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Shaft was a blaxploitation movie released in 1971 by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, starring Richard Roundtree as private detective John Shaft, popular for its Academy Award winning theme song composed and performed by musician Isaac Hayes (who died in August 2008). The movie was remade in 2000, with Samuel L. Jackson in the title role as NYPD Detective John Shaft, the nephew of the original John Shaft (Roundtree, who reprises his role from the first movie).

Two sequels to the original movie were later made, Shaft's Big Score in 1972 and Shaft in Africa in 1973, followed by a short-lived series of TV movies on CBS in 1973, Shaft (all starring Roundtree).