Plot[change | change source]
John Shaft, a private detective, is warned that some gangsters are looking for him. Police Lieutenant Vic Androzzi meets with Shaft. Androzzi unsuccessfully tries to get some information on the gangsters. When Androzzi leaves, Shaft sees one of the men waiting for him in his office building. He brings the first gangster into the office. The second gangster is waiting there. After a quick fight, Shaft avoids one of the gangsters, who goes out the window. The other gangster surrenders and tells Shaft that a man named Bumpy Jonas wanted a meeting between him and Shaft. Jonas is the leader of a Harlem-based organized crime family,
Shaft meets with Bumpy. Shaft learns that Bumpy's daughter, Marcy Jonas, has been kidnapped. Bumpy asks Shaft to make sure that Marcy is returned safely.
Shaft tracks down a man named Ben Buford. A big shootout takes place. After the shooting, Shaft is told by Vic that he (Shaft) was the target, and not Ben. But the view is black against white, according to the general public.
Shaft suspects that gangsters are watching his place from a local bar. He pretends being a bartender. He calls the police to have the gangsters arrested. He later goes to the police station and sets up a meeting. The meeting is about where Bumpy's daughter is being held.
Cast[change | change source]
- Richard Roundtree as John Shaft
- Moses Gunn as Bumpy Jonas
- Charles Cioffi as Lt. Vic Androzzi
- Christopher St. John as Ben Buford
- Gwenn Mitchell as Ellie Moore
- Lawrence Pressman as Tom Hannon
- Victor Arnold as Charlie
- Sherri Brewer as Marcy Jonas
- Rex Robbins as Rollie
- Camille Yarbrough as Dina Greene
- Margaret Warncke as Linda
- Joseph Leon as Byron Leibowitz
- Arnold Johnson as Cul
Awards[change | change source]
The "Theme from Shaft" won an Academy Award for Best Original Song. The Shaft soundtrack album won a Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack Album. It also won a Grammy for Best Original Score, and two other awards
Reception[change | change source]
Shaft was very successful. It helped pull a then-struggling MGM out of danger of bankruptcy.
Themes[change | change source]
Shaft spawned several years of 'blaxploitation' crime movies.