Cultural References

Shaft (Movies)

"...you know, leaned on him. Like I was Shaft or somethin'."
"Shut yo' mouth!"

John Shaft, probably best known for his 1971 film incarnation, was an African-American detective based in Harlem. Shaft would always get his man…or his lady, as Shaft was quite the ladies' man. In an era of "blaxploitation" films with negatively stereotyped characters, Shaft stood out in that he was not a pimp or a drug dealer, but rather a confident, sexy, hardworking detective. In the year 2000, the film was deemed "culturally significant" by the U.S. Library of Congress. The film was a box-office success and earned an Oscar for its theme, cleverly titled "Theme from Shaft," sung by Isaac Hayes. "Shut yo' mouth," an oft-quoted lyric from the song, interrupts Hayes' assertion that Shaft was a bad mother…something. The backup vocalist admonishing Shaft is none other than Telma Hopkins, Addy from Gimme a Break. A bad mother, indeed.

1.12 "Clash of the Tritons"
Who's Who bio: John Shaft
See all references about Blaxploitation movies of the 1970s

Cultural References