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An African-American detective is hired by a Harlem mobster to find his kidnapped teenaged daughter, and finds himself caught in a struggle among feuding factions of the underworld.
Genre: Feature Film Urban Action
Release Date: 3-MAY-2005
Media Type: DVD
- Behind the Scenes Documentary: Soul in Cinema: Filming Shaft on Location
- 3 Original Trailers
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Singleton's "Shaft" lacks the essential part without which watching John Shaft is meaningless; that is, his sexiness. Roundtree's "Shaft" offers nothing special in term of story; it's just another detective story seen in Bogart's films. But MGM, a major studio, made him the ultimate sexy guy so that he makes love twice in a film, not only with a black girl but with a white. Of course, this may be simply one of the studio's tactics to cash in on the growing power of Afro-Americans at that time, but still no one can deny Roundtree's presence. The executives' decision was right, after all.
Add to his charisma, for the modern viewers, we can enjoy the ideosyncrasy of the 70s fashion in everything; the way they wear clothes (look at Shaft's leather coat), the way they talk (White detective says to Shaft: "What you got? Shaft replies: "I got laid."), and the soulful sountrack of Isaac Hayes -- everything is shining. Like hit songs of many 70s rock bands, it's showy and corny, but unbelievably irresistible. Enjoy it.
Director Gordon Parks (who briefly appears in the film) is the father of Gordon Parks Jr., who directed "Superfly," another memorable film of the genre, featuring Curtis Mayfield's wonderful music. And if you're interested in those "blaxploitaion films," you might want to see "Coffy" played by goddess of the genre, Pam Grier, and this film is famous for its Roy Ayers soundtrack. Listen.