Shaft is a 1971 blaxploitation film starring Richard Roundtree in the title role.
Rotten Tomatoes gives it an 88%. DVD Talk says, "Perhaps the only really special thing about the original Shaft was the fact that its racial content was new for a Hollywood film". Roger Ebert says, "The nice thing about "Shaft" is that it savors the private-eye genre, and takes special delight in wringing new twists out of the traditional relationship between the private eye and the boys down at homicide." Time Out praises Roundtree's performance and the musical score. Bright Lights Film Journal has an article on blaxploitaion films and says,
Shaft gives us a sexy, practically omnipotent hero (Ebony model Richard Rountree); a lewd score ("who's the black private dick that's a sex machine for all the chicks?"); and the hero's precarious balancing act between whitey's world and the ghetto. This film features the casual gay element that we see in many of the films, with Shaft more amused than annoyed when a queen bartender gooses him.