NEVER SEEN IT: Shaft (1971)

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BY ISA MONTAGNESE

Date released: July 2, 1971

Date watched: August 7, 2013

Why now? Because I’ve been waiting my whole life for this gem of a movie. We have the soundtrack on vinyl in our house (’cause my dad used to wear three-piece suits and a gold pocket watch to the disco in grade 13) so to be honest I have no idea why I haven’t seen it yet.

Why not then? ‘Twas 1971, silly.

Expectations:

  • Super stereotypical 70’s style filmmaking/style/hair/cars.
  • Silly everything: story, acting, plot and characters.
  • Jive talking.

What I actually got:

  • No one told me this is a legit movie!! WHAT?
  • The acting is kind of impressive, though still quite silly, Richard Roundtree is great and super cool, proven to us by his TWO sex scenes.
  • Shaft is probably to the most successful and well known “blaxploitation” film. Its clear from this film that there was a huge audience in the 70s for modern and more representative films that included a really excluded group of people in the film industry.
  • The story was really great! Not super elaborate but kind of classic crime story plot with great cheesy characters.
  • The most amazing theme song of all time.
  • The most amazing apartment of all time.
  • The most amazing one-liner of all time:

“Where the hell you goin’ Shaft?”

“To get laid. Where the hell you goin’? HA HA HA HA”

One night-in or second date potential? 100% marriage material. I need to see this movie at least three more times to fully absorb how totally perfect it is.

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