New York City police detective John Shaft (nephew of the original 1970s detective) goes on a personal mission to make sure the son of a real estate tycoon is brought to justice after a racially-motivated murder.
Samuel L. Jackson,
Based on the movies of the same name, John Shaft is a two-fisted black private eye along the lines of Mike Hammer and Phillip Marlowe. Each week presents a different case and a different ... See full summary »
John Shaft is the ultimate in suave black detectives. He first finds himself up against Bumpy, the leader of the Black crime mob, then against Black nationals, and finally working with both against the White Mafia who are trying to blackmail Bumpy by kidnapping his daughter.Written by
John Vogel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In the beginning when Shaft is walking across a street, an overhead shot shows him walking past a taxi and nearly getting hit by a taxi. However, a street-level shot shows Shaft standing in front of and giving the finger to the brown car. See more »
[holding up his middle finger to a cab driver who is honking his horn at him]
Up yours! Get out the way!
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Most UK video versions, including the widescreen Maverick Directors release, feature an edited print of the film which is dubbed to remove strong language. DVD releases are fully uncut. See more »
Blaxploitation at it's best. A simple story with a twist done right. That is Shaft. The concept of a black man as a cool ultra slick, lady lovin' private detective. For once in the world of cinema the black man was tops and unlike other genre entries this one clicked with people of both colors. They had created a solid character in John Shaft that the population took a shinning to. For once it wasn't something exploitative being sold to a one-sided market audience exclusively.
But look I'm getting sidetracked. Shaft isn't this huge epic struggle of the black man through the generations. It's a solid, satisfying picture that gets by on pure character. Shaft. The black private detective has endlessly been imitated, but never duplicated since. With much of the character's success having to be attributable to Richard Roundtree, a perfect fit for the material. He wasn't so much playing a character named John Shaft, but rather he was John Shaft. Perhaps to the detriment of his career, I still can't watch a movie with Richard Roundtree in it without thinking of Shaft. The plot is on auto pilot - you've seen it before - maybe even done better - but this movie has Shaft and that's all there is to say.
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