Shaft (1971 film)
Shaft is a 1971 American blaxploitation
Blaxploitation or blacksploitation is a film genre which emerged in the United States circa 1970. It is considered an ethnic sub-genre of the general category of exploitation films. Blaxploitation films were originally made specifically for an urban black audience, although the genre's audience...

 film directed by Gordon Parks
Gordon Parks
Gordon Roger Alexander Buchanan Parks was a groundbreaking American photographer, musician, poet, novelist, journalist, activist and film director...

, released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. is an American media company, involved primarily in the production and distribution of films and television programs. MGM was founded in 1924 when the entertainment entrepreneur Marcus Loew gained control of Metro Pictures, Goldwyn Pictures Corporation and Louis B. Mayer...

. An action film
Action film
Action film is a film genre where one or more heroes is thrust into a series of challenges that require physical feats, extended fights and frenetic chases...

 with elements of film noir
Film noir
Film noir is a cinematic term used primarily to describe stylish Hollywood crime dramas, particularly those that emphasize cynical attitudes and sexual motivations. Hollywood's classic film noir period is generally regarded as extending from the early 1940s to the late 1950s...

, Shaft tells the story of a black private detective, John Shaft
John Shaft
John Shaft is a fictional character created by schoolteacher/screenwriter Ernest Tidyman as a sort of African American version of Ian Fleming's James Bond. He was portrayed by Richard Roundtree in the original 1971 film and its two sequels, with Samuel L. Jackson portraying his nephew in the 2000...

, who travels through Harlem
Harlem is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Manhattan, which since the 1920s has been a major African-American residential, cultural and business center. Originally a Dutch village, formally organized in 1658, it is named after the city of Haarlem in the Netherlands...

 and to the Italian mob neighborhoods in order to find the missing daughter of a black mobster. It stars Richard Roundtree
Richard Roundtree
Richard Roundtree is an American actor and former fashion model. He is best known for his portrayal of private detective John Shaft in the 1971 film Shaft and in its two sequels, Shaft's Big Score and Shaft in Africa .-Personal life:Born in New Rochelle, New York, Richard Roundtree graduated from...

 as Shaft, Moses Gunn as Bumpy Jonas, Drew Bundini Brown
Drew Bundini Brown
Drew Bundini Brown was an assistant trainer and cornerman of Muhammad Ali throughout the former heavyweight champion's career, as well as occasional film actor.-Personal life:...

 as Willy, Charles Cioffi
Charles Cioffi
Charles Cioffi , also credited as Charles M. Cioffi, is an American movie and television actor.-Biography:He was born in New York City and attended Michigan State University, where he became a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity....

 as Lt.