Edition no. 1130
While the Black Power movement was reshaping America, trailblazing director Gordon Parks made this groundbreaking blockbuster, which helped launch the blaxploitation era and gave the screen a new kind of badder-than-bad action hero in John Shaft (Richard Roundtree, in a career-defining role), a streetwise New York City private eye who is as tough with criminals as he is tender with his lovers. After Shaft is recruited to rescue the kidnapped daughter of a Harlem mob boss (Moses Gunn) from Italian gangsters, he finds himself in the middle of a rapidly escalating uptown vs. downtown turf war. A vivid time capsule of seventies Manhattan in all its gritty glory that has inspired sequels and multimedia reboots galore, the original Shaft is studded with indelible elements—from Roundtree’s sleek leather fashions to the iconic funk and soul score by Isaac Hayes.
- Shaft's Big Score!, the 1972 follow-up to Shaft by director Gordon Parks
- New documentary on the making of Shaft featuring curator Rhea L. Combs, film scholar Racquel Gates, filmmaker Nelson George, and music scholar Shana L. Redmond
- Behind-the-scenes program featuring Gordon Parks, actor Richard Roundtree, and musician Isaac Hayes
- Archival interviews with Isaac Hayes, Gordon Parks, and Richard Roundtree
- New interview with costume designer Joseph G. Aulisi
- New program on the Black detective and the legacy of John Shaft, featuring scholar Kinohi Nishikawa and novelist Walter Mosley
- A Complicated Man: The “Shaft” Legacy (2019)
- Behind-the-scenes footage from Shaft’s Big Score!
- Trailer for Shaft
- Trailer for Shaft's Big Score!
- An essay by film scholar Amy Abugo Ongiri