This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Written by j. vegas
EXT. TIMES SQUARE - DAY MUSICAL MONTAGE Ron Shaft, private detective, walks through Midtown New York City as the opening credits play. LONG SHOTS, CLOSE-UPS, and WIDE SHOTS of him maneuvering the Manhattan streets are shown throughout. EXT. STREET CORNER - DAY Shaft approaches a blind man selling newspapers. SHAFT How’s it goin’, Marlon? MARLON Shaft! Nice to see you. Marlon has a laugh. Shaft picks up a newspaper. He drops a couple coins into the cash box. SHAFT What’s in the news today? MARLON Nothin’ good in that old thing. It’s the news on the street you need to be hearin’ about. SHAFT What’s that? MARLON Couple of cats came round lookin’ for you earlier. And when I say cats, I mean sexy ass kitty cats. SHAFT You recognize their voices? MARLON Only one of ‘em talked. Never heard her before. SHAFT If only one was talkin’, how’d you know there was two of ‘em? MARLON Shit, Shaft. I might be blind, but I still got a nose. I can smell pussy from a mile away!
2. Marlon gets another laugh. A man walks into frame and picks up a paper. Marlon begins sniffing. MARLON (CONT’D) Darnell, that you? The man drops the newspaper and quickly walks away. MARLON (CONT’D) Hey! Darnell! Where’s that Jackson you owe me? SHAFT Thanks for the tip, Marlon. Shaft walks out of frame. MARLON (to Darnell) Darnell! Darnell! I want my money, goddammit! (beat) Punk bitch... EXT. STREET - DAY Shaft walks into a shoe shine parlor. INT. SHINE PARLOR Shaft enters the parlor. He’s immediately greeted by Grady, the proprietor. GRADY Shaft! How’s it goin’ my brotha! SHAFT Another day, another dollar. GRADY (laughs) Don’t I know it. What’ll it be? SHAFT A shine, Grady. GRADY You got it. Grady gets his shine box and starts working on Shaft’s shoes. SHAFT I bet you hear a lotta talk in this business.
3. GRADY I hear a lotta talk - don’t mean I’m listenin’. SHAFT Well I’m hearin’ some mess about a couple ladies lookin’ for me. You been listenin’ to anything like that? Grady stops his shine. He cautiously looks left and right. GRADY You ain’t heard this from me, but someone out there got some big plans for you, Shaft... The phone rings. Grady gets up to answer it. Shaft notices the young cashier girl behind the counter, licking a lollypop. She sends Shaft a seductive look. Grady comes back in a hurry. He starts gathering up his things. GRADY (CONT’D) Sorry, Shaft. I gots to go. Some white boys on Wall Street need their shoes shined before they can go to lunch. Grady grabs his shine box and heads for the door. SHAFT What about my shoes? Grady stops at the front door. GRADY Next time they on Wall Street, and you white with money - call me. Grady walks out. The cashier walks over to Shaft. CASHIER GIRL Maybe I can be of some assistance. SHAFT You know how to shine shoes? CASHIER GIRL No. But I can learn. She gets on her knees and starts licking Shaft’s shoes. She takes her top off and cleans his shoes. She slides her hands up Shaft’s legs and starts massaging his cock.
4. SEX SEQUENCE DISSOLVE TO: EXT. SHAFT’S OFFICE BUILDING - DAY Shaft walks to the front of his building. He notices two women, their backs to him, waiting for the elevator. He ducks out of sight, peeking through the front door window. The women get on the elevator. Shaft runs in and takes the stairs up to his office. CUT TO: INT. SHAFT’S OFFICE BUILDING Shaft comes out of the stairwell on his floor. He walks towards his office, gun drawn. His office door is cracked open. Shaft approaches slowly, then kicks open the door. SHAFT Freeze, bitches! The office is empty. He looks around, then hears a voice. VOICE (O.S.) Paranoid, are we? Shaft turns around. It’s the two women waiting for the elevator - one white, one black. SHAFT (puts his gun back in its holster) Not paranoid, just cautious. EBONY Are you Ron Shaft? SHAFT That depends on who’s askin’. I’m Ebony. EBONY
IVORY And I’m Ivory. SHAFT I see that.
5. EBONY We’re here to find out if the famous private dick, Shaft, lives up to his name. SHAFT I am the best. IVORY We’ll be the judge of that. SEX SEQUENCE INT. SHAFT’S OFFICE - DAY Shaft is sitting on the floor with the two ladies flanking him. All are naked. IVORY Oh, Shaft. You are the best. SHAFT Damn right. Two men appear at the door, STUMPY BLACKMAN and his BODYGUARD. STUMPY Hello, Shaft. SHAFT (taken aback) Stumpy Blackman. STUMPY I see you’ve met my girls. SHAFT What are you doin’ here? Stumpy and his bodyguard walk in the office. STUMPY I got some heavy business to lay on you, Shaft, so I sent Ebony and Ivory to soften you up. SHAFT The last thing they did was soften me up, Stumpy.
