Shaft in Africa Script - Dialogue Transcript

Voila! Finally, the Shaft in Africa script is here for all you quotes spouting fans of the Richard Roundtree movie.  This script is a transcript that was painstakingly transcribed using the screenplay and/or viewings of Shaft in Africa. I know, I know, I still need to get the cast names in there and I'll be eternally tweaking it, so if you have any corrections, feel free to drop me a line. You won't hurt my feelings. Honest.

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Shaft in Africa Script





Three hundred?

Not a happy figure, Herr Schmidt.



You guaranteed seven hundred and fifty.



I don't care what your problems are.

Look, you fulfill your contract.



Seven hundred and fifty,

all in prime condition, on the job.



In Dusseldorf. Monday.



Smoke bother you?



Where there's smoke there's fire.



Brighten my day.



Call back.



Mr. Amafi.



Just one moment.



Good morning, Mr. Amafi.



Schmidt's making a delivery on Monday.



Seven hundred and fifty to Dusseldorf.



From the lvory Coast?



Only three hundred.

The rest from Senegal.



Tell Angelo to come in.

And get yourself a cup of coffee.



Yes, Mr. Amafi.






Names, dates, places.



He's been a busy boy.



Are you sure he's the Emir's son?



It took some persuasion,

but he finally talked.



For the benefit of the others,

an example has to be made.



Kill him.



What about his father?

He's got a lot of clout.



He can't throw a spear all the way

from New York, now can he?



Angelo, I said: "Kill him."



What's happening?



Some Africans are looking for you.



I don't know any Africans, brother.



You come!



-Central Answering, can I help you?

-Yeah, baby. Anything?



-Is that you, Mr. Shaft?

-That's right.



A Mr. Ramila's been calling you

every    minutes since  :  .



You come.



You tell Mr. R, if he calls again,

that I got too many friends with troubles.



I don't do business with strangers.






Where did you study stick fighting,

Mr. Shaft?



Conducting the New York Philharmonic.



The Emir will be pleased.



Also by the fact

you're already circumcised.



Mr. Shaft, the temperature is     degrees.



Are you comfortable?






I'd be more comfortable if you'd forget

to pay your light bills.



We want you to walk back and forth

across the sand for the next eight hours.



If you survive, we will talk.



Man, I already got my tan. Let's talk now!



I said walk! Walk or die!



Very ingenious, Mr. Shaft.



Forgive us, Mr. Shaft.



This is Emir Ramila.

Leader of the Manta tribe in East Africa.



Out of my turf.



This is Wassa, my brain and Ossiat,

my strong right arm.



They will prepare you.



Mineral water, Mr. Shaft. Quite pure.



Give me some scotch, man.



I know a great deal about you.

But until tonight, it was all hearsay.



-I had to know.

-Know what?



Would you kill a man?



You fired two shots at Ossiat

without hesitation.



Yes, I learned. You would kill a man.



About those shots.

Why is the brother still breathing?



Next time, between the eyes.



My second question:

How good are you with the stick?



Cat named Shaft ain't gonna be bad

with the stick.



From childhood,

the men of my tribes used the stick...


            herd cattle, ward off hyenas,

and to fight.



If you were awkward with the stick,

it would have taken too long to train you.



Thanks for the offer, but I live

in a restricted neighborhood, no hyenas.



You want to call me a cab?



Third question:



Could you survive under desert conditions?



I liked what you did,

burying yourself in the sand.



We've found our man, Mr. Shaft.









I'll walk.



I make you a most generous offer.



$     .



Is that American or Hong Kong?



$      now, $      later.



And what do I have to do?



Become a slave.



Colonel Gondar, John Shaft.



The Colonel is with the Central

Police Authority in Addis Ababa.



He's working with us

and with the Organization of African Unity.



A good deal of time and money has been

invested in selecting you, Mr. Shaft.



And I guess what you did is looked

in the Addis Ababa yellow pages...



...and there I was, John Shaft,

investigator. Right?



It was somewhat more involved than that.



What's this slave jive?



Two months ago, a truck crossed

the border from ltaly into France.



The driver managed to escape.



The French authorities gave the men

water and time to rest...



...then hustled them back into ltaly

and marked the incident closed.



What were they? ltalians?



