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Shaft (1971) Poster

(1971)

Trivia

Jump to: Director Cameo (1) | Director Trademark (1)
Isaac Hayes originally auditioned to play the title role. Producers cast Richard Roundtree, but were so impressed with Hayes that they asked him to write the now legendary score to the film.
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The women backing vocalists in the film's theme song are Telma Hopkins and Joyce Vincent Wilson from Tony Orlando & Dawn.
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Ron O'Neal (Super Fly (1972)) auditioned for the role of John Shaft, but was turned down because the producers felt his skin complexion was too light.
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Moses Gunn's character is called Bumpy Jonas after real Bumpy Johnson, an African-American mobster in the 30's years.
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Was rumored to be written as just another detective movie, with a white detective in the lead, but, after the success of Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (1971), the film was rewritten and recast as a blaxploitation movie. This story has been told several times by director Melvin Van Peebles. However, it is probably apocryphal. The Ernest Tidyman novel which was the basis for the film is about a black detective and not a white one.
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Much of the action in the movie centers around 125th Street in Harlem. Shaft's apartment (exterior only) was located in Manhattan's Greenwich Village at 55 Jane Street, across the street from the (real) "No Name Bar" at 621 Hudson Street. The former bar was ultimately transformed into deli.
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The many movie marquees seen in Shaft's many exterior shots walking around NYC include advertisements for: Patton (1970), Get Carter (1971), Love Story (1970) and The Owl and the Pussycat (1970).
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The indelible guitar "wah-wah" riff on Isaac Hayes' Oscar-winning song - "Theme from Shaft" - was played by Charles 'Skip' Pitts.
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During the scene where Bumpy Jonas visits Shaft at his office, a door adjacent to the office says "Skloot Insurance" - named for Steven P. Skloot, a production manager on the film.
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Rex Robbins' first film role.
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Director Cameo 

Gordon Parks:  as a landlord when Shaft is looking for Ben Buford.
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Director Trademark 

Gordon Parks:  [Essence Magazine]  Shaft is seen reading a copy of Essence Magazine in his girlfriend's apartment. Parks is a co-founder of Essence. The magazine is spotted when Shaft is engaging in a conversation with a blind newsstand vendor during the opening sequence.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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