Ahoy Captain Cats here and today we are going to look at one of the most important films in the history of the Blaxploitation genre and that film is Shaft () and it turns 50 this year.
The film was based on a book of the same name by Ernest Tidyman, who also wrote the screenplay with screenwriter John D. F. Black. The book and film tell the tale of a private detective named John Shaft and the mob wants him dead and take back Harlem. The cast in Shaft was as memorable as they were iconic, especially Richard Roundtree portraying John Shaft.
While the plot itself is self-explanatory, the movie soundtrack is where Shaft is fondly remembered. The soundtrack was composed by the duo of the late great Isaac Hayes and Johnny Allen. The film was nominated and won an Oscar for Best Original Song with “Theme of Shaft,” and was nominated for Best Original Score but did not win. The soundtrack was a mix of soul, funk, and jazz roll into one. This soundtrack and a few others would inspire the next generation of soul musicians.
Fun fact for Shaft is that the film was made on a half-million-dollar budget and earned a total of $12 million at the box office making it one of the hit films in 1971.