No. Young Africans.



This particular group was smuggled from

the lvory Coast to ltaly, then into France.



Smuggled? Why?



To do all the dirty, back-breaking jobs

white Europeans refuse to do.



Road gangs, factories, kitchens....



Maybe they needed the bread.



The recruiters are luring thousands

of young Africans into Europe every month.



They've no work permits,

no social security.



If they complain, they're deported.



They work a   -hour day,   days a week,

for literally pennies.



This, Mr. Shaft, is slavery

in the   th century.



Then just arrest the cats who are hustling

the people and that's the end of that.



We want the men at the top.



We need a trained investigator.

Somebody they don't know.



To infiltrate their organization.



To do this,

he has to let himself be recruited in Africa.



So, get an African investigator.



They know all our men.



-Get someone who's not an investigator.

-We did.



My son let himself be recruited

in East Africa.



His body was found last week in Paris.



In a ditch.



An uptown dude like me.

They'd spot me a mile away.



Not if you're briefed in tribal ways.



And learn the Manta dialect.



I was    before I found out that "isn't"

is another way of saying "ain't."



Aleme, come in.



This is my daughter, Aleme.



Aleme has come to instruct you, Mr. Shaft.



They vanished as mysteriously

as they appeared.



But they left behind our spoken culture...



...their drums, their copper spears,

their beaded crowns.



Nobody knows what happened to them.



But our tribes are descended

from these proud ancestors.



Don't laugh, Mr. Shaft.



Your survival depends

on how much you can remember.



Who's laughing?



I was just thinking,

they made us study Shakespeare in school.



Was he ever a Johnny-come-lately...



...compared to your cats grooving

on poetry a thousand years ago.



Sure blow their minds at P.S.   !



Our officials fall into two categories.



Macha. Tulama.



Not bad. You are progressing.



Why don't you get rid of

that Jolly Giant there...


            that you and I can get down

to the finer strokes?



Ossiat has guarded me since I was a child.



Sometimes I think of him

as my living chastity belt.






Man that size, baby.

That's a whole lot of chastity.



I'm still in my first age-grade.

We call that Fareita.



No one is permitted to marry

while they're in Fareita.



What do you do for relaxation?



I enter Chela, my second age-grade,

this February.



Then, even the Emir's daughter

may have sex and marry.



After my clitoridectomy.



Your what?



My clitoridectomy, female circumcision.



You mean, when they cut off your....



Are you afraid to say the word?

My clitoris?






That's what they do in the time of Chela.



Hell, no wonder the natives get restless.



The emphasis in our marriages

is not upon sexual pleasure...



...but upon the rearing of children.



Listen, baby....



February's just around the corner.



How are you going to know

what you're missing unless...


            give it a little wear and tear

before they take it away?



-Are you volunteering?

-You're damn right.



Do not kiss!



Where's your stick?



It's time for your lesson.






It's back there. Why don't you get it

for me while I warm up?



Tingat. Wulan.






Here is your first payment, Mr. Shaft.

A check for $     .



And your airline ticket.



You leave in the morning!



From up here it doesn't look so big,

does it?



I mean, New York. It's not so big.

LA's got more square miles.



Tokyo and London both have more people.



Oh, you don't speak English.

You must be African.






My name's Williams.



If there's anything you need, let me know.



Standard Oil?



By god! Now, that's something!



Can't speak the language,

but knows about Standard Oil!



How about General Motors?



Coca Cola.



Are you okay, Mr. Shaft?



Go catch your plane to Addis.



Who are you?



I'm not with Standard Oil.



Then I guess he's not with Coca Cola.






To quote your exact words:

"He will never live to reach Africa."



Yet I am told

he's already boarded Ethiopian Airlines...



...Flight     at Orly,

en route to Addis Ababa.



How can you explain that?



They had somebody with him

out of New York.



He took my man by surprise.



Shaft was simply lucky.



First editions always worry me.



Luck can run out, even for you,

my black brother.



Consider him a dead man.



I was under the impression you were to kill

whoever the Emir hired in New York.



Wasn't that our agreement?



The Emir might have suspected me.



This man, Shaft, seemed too dangerous

on his home ground.



But in Africa....



Picture, sir?



He's quite tame.



