[[caption-width-right:350: Can you dig it?]]

->''They say this cat Shaft is a bad mother--\\
But I'm talkin' 'bout Shaft.\\

[[FunetikAksent You's know de dojigger. You's know de movie. You's might even know de remake. But do ya' know Shaft?]]

''Shaft'' is a 1971 {{Blaxploitation}} film, directed by Gordon Parks and written by Ernest Tidyman, based on Tidyman's novel of the same name. It tells the story of an African-American private detective, John Shaft, who travels through Harlem and infiltrates TheMafia in order to find the missing daughter of a black mobster. It stars Richard Roundtree as Shaft, Moses Gunn as Bumpy Jonas, Charles Cioffi as Lt. Vic Androzzi, and Christopher St. John as Ben Buford, along with Gwenn Mitchell and Lawrence Pressman. Isaac Hayes did the [[SugarWiki/AwesomeMusic theme song]] quoted above, which has reached MemeticMutation to the point where it may actually be better known than the movie..

The film was followed by two more movies - only the first of which was based on a Tidyman novel and directed by Parks - along with a series of TV movies, following the further adventures of Shaft during the 1973-74 season on The New CBS Tuesday Night Movies. As the series was being aired on network television, the character of [[AntiHero Shaft]] was [[{{Bowdlerise}} toned down]] [[{{Badbutt}} a fair amount]]; for example, he frequently worked with the police, instead of being against them as in the original movie. Due to this ExecutiveMeddling, the series was unpopular, and it was quickly cancelled.

Incidentally, Ernest Tidyman, writer of the original novel series and the first two movies, also wrote ''Film/TheFrenchConnection.''

In 2014 a ''Shaft'' comic book debuted to strong critical reaction, inspired more by the Tidyman novels and written by David Walker of [=BadAzz=] [=MoFo=], a blog about Blaxploitation history. Included in each issue of the first arc, ''A Complicated Man'', was a chapter of ''Shaft's Revenge'', the first new novel about John Shaft since Tidyman's death. A second arc, ''Imitation Of Life'', is in the works.

[[MemeticMutation And we can dig it.]]

For the anime studio, look no further than Creator/StudioSHAFT.
!! "That cat Shaft shows up in these baaad mutha- / Shut your mouth!":
* ''Shaft '' (1971)
* ''Shaft's Big Score'' (1972)
* ''Shaft in Africa'' (1973)
* ''Film/{{Shaft|2000}}'' (2000)
!!"But I'm troping about Shaft!/And we can dig it":

* AngryBlackMan
* BadassMoustache
* [[{{Badass}} Bad Motherf]]-- ''[[BigShutUp Shut your mouth]]!''
** {{Badbutt}}-- In the series of TV movies, he got downgraded to a [[{{Bowdlerize}} Bad Melon Farmer]] for fear of [[MoralGuardians offending the delicate sensitivities of white TV audiences]].
* {{Blaxploitation}}: A TropeCodifier--usually the first film anyone thinks of when hearing the term.
* CharacterTitle
* TheChiefsDaughter: Shaft woos an African princess in the second sequel.
* TheChosenZero: One of the taglines was something along the lines of "The mob wanted Harlem back. They got Shaft".
* ColdCash
* CompensatingForSomething: Played up in the ads. According to a book on blaxploitation films, several theaters had a contest going during the run of ''In Africa'' where customers could win a prize if they correctly guessed the length of Shaft's... walking stick.
* CurseCutShort: [[http://youtu.be/CHbYLjWEEQA The title theme:]]
-->'''Isaac Hayes:''' They say this cat Shaft is a bad mother-- \\
'''Female Chorus:''' Shut your mouth! \\
'''Isaac Hayes:''' But I'm talkin' 'bout Shaft! \\
'''Female Chorus:''' And we can dig it.
* FollowTheLeader: ''Shaft'' essentially was the UrExample for {{Blaxploitation}}, with ''Film/SweetSweetbacksBaadasssssSong'' as the genre's TropeMaker, though not an example.
* HollywoodHealing: In the original, Shaft gets shot numerous times with a machine gun. He mysteriously lives.
* IronicEcho: "Close it yourself, shitty!"
* KickTheDog: In the original, Shaft uses one of the BigBad's mooks as a human shield, causing the BigBad to shoot his own mook.
* LineOfSightName: The main character was named after, of all things, a fire shaft.
* RatedMForManly
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: Police Lt. Vic Androzzi. He's pretty much the only cop that Shaft is willing to put up with, and frequently helps Shaft out by looking the other way while he takes care of business.
* RemakeCameo: In addition to Richard Roundtree (noted above), 1971 ''Shaft'' director Gordon Parks also has a cameo. He is the chess player that Samuel L. Jackson addresses as Mr. P.
* SequelGoesForeign: ''Shaft in Africa''
* ShootTheHostage: Mob boss Bumpy hires Shaft to get his kidnapped daughter back. Shaft wants proof that Bumpy's daughter is still alive so he goes to meet with the kidnappers, and grabs one of the mooks to try and use him to get Bumpy's daughter back. The kidnapper shoots and kills his own mook, grabs the daughter, then beats up Shaft but doesn't kill him because he has to be alive to tell Bumpy that his daughter is alive and unhurt.
* SoulBrotha
''"Any questions?"''