6. STUMPY Ladies, why don’t you let Shaft and I talk for a bit. The girls gather up their clothes and leave. Stumpy’s bodyguard closes the door. JUMP CUT TO: SHAFT’S OFFICE Shaft walks into frame, fully clothed, buckling his belt. Stumpy sits at Shaft’s desk, unlit cigar in his mouth. His bodyguard stands in the corner. SHAFT Now, what’s so important you had to get me laid so we could talk business? Stumpy gets up from the desk and lights the cigar. Shaft walks over to his desk and sits down. STUMPY When a man acquires a certain amount of wealth and power, there’s always an adversary trying to assume control of that wealth and power. In my case, that adversary is the Mulberry Boys. They know how well I been doin’ in Harlem and now they lookin’ to move uptown to take over my business. As you know, I provide a much needed service to the community... SHAFT (cuts Stumpy off) Waste removal and heroin distribution. Don’t fuck with me, Stumpy. Cut to the goddamned chase. STUMPY Okay, Shaft. Here’s the chase: Them Wops is on the run with my daughter, Charese. And I aim to catch those motherfuckers. Thinkin’ they can use my own family to run me outta town? They got another thing comin’. And that thing is you, Shaft. I want you to find Charese and bring her back to me.
7. SHAFT I can do that. But it’s gonna cost you. Stumpy reaches inside his trench coat, pulls out a fat envelope, and tosses it on Shaft’s desk. STUMPY Ten thousand now, ten thousand upon completion of the job. Shaft picks up the envelope and looks through it. It’s stuffed with cash. He throws it back on the desk. SHAFT Twenty thousand now - thirty thousand later. STUMPY That’s a big number, Shaft. SHAFT It’s a big job, Stumpy. Stumpy reaches in his pants pocket and pulls out a wad of cash. He peels off several bills and tosses them on top of the envelope. STUMPY Fifteen thousand now... He puts the roll back in his pocket. STUMPY (CONT’D) Twenty five thousand later. Shaft says nothing. He picks up the envelope and cash. SHAFT You’ll be responsible for expenses and a daily per-diem. Done. STUMPY
SHAFT I’m also gonna need extra money for some men - some strong, able-bodied men. Stumpy puts his hands on Shaft’s desk and leans forward with a seductive look in his eyes.
8. STUMPY Shaft, I...I never knew... Shaft immediately sees through Stumpy’s inference. SHAFT For the job, Stumpy. Men for the job! STUMPY (embarassed) Of course... Stumpy’s bodyguard gives him a strange look. STUMPY (CONT’D) My mistake. (beat) Listen, Shaft. Whatever you need, you’ll have it. Just find my baby and bring her back to me. (on the verge of tears) I don’t have anybody else who knows how to cook brisket like she does. Shaft gets up from his desk and puts his coat on. SHAFT You’ll be hearing from me, Stumpy. When? STUMPY
SHAFT When I have somethin’ worth hearin’. Shaft starts to walk out of his office. STUMPY Wait a second. Why are you walking out of your office first? SHAFT It’s a porno, Stumpy. Don’t overthink it. EXT. SHAFT’S OFFICE BUILDING Shaft walks out of his office building, LONG SHOT from across the street, with Stumpy and his bodyguard. Sitting in a parked car on the other side of the street is Carmine, one of the Italian mafia hoods, spying with a pair of binoculars. He gets out of the car and walks to a payphone, picks up the receiver and places a call.
9. CARMINE It’s Carmine. Yeah, we got a bit of a problem over here...my car won’t start. Can you send someone?...Thanks. Carmine hangs up the phone. He stares intensely across the street as Shaft walks away and Stumpy and his bodyguard get in a car and drive off. DISSOLVE TO: INT. SHAFT’S APARTMENT - NIGHT Shaft walks out of his bathroom with a towel around his waist after taking a shower. Soft 70s music plays. He pours himself a glass of Scotch. He plops down on the couch. The front door opens. It’s his girl, Sugar. She walks in wearing a waitresses uniform and a name-tag that reads, ‘Sugar’. SUGAR Hey, baby! What you doin’ home? SHAFT Got put on a new case today. Needed a hot shower and some cool thinkin’ to calm me down. SUGAR Is everything okay? SHAFT It is now that you here, Suga’. SEX SEQUENCE INT. SHAFT’S APARTMENT Shaft and Sugar lay on the couch, post-coitus. SUGAR So what’s this big case that’s got your mind all tangled, baby? SHAFT It’s some heavy shit, Suga’. Like doin’ gay porn - high pay and high risk. SUGAR Oh Shaft! You’re not goin’ it alone, are you?