I hope you'll both be very happy.



Colonel Gondar sent me.

This way, please, sir.



We have a choice of poses. You can kneel

and put your arms around him.



You can straddle and ride him.

Or you can put your head in his mouth.



Is that right?



You are to go at once.



Thank you, sir. Keep the receipt.



I'll see you get your picture tomorrow.



Sorry for this cloak-and-dagger business.

The incident at Orly gave us a nasty shock.



That incident at Orly gave me

a nasty shock!



You trust her?



She's a cousin of mine.



I'll never turn my back again

on a cleaning woman.



Who was the cat in drag

who tried to kill me?



A Sardinian named Bocco.

An assassin with a long criminal record.



And the dude who saved my ass?



He works with us.



Well, it seems we've brought you

a long distance for nothing.



Obviously, the opposition

knows about you.



If you choose to call it off,

we'll understand.



What, and blow $     ?



Only money brings you here?



Hell, no. I just love having

my picture taken with lions.



Your forebearers were dragged in chains

from this continent...



...and dumped onto the cotton plantations

of America.



I'd think you'd want the assignment

for stronger motives than money.



You're wrong! My folks weren't in cotton.

They were in tobacco.



The Emir tells me you've learned

how to use this.



This particular fighting stick

is a rather special one.



Thirty-six exposures. Extra film in here.



You'll leave your bag with me

and take this one.



There's food in here and this.



Tape recorder.



To record, turn clockwise.

To stop recording, turn it back.



Wait a minute. I'm not James Bond.

Simply Sam Spade.



Wear that pouch around your waist.



Under this robe.



-I hope that's a    long.

-You'll be living in it.



With these sandals, until the recruiters

issue you Western work clothes.



If you get that far.



What about some iron?






A piece.



No gun.



Too difficult to hide and a dead giveaway

if somebody searches your bag.



Anyway, you've got your stick.



Is that right?



We've selected a zabana who

speaks English. He won't leave your side.




-A bodyguard.



If a gun is too conspicuous, a bodyguard

will be like putting it on the  :   news.



Once you leave Ethiopia,

you'll be in a territory...



...where everybody has zabanas.

Even the zabanas have zabanas.



Yours is named Kopo.

He will join you along the way.



Study this.



It's a route we've laid out which should

bring you into contact with the recruiters.



If you live long enough to get to Paris,

there's a telephone number written here.



Memorize it and call

the moment you arrive.



And burn that map and that number

before you leave this room.



I wish you luck. God knows you'll need it.






That's all! Got to make it last.



Spot! Come here!



Come here!



Dummy, come here!



Follow me.



No one will see us.



My people build these nests

to keep crows away from the corn.



Is that a fact?



The farmer gets up here and fires away.



How did you get rid of your big shot,

Old Ossiat?



He just had his sixth child. So I

slipped away while he was celebrating.



I passed your bus near the border,

but when I got there you weren't on it.



Only that dead man.



So I doubled back.



I had to see you.



John, they know who you are.



Well, I figured that. They already tried

to kill me twice.



Don't worry, they can't make it.



Were you disappointed I wasn't a virgin?



Hell no, baby.

You had some good teachers.






This is hardly the time to talk about it...



...but I've made an important decision

because of you.



Well, my daddy told me, he said, "John...



"...the one time you should never

ever make an important decision...



" right after you've made love."



It's about my clitoridectomy.



That's an important decision, all right.



When February comes,

I'm not going to let them do it.



I am Kopo, your zabana.



Put out your hand.



What is the meaning of this gesture?



It just means,

"Brother, I am glad to see you! "






-What was that all about?

-He's the district headman.



Everything that happens

around here he knows.



He says the white man this week

takes our people...



...from the town of Maiberra to the north.



Then we go north.



He says that in Maiberra, when the sun

stands two more times above our heads...



...two men will die.






Get in line! Get in there! Move in!






What I sign?



Sign you say you give back money.

Food, clothes, boat.



How much you pay me?



    francs each month.



What's your name?






Okay, Jowi.






Take your dog and bury him.



Nobody's ever cried for you,

have they, baby?



Nobody even knows you're gone.



Son of a bitch, you know who I am,

don't you? Who told you?



Who sent that cat after me at the airport?

