- AFI's 100 Years
- #38, "Theme From Shaft"
- Ability over Appearance: In the original novel, John Shaft was white, but Gordon Parks decided to cast a black actor anyway.
- Breakaway Pop Hit: The theme song is very well-known and commonly quoted, however few have honestly seen the film.
- Cast the Runner-Up: In addition to doing the soundtrack, Isaac Hayes auditioned to play Shaft. He makes a cameo as a bartender.
- Completely Different Title:
- French and Spanish: The Red Nights of Harlem
- Greece: The Black Panther
- Turkey: Fearless
- Darkhorse Casting: Richard Roundtree was a male model whose acting experience was limited to commercials.
- Disowned Adaptation: According to a modern interview with Ernest Tidyman's son, the author was dismayed with the changes made for the film, as he felt the studio was trying too hard, in an unauthentic way, to make Shaft more ethnic.
- Follow the Leader: The film became the model of a film genre for movies targeted towards urban African Americans now otherwise known as Blaxploitation. It also owed a lot to Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song, which wasn't quite an exploitation film.
- Playing Against Type: Richard Roundtree was a model before he was cast as Shaft.
- Self-Adaptation: Ernest Tidyman, who wrote the novels, co-wrote the script.
- Star-Making Role: For Richard Roundtree.
Trivia / Shaft