Richard Roundtree and Moses Gunn returned in the sequel to the huge blockbuster Shaft (1971), which kicked off the early 1970s blaxploitation craze – and later inspired the Quentin Tarantino release Jackie Brown (1997).
Tough Harlem private eye John Shaft (Roundtree) is in pursuit of the gang members who murdered his undertaker friend Cal Asby (Robert Kya-Hill), who had hidden $250,000 of underworld money in a coffin.
Here, the private-eye hero acts more like a hip James Bond than a retro Sam Spade, in a routine social conscience tale that finds him avenging the murder while retrieving money stolen by warring gangsters.
The New York harbour ending is memorably exciting.
Drew Bundini Brown
Melvin Green Jr