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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.

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Writers:

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Ben Buford
Gwenn Mitchell ...
Ellie Moore
...
Tom Hannon
...
Charlie
Sherri Brewer ...
Marcy
Rex Robbins ...
Rollie
Camille Yarbrough ...
Dina Greene
Margaret Warncke ...
Linda
Joseph Leon ...
Byron Leibowitz
Arnold Johnson ...
Cul
Dominic Barto ...
Patsy
George Strus ...
Carmen
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Hotter than Bond, Cooler than Bullitt. See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 July 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Les nuits rouges de Harlem  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,125,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Moses Gunn's character, Bumpy Jonas, is based on Bumpy Johnson, an African-American mobster in the 1930s. See more »

Goofs

When Shaft pushes one of Bumpy's goons into his office, the sound of glass breaking is heard, but the glass window in the office door is clearly undamaged until a short time later. See more »

Quotes

[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!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Gilmore Girls: Kiss and Tell (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Bumpy's Lament
(uncredited)
Composed by Isaac Hayes
Performed by Isaac Hayes
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Right On!
21 August 2001 | by (Nova Scotia, Canada) – See all my reviews

Blaxploitation at it's best. A simple story with a twist done right. That is Shaft. The concept of a black man as a cool ultra slick, lady lovin' private detective. For once in the world of cinema the black man was tops and unlike other genre entries this one clicked with people of both colors. They had created a solid character in John Shaft that the population took a shinning to. For once it wasn't something exploitative being sold to a one-sided market audience exclusively.

But look I'm getting sidetracked. Shaft isn't this huge epic struggle of the black man through the generations. It's a solid, satisfying picture that gets by on pure character. Shaft. The black private detective has endlessly been imitated, but never duplicated since. With much of the character's success having to be attributable to Richard Roundtree, a perfect fit for the material. He wasn't so much playing a character named John Shaft, but rather he was John Shaft. Perhaps to the detriment of his career, I still can't watch a movie with Richard Roundtree in it without thinking of Shaft. The plot is on auto pilot - you've seen it before - maybe even done better - but this movie has Shaft and that's all there is to say.


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