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Shaft (1971)

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Cool black private eye John Shaft is hired by a crime lord to find and retrieve his kidnapped daughter.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Won 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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A reboot of the 1970s action film, 'Shaft'.

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Gwenn Mitchell ...
Sherri Brewer ...
Rex Robbins ...
Camille Yarbrough ...
Margaret Warncke ...
Joseph Leon ...
Byron Leibowitz
Arnold Johnson ...
Dominic Barto ...
George Strus ...


John Shaft is the ultimate in suave black detectives. He first finds himself up against Bumpy, the leader of the Black crime mob, then against Black nationals, and finally working with both against the White Mafia who are trying to blackmail Bumpy by kidnapping his daughter. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Hotter than Bond, Cooler than Bullitt. See more »


Action | Crime | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

2 July 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Les nuits rouges de Harlem  »


Box Office


$1,125,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$12,121,618, 31 December 1971
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Gordon Parks: as a landlord when Shaft is looking for Ben Buford. See more »


During Bumpy's visit to Shaft's office, the hat Bumpy is wearing changes. As Bumpy faces Shaft, the brim is turned down all the way around the hat. There is also a small gold buckle seen on the leather hat band. When the camera moves to Bumpy's left, to include Shaft, the hat's brim is turned up in back, and the buckle is missing. See more »


[first lines]
John Shaft: [holding up his middle finger to a cab driver who is honking his horn at him] Up yours! Get out the way!
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Referenced in Lost: Orientation (2005) See more »


Walk from Regio's
Composed by Isaac Hayes
Performed by Isaac Hayes
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User Reviews

A truly appalling movie
18 May 2013 | by See all my reviews

I saw this film when it came out. It was "different" and hence garnered attention from the movie going populace normally being fed mainstream private eye films. I didn't like it at the time but I went to the cinema with a girl I fancied and told her I liked it - as she seemed to find the film entertaining. (or did she just give that impression because she was trying to please me??) Just for old time's sake, I watched it the other night. 42 years had indeed changed my view - I detested the film! Wooden acting, desperately bad screenplay and plot. Cheap, nasty, depressing sets and photography. Everyone and his dog spitting out surly one liners that did little more than irritate. How on earth did this train wreck ever get any traction? The director, actors and everyone else involved in Shaft should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves. I now realize why it was entitled "Shaft"; the movie going public got shafted. - and yes, that was a surly one-liner.. UGH! UGH! and double UGH!

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