And on the bus?



Talk, motherfucker, talk!



"Marco Sassari."



Another late, not-so-great Sardinian.



Died December    from a stiff neck...


            a town called Maiberra...


            the sun stood overhead.



The headman said that two men would die.



He was wrong.



Only one man died...



...and two dogs.



Quick, come! We go! Come!



Now! All of you!



This Zubair.



He take you cross desert.



I no forget you.



You speak English?






Ziba, you beat him?



I beat.



Good. I don't like Ziba.



You ride front with me.



You know how to ride camel?



No ride camel. Ride ass.



You learn to ride camel.

I show you. Come on.



Sit here. Cross leg, like this.



See? Easy. Now you.



Cross leg! Cross leg! Cross!



Slow down.



I'd give ten years of my life

if I could do that.



To be able to see the world

only in sexual terms.



And to feel it, the way you do, Jazar.



Such diligence, Mr. Wassa. I'm impressed.



Imagine, you flying all the way from Africa

to be sure your laborers are doing well.



Look at them.



Happy in their work.



Are you happy in your work?



Piro and Sassari are both dead.



Shaft killed them.



The last time we talked

it was Shaft's life or yours.



He will be boarding Vanden's boat

tomorrow morning.



I flew in to ask you to contact Vanden.



Get him to delay his departure.



I will not contact Vanden.

He's too weak in the stomach.



I suggest you get down to EI Jardia today...



...and deal with Mr. Shaft personally.



May I help?






I could divert his attention

while Wassa did whatever he wished to do.



The real reason, my pet.



I'm bored. I need some excitement.



We both do.



Listen, Mr. Wassa.



I don't love this young lady.



I don't even particularly like her.



But she's the only person in the world

I've ever found who can get it up for me.



I want her back by Friday of this week.



If anything should happen to her...



...or if Shaft is still breathing

by this time tomorrow...



...l'll have you killed...



...wherever you happen to be.



The young lady will meet you

at the airport in one hour.



I wish I could watch you with Shaft.

Where will you do it?



On the boat.



I like the way it rocks you back and forth.



Get it on tape. Play it back for me Friday.



That's a delicious idea!



If you do it, I'll buy you an emerald.



How large an emerald?



Boat come tomorrow.

You be here first light.



Now, you go to town.



Get girls. Buy gifts for home.



No money.



I give. You sign paper. You pay later.



Hey! You, my guest. Good shot.



You come to town with me.



No. Leave it here. It's safer.



Where we go, the girls, they steal!



No wonder they call Africa

the Mother Country!



But, Mama, I ain't gonna fight it.



Where's Jowi?



Come on!



Ciao, baby.



I want names, baby!

I want to know every name you know!



Who's paying you

and who sent you after me?



If I tell, they kill me!



What the fuck do you think I'm going to do.

Now, talk!



I'm your friend.



I kill the man who sent me.

I do this for you.



Talk! Talk!



Now, talk, or I'll break the other one!



Next time, you mother,

don't bite off more than you can chew.



All that lot?



I am to be paid for    .



What do you think we're running,

the Queen Mary?



I am to be paid for    !



-A hundred more.

-For what?



I bring you happy men.



They sign, you pay.



Stow it, Sadi!



The man's entitled to his money.

That's the contract.



Any expenses advance have to be collected

on delivery before the next leg of the trip.



Don't worry.

We'll get it back when we dock.



May Allah be with you.



All right, gentlemen!



Everyone into the hold!



Come on, move it!



Sadi, get them stowed below.



Get them out of those robes

and into work clothes!






When did he bathe last?



Very soon now, in     feet of water.



Not until I spend the night with him.



What if he hurts you?



I'm counting on it.



If anything happens to you,

Amafi will kill me.



If I don't get to spend the night

with this man...



...l'll tell Amafi you raped me.



You know what he'd do to you?



When it's dark, have the Captain

bring them up on the deck...


            small groups, for fresh air...



...and for exercise.



They are going to kill you.



Don't pretend you don't understand.



You are John Shaft.



Jowi. Jowi.



Look, Mr. Shaft, I am offering you life.






If you help me...



...l'll help you.



Your place or mine?



I do hope you're not looking

for the shower.



I like natural men.



Who's planning to kill me?






