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Moorman

Shaft (1971)

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I was referred to this film by CigarJoe after posting the Superfly (2018) thread.  I've known about this film but I had never seen it before now.  My reasoning being that there are very few films of the blaxploitation era that were actually pretty good or critically acclaimed.  Gordon Parks was credited along with Melvin Van Peeples with creating the blaxploitaton genre, a subgenrie of the exploitation movies that came out in the early 70s.  Shaft, along with 1972's Superfly ( by Gordon's son, Gordon Parks Jr.) were two of the critically acclaimed films of the genre. The screenplay for Shaft was written by Ernest Tidyman and John D. F. Black.

Shaft was filmed on location in New York and features a extensive on location look of vintage New York during the early 70s.  The films features Private Detective John Shaft ( Richard Roundtree) who is hired by local gangster Bumpy ( Moses Gunn) to locate his kidnapped daughter.  The plot is pretty straight to the point but keeps you on your toes. I'm not going into it further to avoid any spoilers.

Gordon Parks filmed this on location in Harlem, Times Square and Greenwich Village.  The sets are authentic.  The soundtrack is by Isaac Hayes who won a a Academy Award for Best Original Song for the theme " Shaft".  

The film was pretty good with my personal favorite elements being the camerawork and on location filming done by Urs Furrer and of course, the fantastic soundtrack done by Isaac Hayes.  Its hard for me to get into this genre of film because of the obvious " exploitation" stereotypes, but this was pretty good. The acting could have been better with some of the lesser characters but it was ok. I rate it slightly above the IMDB rating of 6.6 and give it a 7 out of 10...

 

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Nice review. Some other ones from this era you might want to check out:

BORN TO WIN (1971) with George Segal. It's in the public domain and easy to find.

THE SUPER COPS (1974). Airs on TCM about once a year. It's directed by Gordon Parks.

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10 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

Nice review. Some other ones from this era you might want to check out:

BORN TO WIN (1971) with George Segal. It's in the public domain and easy to find.

THE SUPER COPS (1974). Airs on TCM about once a year. It's directed by Gordon Parks.

I went and saw a preview of The Super Cops. I think I will screen that one first and get back with a review.  Thanks for the recommendations...

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