Shaft (1971)

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Shaft is a 1971 American blaxploitation crime action film directed by Gordon Parks and written by Ernest Tidyman and John D. F. Black. It is an adaptation of Tidyman's novel of the same name. The plot 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 Shaft, alongside Moses Gunn, Charles Cioffi, Christopher St. John and Lawrence Pressman. The film deals with themes like the Black Power movement, race, masculinity, and sexuality. It was filmed in Harlem, Greenwich Village, and Times Square within the New York City borough of Manhattan.

Shaft was one of the first and most popular blaxploitation films, 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 Original Score Written for a Motion Picture and a second Grammy that he shared with Johnny Allen for Best Instrumental Arrangement. 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. A prime example of the blaxploitation genre, It 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."