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Shaft (1971) Poster

(1971)

Trivia

Ron O'Neal auditioned for the role of John Shaft. He was turned down because the producers felt his complexion was too light.
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Jump to: Director Cameo (1)  | Director Trademark (1)
Isaac Hayes auditioned for 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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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. Furthermore, "Shaft" began filming in January, 1971 - months before Van Peebles' film was released in April.
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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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Much of the action centers around 125th Street in Harlem. The exterior of Shaft's apartment was at 55 Jane Street, in Greenwich Village, across the street from the (real) "No Name Bar" at 621 Hudson Street. The bar later became a deli.
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The background singers in the film's theme song are Telma Hopkins and Joyce Vincent Wilson from Tony Orlando & Dawn.
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Moses Gunn's character, Bumpy Jonas, is based on Bumpy Johnson, an African-American mobster in the 1930s.
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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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This is one of the first movies that has a character saying he is gay.
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Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
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Charles 'Skip' Pitts played the guitar riff in the theme song.
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One of only three films MGM released in 1971 that made a profit, and it helped save the studio from bankruptcy.
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Motion picture debuts of Gwenn Mitchell, Drew Bundini Brown and the only feature film role of Sherri Brewer.
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At the beginning of the film, Shaft passes a large poster for Neil Simon's Broadway play "Last of the Red Hot Lovers" that was playing at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre at the time and would soon be made into the film - Last of the Red Hot Lovers (1972). Beside it is another Broadway play's poster for "The Gingerbread Lady" which was playing at the Plymouth Theatre (Gerald Shoenfeld Theatre since 2005). Also, beside it, is a poster for the long-running musical "Hair" that was playing at the Biltmore Theatre (Samuel J. Friedman Theatre since 2008), and that would be made into the film Hair (1979).
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Shaft tells Bumpy his fee is $50/hr (plus expenses), which would equate to $310/hr in 2017.
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Rex Robbins' first film role.
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Scene had Shaft with Tommy gun.
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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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