"Hotter than Bond. Cooler than Bullitt," movie posters proclaimed. John Shaft was indeed a shut-your-mouth detective to reckon with, a fact emphasized from the film's start by Isaac Hayes' Academy Award-winning Best Original Song and Oscar-nominated score. Richard Roundtree plays the smart, tough, confident lead, a private investigator whose hunt for a kidnapped woman puts him in the middle of feuding syndicates. Gordan Parks directs from a screenplay that Ernest Tidyman (that same year's Oscar winner for The French Connection) co-scripted from his own novel. John Shaft is an icon of change from an era of change. Today, Shaft still tells it like it is.
Richard Roundtree, Moses Gunn, Christopher St. John, Charles Cioffi, Gwenn Mitchell, Lawrence Pressman, Victor Arnold, Sherri Brewer