Film 102 in the “1001 Films to See Before You Die” challenge is 1971’s “Shaft”. I’m guessing that the only reason this film made the list was for it’s famous theme song performed by Isaac Hayes. Or as I’ve always known him, Chef from “South Park”. The song must have been such a hit as it won an Oscar! This film has a mixture of bad acting, bad sound quality and it was very clear at some points that some lines were recorded in post production and dubbed over. I honestly couldn’t care about the plot or everyone Shaft meets. All I wanted to see was Shaft kicking ass and taking names. Boy was I wrong. Instead, Shaft goes for the shoot first, never ask questions because I’m too busy shagging random women. Now that I sit here trying to remember anything about the film. Nothing springs to mind. I can’t really remember anything. So by that logic, this film is a “watch it for the theme song” film. In 2000, Richard Roundtree (who played Shaft) had this to say about the film, “You knew we had something really exciting, but we had no idea how big this thing was going to be.” This film did manage to get two sequels, 1972’s “Shaft’s Big Score!” and 1973’s “Shaft in Africa”. It even got remade in 2000 with Samuel L Jackson as Shaft. I feel like I should have watched that version now! Ah well, if you have seen this film, or any of the sequels, or the 2000 remake then let me know what you thought of them in the comments. Here is what I had to say while watching 1971’s “Shaft”
Film – Shaft
Year – 1971
Director – Gordon Parks
Staring – Richard Roundtree, Moses Gunn, Charles Cioffi
IMDb Rating – 6.6/10
My Rating – 4.7/10
Length – 96 min (1h 36min)
Genre – Action, Crime, Thriller
Welcome to New York
And there’s the theme song
Watch where you’re driving
Are they protesting about job vacancies at The New York Times?
I’m guessing this was before jaywalking was a crime?
Welcome to the shoe buffers! Here’s a free coffee
I can barely hear them over the traffic
“Up yours, baby”
Is it me or is someone dubbing over Shaft’s lines?
His words don’t sync with his mouth
Time for me to spy on this man who’s buying gum
I didn’t know you could open elevator doors by knocking on them?
That’s one way to avoid criminals! Let them dive through the window
I get the feeling Byron wants to arrest Shaft because he’s black
How many gangs are there in Harlem?
Also, who nicknames themselves “Bumpy”?
Vic just played the “You ain’t black! My pen is blacker than you” game
Why is Vic’s close-up a little out of focus?
Are they sorting out a way to arrest Bumpy?
I want roast chestnuts and a taxi
That taxi drove past me! Racist!
How to unlock a door – Use a credit card!
This is some pretty bad acting
Was Bumpy staring at Shaft’s penis?
Bumpy wants Shaft to find his daughter whos been kidnapped
La Mumba – The rejected original name for “La Bamba”
Let’s just assume that she’s being held hostage in Harlem
$50 an hour! So in a 24 hour period Shaft would have made $1200
In one week, Shaft can make $8400
Take this envelope! That’ll help you get started
Why does he stop himself from finishing “motherfucker”? He only says “mother”
“Any job is hard to find” – That lyric is very true
What the hell is a “$50 Jones”
Where’s Ben Buford? I’m looking for him
Here’s $20 to make you talk
“I hear some cat tell another cat” – is cat a slang term for guy?
Is Shaft naked reading Cosmo?
KISS ME BITCH
So… That’s what Shaft’s ass looks like
Well… that’s the wife shagged! Time for a hotdog to celebrate
You look cold, kid! Here’s some money for food
Did that guy follow Shaft all the way to Amsterdam Avenue?
So… Shaft and Ben use to be friends?!?
Those lines was clearly recorded in post
Here’s some money for a new front door
Is he threatening him with sewing scissors?
Let’s escape through the back alleys
These songs have a lot of bass guitar and high hat symbols
I can’t see anything now
“Uncle Tom Jive” – What is that?
Whos’ apartment is this? Did Shaft get a new apartment within one night?
Did Vic say Shaft got fingered?
So… the mafia is planning to attack Bumpy’s gang?!?
Who goes bald in a straight line?
Why did he call Shaft “Snow White”?
Why is Bumpy’s office a lot nicer than the rest of the building?
Bumpy knew all along that the mafia has his daughter
You’re still finding her!
Bumpy proposes Shaft uses Ben’s gang to take out all of the mafia to get his daughter back
$10,000 for everyone he kills
He already owns $50,000 for the five members of Ben’s gang dead
This is still some bad acting
Did he just give some random dude his keys to his apartment?
Shaft finds two members of the mafia
He then gets himself a job working at the bar
Are bar staff allowed to give themselves drinks its on the house?
You may as well give them the bottle of stotch if it’s free
That one guy is very interested in the apartments across the street
That blood looks very fake
Time for some sex in the shower
And it’s time for another KISS ME BITCH
Fuck your notepad and pen!
Meanwhile, back with the random woman Shaft had sex with last night
Why did she nickname him “Shitty”?
Time for the deal to go down
Who hides guns in food bags in the fridge?
Before the meet goes down, better change my jumper
Gimme an espresso and nothing else!!!
You can’t use the n word white person
She clearly likes her job! Miserable bitch
Time for Ben and his men to sneak and follow Shaft and this mafia cat
It’s him or the girl! Which is it?
Well… that’s two mafia guys dead
And Shaft’s been shot
24 hours for Bumpy to deal or his daughter dies
Where did the blood on Shaft’s head come from?
It’s a good thing Ben knows how to remove bullets from wounds
A bullet wound and a sprained wrist!
How is Bumpy meant to call people if his phone has no dials?
Ben and his men all disguise themselves as chefs
Meanwhile, Vic checks out the scene where Shaft was shot
Time to put the plan into action
And now Ben has stolen a lift operator’s coat
That one noise just alerted the mafia
Well… One of them
Paper on it’s own won’t burn! Better pour gasoline on it
And don’t waste the gin!
Gimme a cigarette before I jump down
I’m armed with a fire hose and I’m not afraid to use it
Shaft has Bumpy’s daughter!
And the police arrive just after Shaft escaped