‘Shaft’ Director Gordon Parks Threatened to Fire Richard Roundtree
There are three movies called
and all of them star Richard Roundtree.
However, it was the 1971 original that was a landmark for cinema and spawned a whole franchise.
Roundtree starred in
Shaft, Shaft’s Big Score
Shaft in Africa
before returning to appear in Samuel L.
Jackson’s 2000 and 2019
movies. To original
director Gordon Parks, Roundtree’s role depended on his mustache.
keeps ‘70s film look, like 8MM home movies but in high definition and with all the colors of the
era, plus the dark, gritty back alleys of New York City. In the new bonus feature “Revisiting
,” there is a clip of Parks telling the story of Roundtree’s mustache.
Parks said a strong mustache was important to him in creating a Black hero who could compete
with James Bond and Steve McQueen. Roundtree had that between his lip and his nose.