Sam Maronies Entertainment Funhouse (Maronie Creative Services, LLC)
IT'S POP-CULTURE PARTY-TIME!

FILM

February 3, 2015

RICHARD ROUNDTREE AKA JOHN SHAFT

Super-Fine, Super-Bad detective John Shaft (Richard Roundtree) from the classic 1971 film. (c) MGM
Super-Fine, Super-Bad detective John Shaft (Richard Roundtree) from the classic 1971 film. (c) MGM

Super-Fine, Super-Bad detective John Shaft (Richard Roundtree) from the classic 1971 film. (c) MGM

 

BLACK HISTORY MONTH IN POP CULTURE

Actor Richard Roundtree will forever be identified with iconic detective John Shaft. As the hero of the 1971 blaxploitation classic, Roundtree inspired a generation and cemented his place in film history.

The movie ignited controversy upon it’s release with the portrayal of the hard-shooting, hard-loving hero. However, director Gordon Parks created a classic that has withstood the test of time. It’s a neat thriller that was a product of its funkadelic era. The environment of 1970s seedy Times Square is as much a character in the story as John Shaft himself. I view this movie several times a year and it always continues to hold my interest.

The success of Shaft spawned two sequels, Shaft’s Big Score (1972) and Shaft in Africa (1973). There was even a pedestrian 1973 TV series with Roundtree reprising his role as the super-fine, super-cool detective.

The 72-year-old actor has been employed steadily. He’s played all types of characters and all types of roles, and done them well. Roundtree even portrayed the ‘new’ John Shaft’s (Samuel L. Jackson) uncle in director John Singleton’s 2000 remake. He still exudes that magnetic charm he displayed in his classic film.

 

 






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