6.6/10
13,818
79 user 50 critic

Shaft (1971)

Trailer
3:07 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

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

Director:

Gordon Parks

Writers:

Ernest Tidyman (screenplay), John D.F. Black (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Shaft is back to find the murderer of an old friend on the cold hard city streets with a little help from his new friends.

Director: Gordon Parks
Stars: Richard Roundtree, Moses Gunn, Drew Bundini Brown
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

P.I. John Shaft is recruited to go undercover to break up a modern slavery ring where young Africans are lured to Paris to do chain-gang work.

Director: John Guillermin
Stars: Richard Roundtree, Frank Finlay, Vonetta McGee
Shaft (2000)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

New York City police detective John Shaft (nephew of the original 1970s detective) goes on a personal mission to make sure the son of a real estate tycoon is brought to justice after a racially-motivated murder.

Director: John Singleton
Stars: Samuel L. Jackson, Vanessa Williams, Christian Bale
Super Fly (1972)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The daily routine of cocaine dealer Priest who wants to score one more super deal and retire.

Director: Gordon Parks Jr.
Stars: Ron O'Neal, Carl Lee, Sheila Frazier
Shaft (1973–1974)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Based on the movies of the same name, John Shaft is a two-fisted black private eye along the lines of Mike Hammer and Phillip Marlowe. Each week presents a different case and a different ... See full summary »

Stars: Richard Roundtree, Eddie Barth, Judie Stein
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

After saving a Black Panther from some racist cops, a black male prostitute goes on the run from "the man" with the help of the ghetto community and some disillusioned Hells Angels.

Director: Melvin Van Peebles
Stars: Melvin Van Peebles, Simon Chuckster, Hubert Scales
Truck Turner (1974)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Blaxploitation film about a former professional football player who becomes a bounty hunter in Los Angeles.

Director: Jonathan Kaplan
Stars: Isaac Hayes, Yaphet Kotto, Alan Weeks
Coffy (1973)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A black nurse takes vigilante justice against inner-city drug dealers after her sister becomes their latest victim.

Director: Jack Hill
Stars: Pam Grier, Booker Bradshaw, Robert DoQui
The Mack (1973)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Goldie returns from five years at the state pen and winds up King of the pimping game. Trouble comes in the form of two corrupt white cops and a crime lord who wants him to return to the ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Campus
Stars: Max Julien, Don Gordon, Richard Pryor
Foxy Brown (1974)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A voluptuous black woman takes a job as a high-class prostitute in order to get revenge on the mobsters who murdered her boyfriend.

Director: Jack Hill
Stars: Pam Grier, Antonio Fargas, Peter Brown
Black Caesar (1973)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Tommy Gibbs is a tough kid, raised in the ghetto, who aspires to be a kingpin criminal. As a young boy, his leg is broken by a bad cop on the take, during a payoff gone bad. Nursing his ... See full summary »

Director: Larry Cohen
Stars: Fred Williamson, Gloria Hendry, Art Lund
Shaft (2019)
Action | Crime

A sequel to Shaft (2000).

Director: Tim Story
Stars: Samuel L. Jackson, Alexandra Shipp, Regina Hall
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Roundtree ... John Shaft
Moses Gunn ... Bumpy Jonas
Charles Cioffi ... Vic Androzzi
Christopher St. John ... Ben Buford
Gwenn Mitchell Gwenn Mitchell ... Ellie Moore
Lawrence Pressman ... Tom Hannon
Victor Arnold ... Charlie
Sherri Brewer Sherri Brewer ... Marcy
Rex Robbins Rex Robbins ... Rollie
Camille Yarbrough Camille Yarbrough ... Dina Greene
Margaret Warncke Margaret Warncke ... Linda
Joseph Leon Joseph Leon ... Byron Leibowitz
Arnold Johnson Arnold Johnson ... Cul
Dominic Barto Dominic Barto ... Patsy
George Strus George Strus ... Carmen
Edit

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:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 July 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Les nuits rouges de Harlem See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$1,125,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

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

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This is one of the first movies that has a character saying he is gay. See more »

Goofs

A passerby walks out of and back into the frame when he spots the film crew during a scene where Shaft and his friends are sneaking into a building to try to rescue Bumpy Jones' daughter. 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

References School for Sex (1969) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Roundtree's performance
15 June 2007 | by winner55See all my reviews

This is not a great film, but it is one of the most important films in American history.

The film suffers primarily because Parks isn't sure whether he wants to direct a 'relevant' black crime drama - for which he doesn't really have the money - or a film of the genre that became infamous as "blaxploitation", which had at that time not yet achieved definition. In other words, Parks is breaking new ground, and he wasn't sure exactly what ground he is breaking. So the film tends to amble, and sometimes even stagger, as it tries to define a goal for itself.

Nonetheless, this is the first film where a strong black man in a truly heroic role - without the props of white liberal social blather, and without being borderline criminal - is portrayed without excuses or apologies. Shaft is truly a hero of his time, part Sam Spade (& no jokes here, please), part James Bond - and all man - intelligent, fast to act, direct and always true to himself - he's nobody's "boy".

Although these qualities are in the script, the communication of the message depends entirely on Richard Roundtree - one of the truly great action actors of Hollywood history - hey, I'm a white boy, and I still want to be this John Shaft! he's that cool. The marginalization of this savvy and witty actor, due to the racism of Hollywood, is a real crime.

Well, for now, never mind; his performance alone carries this film, and makes it a treasure; and no matter how badly Hollywood marginalizes black action cinema, Roundtree's performance will continue to stand tall, for many generations to come.


26 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 79 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed