" based on the investigative work of Philip Nobile has remained unaired in the United States because no one ever wanted to rock the boat on this inconvenient truth (and you'd be amazed how few people are aware of the plagiarism controversy or that Haley was found guilty of it in a court of law).  

#14 of 15 OFFLINE   jimmyjet



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Posted April 10 2013 - 09:11 PM

you can add me to the list - i never heard about it until now.

#15 of 15 OFFLINE   Jack P

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Posted April 10 2013 - 10:03 PM

And that is a disturbing comment on what happens when the media decides to let factors other than journalism influence their thought process on how to report legitimate news and information.


Here are the basic facts one must be acquainted with.


1-Haley plagiarized from a novel called "The African" by Harold Courlander to tell the story of Kunta Kinte's abduction and sale into slavery.   He tried to deny that he'd ever heard of the novel at first after Courlander sued him, but then came an inconvenient witness who recalled discussing the novel with Haley before the publication of "Roots" and who had given Haley his own personal copy of "The African."   Haley ultimately had to settle the suit by paying Courlander $650,000 or else, as the judge warned him, he would have to face a perjury charge for lying during the course of the trial.


2-In the early 1980s, two prominent genealogists found serious flaws in Haley's methodological research and also discovered that the "Toby" whom Haley had linked to his supposed ancestor Kunta Kinte brought to America in 1767, was already listed as a slave owned by the same family in documents from 1762 meaning that "Toby" was not this supposed ancestory (since it is a bedrock point of Haley's that the voyage could only have been in 1767). They also discovered that "Toby" could not have been the father of "Kizzie" according to any proper reading of archival records that Haley claimed to have consulted. As they summarzied, "We expected ineptitude but not subterfuge."   Haley's narrative came off as a case of pure deception when combined with his plagiarism.


3-In 1993, Philip Nobile of the liberal leaning newspaper The Village Voice published a full-blown expose of how far Haley's deception went.  It came down to the fact that as Haley's own papers and tapes revealed, Haley literally hatched a fraud to create the myth of Kunta Kinte and the famous scene at the end of Next Generation where Haley goes to Africa and learns about Kunta Kinte who disappeared one day.   The real story though, that Nobile discovered, when he went through Haley's own papers and tapes was this: 


"Apparently, when Haley first conceived a family research project in 1964, he had no plans to find an African ancestor. That thought did not occur to him until much later when he met an exchange student from the Gambia. Together, they shared key phrases like "Kamby Bolongo" that Haley could pretend to trace. The student's African contacts arranged for Haley to meet a "griot," who had been coached in advance to say what Haley wanted to hear. "It was sort of like Piltdown Man," says Nobile. "Haley would plant the evidence and then find it."
Nobile hoped to expand his essay into a book but no publisher would touch it, even though none of what he discovered can be contradicted. Haley's defenders when confronted on this point do not dispute the facts. They only speak instead of how "Roots" spoke to a broader truth that was important. But in this day and age when we are not forgiving toward the deception pulled by professional athletes, be they steroid users in baseball or cycling, why one must ask, is the standard different here?  

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