From The Grindhouse Cinema Database
- Shaft is seen reading a copy of Essence Magazine in his girlfriend's apartment; director Gordon Parks is one of the co-founders of Essence. The magazine is spotted when Shaft is engaging in a conversation with a blind newsstand vendor during the opening sequence. Parks has a cameo in the film - as a landlord when Shaft is looking for Ben Buford.
- The woman who shouts "Shut your mouth!" in the film's theme song is Telma Hopkins from Tony Orlando & Dawn and "Family Matters" (1989) fame.
- Isaac Hayes originally auditioned to play the title role. Producers cast Richard Roundtree, but were so impressed with Hayes that they asked him to write the now legendary score to the film.
- 'Ron O'Neal' (Super Fly) auditioned for the role of John Shaft, but was turned down because the producers felt his skin complexion was too light.
- Was rumored to be written as just another detective movie, with a white detective in the lead, but, after the success of Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (1971), the film was rewritten and recast as a blaxploitation movie. This story has been told several times by director 'Melvin van Peebles'. The Ernest Tidyman novel which was the basis for the film is about a black detective and not a white one.
- During the scene where Bumpy Jonas visits Shaft at his office, a door adjacent to the office says "Skloot Insurance" - named for Steven P. Skloot, a production manager on the film.
- The many movie marquees seen in Shaft's many exterior shots walking around NYC include advertisements for: Patton (1970), Get Carter (1971), Love Story (1970) and The Owl and the Pussycat (1970).
- Rex Robbins' first movie.