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Shaft is an 1971 American blaxploitation action-crime film directed by Gordon Parks and written by Ernest Tidyman and John D. F. Black. The film revolves around a private detective named John Shaft who is hired by a Harlem mobster to rescue his daughter from the Italian mobsters who kidnapped her. The film stars Richard Roundtree as John Shaft, Moses Gunn as Bumpy Jonas, Charles Cioffi as Vic Androzzi, and Christopher St. John as Ben Buford. The major themes present in Shaft are the Black Power movement, race, masculinity, and sexuality. It was filmed within the New York City borough of Manhattan, specifically in Harlem, Greenwich Village, and Times Square.
Shaft was one of the first blaxploitation films, and also one of the most popular, which "marked a turning point for this type of film, and spawned a number of sequels and knockoffs." The Shaft soundtrack album, recorded by Isaac Hayes, was also a success, winning a Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture; and a second Grammy that he shared with Johnny Allen for Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Arrangement; Grammy Award for Best Original Score; the "Theme from Shaft" won the Academy Award for Best Original Song and has appeared on multiple Top 100 lists, including AFI's 100 Years…100 Songs. Widely considered a prime example of the blaxploitation genre.
Shaft was selected in 2000 for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."
and then there was that song, of course....