- Gordon Parks
- Richard Roundtree, Moses Gunn, Gwenn Mitchell
If you saw Sam Jackson’s Armani-clad turn as Detective John Shaft in the 2000 remake, catch the real deal with the original Shaft. Richard Roundtree plays the ultimate badass detective, a complicated man who’s got it all: “the pad, the girls (whom he treats none too well), the fancy leather clothes, the ability to put down absolutely everybody and be paid back in admiration, the instinct for danger, the physical prowess, the fantastic recuperative ability that has him up and around and feeling no pain an hour after taking three machine-gun slugs in the chest...” (Richard Greenspun). When the daughter of a Harlem racketeer is kidnapped by the white Mafia, Shaft and members of the militant Lumumba group go on a rampage to get her back. Sexy, funny, and gritty, Shaft took the noir genre and made it over for African-Americans. The legendary Isaac Hayes score won both an Oscar and a Grammy for its ultrafunky grooves.
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