Shaft is a 1971 American blaxploitation film directed by Gordon Parks and 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 in order to find the missing daughter of a black mobster. It stars Richard Roundtree as Shaft, Moses Gunn as Bumpy Jonas, 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 movie is widely considered a prime example of the blaxploitation genre. The Shaft soundtrack album, recorded by Isaac Hayes, was also a success, with the “Theme from Shaft” winning the 1971 Academy Award for Best Original Song, and according to the American Film Institute is the 38th best song from a movie of all time.