10. SHAFT Not on this one, that’s for sure. SUGAR Who you takin’ with you? Don’t even tell me it’s that faggot-ass Chauncey and his hood rats. Had my girl Rhonda up in his crib that night when them niggas did that foul ass shit... SHAFT It ain’t Chauncey. I got some solid brothas in mind. I just gotta find ‘em first... MUSICAL MONTAGE EXT. HARLEM - DAY Shaft walks down 125th Street in Harlem as funky 70s music plays. He stops every so often to ask questions to various people on the street, all shaking their heads ‘no’ in response. INT. PROJECT BUILDING - DAY Shaft knocks on some doors, still looking for his crew. A woman answers one, an old man answers another, and a guy dressed like “Where’s Waldo” answers as well. None have seen the men Shaft is looking for. EXT. STREET CORNER - DAY A street junkie named Jonesy is attempting to solicit money from passers by. He targets one man waiting for the crosswalk signal to change. JONESY Hey brotha, can I get a thin? You know, a quarter so I can get this can of Cobra? PEDESTRIAN You better stop tryin’ to be so hip and get a job - brotha. The man crosses the street.
11. JONESY You better stop tryin’ to be so cute and cross that street! With your bitch ass... A woman crosses his path. JONESY (CONT’D) Hey, baby, Listen, I know you don’t wanna get cut so why don’t you gimmie a dollar, huh? The woman runs off. Shaft appears. SHAFT Jonesy the Junkie. In rare form as usual. JONESY A man’s gotta eat, Shaft. SHAFT Or drink, sniff, and shoot, in your case. JONESY You come all the way uptown from your swanky office just to insult me? SHAFT I wish that were the case. I need to find Biff Mosely. JONESY I don’t know no Biff Mosely. Really... SHAFT
Shaft reaches into his pocket. JONESY Don’t even bother. I ain’t turnin’ snitch for nothin’. SHAFT Not even for this? Shaft pulls a piece of paper out of his pocket and holds it up. We quickly ZOOM IN to see “$10,000 IOU” written on it.
12. JONESY Are you fuckin’ kiddin’ me, Shaft? I’d be a fool not to take this. Jonsey snatches the paper from Shaft’s hand. SHAFT So you know where he is? JONESY 103 W. 129th Street, apartment 5B. SHAFT That’s off Malcolm X Blvd. I know that block. Thanks, Jonsey. Shaft runs off. Jonsey looks at the IOU Shaft gave him. JONESY Goddamn. I cannot wait to cash in on this. We ZOOM IN from Jonsey to the end of the block. Carmine peeks around the corner of a building, a sinister smile on his face. INT. BIFF MOSLEY’S APARTMENT - NIGHT Biff and his boys sit around the apartment. They’re drinking, getting high, generally having a good time. A girl in lingerie dances as funky 70s music plays. She makes her way over to Biff. He unzips his pants and pulls out his cock. BIFF Why don’t you boogie down on this dancefloor, baby? Everyone laughs. The girl kneels in front of Biff. STRIPPER You want me to suck it, big boy? You want me to suck it good? BIFF You can suck it good, bad, or ugly, I don’t give a shit. Just suck the motherfucker. The room erupts into more laughter. The girl goes down on Biff
13. BJ SEQUENCE CUT TO: INT. BIFF MOSLEY’S APARTMENT Biff and the boys are back to partying. There’s a knock on the door. Biff motions to one of his men to answer it. He opens the door. It’s Shaft. He walks in. Biff is stunned. BIFF Shaft! What the hell you doin’ here? SHAFT I should ask you the same thing. Holed-up in this flophouse so you don’t have to take the rap for that bookstore robbery. BIFF It ain’t stealin’ if you need it and I need my Toni Morrison. SHAFT Well, I need you to help me on a job. BIFF What kinda job? Suddenly, gunfire is heard in the hallway. Shaft hits the floor. SHAFT Shit! It’s the Italians! The who? BIFF
SHAFT The Italians! They must be on to me already! BIFF That ain’t no Italians. That’s brothas shootin’ otha brothas on the second floor. Shaft humbly stands up. He brushes himself off.
14. SHAFT Someday we’re gonna put an end to black on black crime. BIFF Shit, we’ll have a black president before that happens. Now, what the fuck you here for? SHAFT Stumpy Blackman’s daughter is being held for ransom by the Italian syndicate. He hired me to find her and I need you to back me up. Biff and his boys laugh. BIFF What’s in it for me? Shaft reaches into his coat. He pulls out an Amazon Kindle and throws it to Biff. SHAFT Plus a year’s subscription when we finish the job. BIFF (smiling) Aite, Shaft. You on. SHAFT Let’s get outta here. We got a lot of work to do. Shaft and Biff leave the apartment. CUT TO: INT. BIFF’S APARTMENT LOBBY Shaft and Biff walk down the stairs towards the front door when they’re confronted by Carmine and two of his hoods, all pointing guns at them. Carmine grabs Shaft by his collar and shoves him against the wall. CARMINE You know, Shaft, you should really learn to keep your black ass outta other people’s affairs.
