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Shaft is a 1971 American blaxploitation film directed by Gordon Parks, released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. An action film with elements of film noir, Shaft tells the story of a black private detective, John Shaft, who travels through Harlem and to the Italian mob neighborhoods in order to find the missing daughter of a black mobster. It stars Richard Roundtree as Shaft, Moses Gunn as Bumpy Jonas, Drew Bundini Brown as Willy, Charles Cioffi as Lt. Vic Androzzi, Christopher St. John as Ben Buford, and Gwenn Mitchell and Lawrence Pressman in smaller roles. The movie was adapted by Ernest Tidyman and John D. F. Black from Tidyman’s 1971 novel of the same name.
The Shaft soundtrack album, recorded by Isaac Hayes, was also a success, winning a 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.
In 2000, Shaft, widely considered a prime example of the blaxploitation genre, was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.
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