Isaac Hayes - Rotten Tomatoes

Isaac Hayes



A major figure in American soul music, Isaac Hayes also enjoyed a long and memorable career as an actor and film composer. His score for the motion picture Shaft made him the first African-American to win an Academy Award for music, and was one of the first examples of a pop-based film score that developed a life of its own in the marketplace.



Isaac Hayes was born in Covington, TN, on August 20, 1942. Born to a family of sharecroppers, Hayes was raised by his grandparents, and developed an interest in music early in life, joining the church choir at the age of five. By the time he was a teenager, Hayes had also learned how to play piano, organ, and saxophone, but he was forced to drop out of school after the family had moved to Memphis when his grandfather developed a disability. Hayes began performing with a variety of local R&B groups in Memphis, including the Teen Tones, Sir Calvin and His Swinging Cats, and Sir Isaac and the Doo-Dads, as well as working a variety of day jobs. In time, Hayes began attending night school, and received his high-school diploma at the age of 21.



In 1962, Hayes cut his first record for a local label, and in 1964 he'd worked his way up to playing keyboards with the house band at Stax Records, just then establishing themselves as one of the South's premier soul music labels. At Stax, Hayes began writing songs with David Porter, and together they penned a long string of hits for Sam & Dave, including "Soul Man," "Hold On, I'm Coming," and "When Something Is Wrong With My Baby," as well as hits for Johnnie Taylor and Carla Thomas. Having established himself as a songwriter, Hayes began to step into the spotlight as a recording artist in 1967 with his first solo album, Presenting Isaac Hayes. While the album was reasonably well received, it was Hayes' second effort, Hot Buttered Soul, that established him as a unique talent in soul music, with its lush, lengthy, and languidly funky interpretations of such songs as "Walk on By" and "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" (the latter clocking in at an epic 18 minutes).



Several more successful albums followed, and in 1970, Hayes was approached to write his first film score by, of all people, Norman Mailer; Mailer went through a brief fling as an experimental filmmaker, and he hired Hayes to provide music for his third cinéma vérité feature, Maidstone.

In 1971, Hayes would write his second film score, which would make a much greater impact. Shaft, directed by famed photojournalist Gordon Parks, was a gritty tale of a tough private eye squaring off against both the cops and the mob in New York City, but with a primarily African-American cast, an unusual thing in 1971, and Hayes' score, which blended streetwise grooves with a brassy orchestral backing, became an instant sensation. Shaft's soundtrack album, as well as the single "Theme From Shaft," were major chart successes, and Hayes won an Academy Award for Best Musical Score.



While Hayes was certainly proud of his achievements, at one point he'd shown an interest in playing the lead in Shaft as well as writing the music, and after displaying an estimable amount of screen charisma in several concert films (including Wattstax and Save the Children), he was cast alongside Fred Williamson and Lino Ventura in the Italian blaxploitation-style drama Uomini Duri (released in America as Three Tough Guys); Hayes also wrote music for the film. Later that same year, Hayes scored a solo starring role in Truck Turner, but just as his acting career began taking hold, the bottom began to fall out of the blaxploitation market, and Hayes went back to making music, not scoring another film role until Escape From New York in 1981.



In the mid-'80s, Hayes returned to acting, and appeared in no fewer than 25 theatrical and television features between 1986 and 1996; most were low-budget genre fare, but several more notable films appeared on his resumé, i

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet For Love of Liberty: The Story of America's Black Patriots
  • Actor
2010
No Score Yet Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum: Live - Legends
  • Actor
2010
No Score Yet Stand
  • Actor
2009
45% Soul Men
  • Himself
2008
No Score Yet Return to Sleepaway Camp
  • Charlie
2008
No Score Yet Kill Switch
  • Coroner
2008
No Score Yet Isaac Hayes: Live at Montreux 2005
  • Actor
2007
No Score Yet 80's Disco Stars & Hits
  • Actor
2007
No Score Yet Dead Dog
  • Actor
2006
No Score Yet Most Famous Hits - Tom Jones & Friends
  • Actor
2006
82% Hustle & Flow
  • Arnel
2005
No Score Yet The Jacksons: America's First Family of Music
  • Actor
2004
No Score Yet Dream Warrior
  • Actor
2004
No Score Yet Anonymous Rex
  • Elegant Man
2004
No Score Yet Tom Jones and Friends: Live
  • Actor
2003
No Score Yet Soul Survivor
  • Actor
2003
61% Only the Strong Survive
  • Actor
2003
No Score Yet Book of Days
  • Jonah
2003
No Score Yet Soul Comes Home - A Celebration of Stax Records and Memphis Soul Music
  • Actor
2003
26% Chelsea Walls
  • Man in Elevator
2001
42% Dr. Dolittle 2
  • Possum
2001
No Score Yet Baadasssss Cinema
  • Actor
2001
68% Shaft
  • Mr. H
2000
86% Wattstax
  • Actor
2000
25% Reindeer Games (Deception)
  • Zook
2000
No Score Yet Dead Dog
  • Actor
2000
81% South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut
  • Chef
1999
No Score Yet Swear Along With South Park
  • Actor
1999
36% Six Ways to Sunday
  • Bennet
1999
No Score Yet Ninth Street
  • Tippytoe
1999
56% Uncle Sam
  • Jed Crowley
1997
47% Blues Brothers 2000
  • Louisiana Gator Boys Band Member
1997
50% Illtown
  • George
1997
No Score Yet Backlash: Oblivion 2
  • Buster
1996
32% Flipper
  • Buck
1996
71% Once upon a Time...When We Were Colored
  • Preacher Hurn
1995
No Score Yet Out of Sync
  • Actor
1995
No Score Yet Magic Island
  • Mad Face (voice)
1995
71% It Could Happen to You
  • Angel
1994
48% Robin Hood: Men in Tights
  • Asneeze
1993
31% Posse
  • Cable
1993
52% CB4
  • Owner
1993
No Score Yet Acting on Impulse
  • Det. Stubbs
1993
No Score Yet Deadly Exposure
  • Lt. Johanson
1993
No Score Yet Guilty as Charged
  • Aloysius
1992
No Score Yet Fire, Ice And Dynamite
  • Actor
1991
No Score Yet Prime Target
  • Capt. Thompkins
1991
No Score Yet Out of Time
  • Actor
1991
No Score Yet Final Judgment
  • Lt. Herb Jefferson
1989
No Score Yet Dead Aim
  • Actor
1989
63% I'm Gonna Git You Sucka
  • Hammer
1988
No Score Yet Dead Aim
  • Jamal
1987
No Score Yet Nightstick
  • Actor
1987
No Score Yet Counterforce
  • Ballard
1987
No Score Yet Betrayed by Innocence
  • Actor
1986
85% Escape from New York
  • Duke of New York
1981
No Score Yet It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time
  • Moriarity
1975
No Score Yet Truck Turner
  • Matt `Truck' Turner
1974
No Score Yet Isaac Hayes - The Black Moses of Soul
  • Actor
1973
No Score Yet The Black Moses of Soul
  • Actor
1973
No Score Yet Music Scene - Best of 1969-1970
  • Actor
1969

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT
No Score Yet Great Performances
2000
  • Appearing
No Score Yet POV
1988
  • Performer
91% South Park
1997
  • "Chef" McElroy
  • Voice
No Score Yet The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
1990-1996
  • Minister

Quotes from Isaac Hayes' Characters