15. SHAFT You should really learn to keep your gun out of a black man’s face. Shaft knocks the piece out of Carmine’s hand. Biff does likewise to the other two hoods. A punch-up ensues. Carmine manages to bolt out the door. Shaft is in hot pursuit. CUT TO: EXT. ALLEY - NIGHT Shaft chases Carmine down a shit-filled alley, finally catching him. He dives on Carmine’s back and both land in a pile of trash. Shaft puts his gun to Carmine’s head. SHAFT I wanna shoot you so bad, my dick’s hard. CARMINE I know, I can feel it. Shaft picks up Carmine and walks him back to the apartment building. INT. BIFF MOSLEY’S APARTMENT - NIGHT Shaft has Carmine duct-taped to a chair. Biff and his boys surround him. BIFF So whaddya got to tell us, tough guy? CARMINE My usual: nothin’. SHAFT Is that right? CARMINE Yeah, that’s right. And there ain’t nothin’ you can do about it. SHAFT (to the boys) Any ideas on how we can fix that, fellas? MAN #1 I say we kick the shit out of him.
16. MAN #2 I say we find his family. MAN #3 I say we show him how we do things in the joint. Carmine finally gets scared. CARMINE Ok, ok! I’ve been in AA since I was ten, I’m only half Italian, and on the weekends I like to wear womens underwear - but purely for the comfort. Everyone is shocked. SHAFT No, man! Stumpy Blackman’s daughter. Where is she? CARMINE Mott Street. 170, apartment 64. BIFF That’s Chinatown. SHAFT Let’s roll! Shaft and Biff bolt out the door. Carmine is left with Biff’s crew. MAN #1 (regarding Carmine) What you wanna do with him? MAN #3 (leaning into Carmine) Someone get the soap... A look of horror washes over Carmine’s face. INT. ITALIAN’S APARTMENT - NIGHT Two mafia hoods are playing cards as Stumpy’s daughter, Charese, paces back and forth. HOOD #1 Hey, you’re makin’ me nervous with all that pacing. Why don’t you sit down?
HOOD #1 I wasn’t askin’. Charese sits. She begins nervously fidgeting. HOOD #1 (CONT’D) Will you relax? CHARESE I got no reason to relax. HOOD #1 But you got every reason to shut the fuck up and sit still. CHARESE And what if I don’t? Hood #1 throws his cards on the table, as does Hood #2. They both stand up. HOOD #2 We’re just gonna have to put a couple slugs in ya. HOOD #1 And he ain’t talkin’ ‘bout bullets. Both walk over to Charese. She knows what they’re up to. CHARESE Oh no. Not that! Anything but that! The two move in on Charese. SEX SEQUENCE INT. ITALIAN’S APARTMENT HALLWAY Shaft and Biff creep through the hallway, looking for the apartment. They peek around a corner and see an Italian standing guard. SHAFT Alright, that’s it. BIFF What do you wanna do?
18. SHAFT I don’t know. Go distract him. BIFF Me? I ain’t goin’ over there. Why not? SHAFT
BIFF It’s your case. You should be the first one in. SHAFT I can’t go in first. You gotta go in first. Why me? BIFF
SHAFT Cause I hired you to watch my ass. BIFF Exactly. You go in first and I'll watch that ass from right here. A knock is heard from inside the hood’s apartment. The guard opens the door and walks in. CUT TO: INT. ITALIAN’S APARTMENT The hoods are finishing putting their clothes back on. Charese sits on the floor half naked. GUARD What do we have here? HOOD #1 The little lady anted up to the table, but the stakes ran too high. HOOD #2 We had to call her bluff. HOOD #1 Thought you might wanna get in on the game.
19. GUARD Sure. I love me a good round of poker. The guard walks towards Charese and starts taking his clothes off. Suddenly, Shaft and Biff bust in. A punch-up ensues. Shaft and Biff knock out all three hoods. Shaft grabs a blanket and wraps it around Charese. He helps her up off the floor. CHARESE Who are you? SHAFT I’m Ron Shaft. Your father sent me to rescue you. Biff clears his throat. Shaft looks at him. SHAFT (CONT’D) Us. Your father sent us to rescue you. CHARESE (elated) I knew daddy would save me! Oh thank you, Shaft. Thank you so much! She gives Shaft a big hug. CHARESE (CONT’D) I owe you my life! How can I ever repay you? Biff clears his throat again. SHAFT Sorry, Biff. This one’s all me. Shaft looks directly into the camera with a big smile. We freeze-frame on his face. END CREDITS