So that's where it leaked.



How long is your phallus?



My what?



Your cock.



Baby, by now it's shrunk down

to    inches.



Wassa, that son of a bitch!



You can usually tell by the size

of a man's nose.



Or the length and thickness of his thumbs.



I always look for a man

with prominent nose...



...and long, thick thumbs.



Baby, you're not turning me on.

I got too many things on my mind.



A man who's been in the desert

as long as you have?



You know...



...the man who pays my bills...



...thinks I'm oversexed.



And whatever gave him that idea?



Baby, this just may blow your mind,

but I ain't about to fuck you.



I'm taking you out of here now,

as a hostage.



Do it later. Please.






Move it, baby.



No hidden gun. Look for yourself.



We've been recorded.



By what network?



He asked me to put our love affair on tape.



What's his name?



If I tell you, will you come to bed?



Tell me first, and then I'll decide.



He's the one you are looking for.



Vincent Amafi.



Head of the whole business.



You're going to take me to him, yes?



I know he'd like to meet you.



Where is he?









We may as well be comfortable together...



...while we cross the Med.



What's your name?



Does it matter?



My God!



Baby, my nose may not be too prominent...



...but I've got two of the longest,

thickest thumbs....



You saved Amafi the trouble.



Get dressed, baby!






There's a motorboat on deck.

We're taking it for a ride.



You know something?



You're the first man who's ever made love

to me the way a man should.



Fantastic, baby.



Write my congressman later.



Come on, get dressed!



Whatever you say, John.



Untie it!






Thanks, baby.




-Your call, Mr. Amafi.



Oh, yes, Operator. Put him on.



Good morning, Captain.



A bloody rotten morning!

Wassa's dead, shot to death.



My first officer deserted at sea.



The police are due any minute.



And the girl?



Who the hell knows?



Probably gone off with Sadi.



The men you brought across,

where are they now?



In the trucks, on the way to Paris!

Where else should they be?



Idiot! You let them go?



Listen, with a goddamned corpse aboard...



...and a hold full of illegal Africans,

how could I explain them to the police?



This is going to cost you extra money,

Mr. Amafi.



Otherwise, from now on,

you can get yourself another captain.






Come on! Come on!



Perreau is here!



Your friend Perreau is here!



Come on! Listen to Perreau!



Me, Perreau. Your friend.



Me tell you what to do...



...where go, where work.



I pick up money. Your money.

Save you time.



Pay back cost of your journey...



...this room, clothes, food.



Perreau, I take care everything.



Now, this room cost you each

    francs a month.



We only earn     francs a month.



But this room, we pay half?.



No space in Paris. Very costly.



No room, you in street.



In street...



...police come.



Ask question. Send you home.



But, how you go home?



Owe money!



So, go prison.



Lock up.



    francs a month,

everybody stay happy! No?



This is a clock. Alarm clock.



Perreau set time.



You sleep three hours.



Then, clock ring. You get up.



I come, pick you up, we go work.






Francs for soap...






You divide.



Three hours.



I come back.



We friends of Jowi. Jowi here?






Jowi! Jowi!



Jowi not here! Oyo, his friend, that room!



Oyo? Your name Oyo?



Inspector Cusset...



...John Shaft.



A pleasure, monsieur.



All of us are impressed...



...and grateful.



Pictures and tapes...



...starting with the cat who tried

to take my seat on the bus in Addis...



...ending right here in Paris

with a little gopher named Perreau.



-He'll pick us up in three hours.

-We'll process this immediately.



Then, if you are not too tired...



...a police stenographer will take down

your entire statement.



-I'm not too tired.

-Perreau? The name is unknown to me.



But, a little gopher, you say,

coming to pick you up.



Surely he can't be the kingpin

of African recruiting.



Kingpin's a cat named Vincent Amafi.



Another unknown name.



We'll see if we find a monsieur Amafi

and put him under surveillance.



I'll find him.



I'm grateful, monsieur,

but from now on we will do the work.



I've got a personal thing with Mr. Amafi.



I remind you, monsieur,

you are now back in a civilized country...



...where due process of law prevails.



Inspector, I resent that implication.



My country was building churches

while your people were still living in caves.



Forgive me, Colonel.



I didn't mean to imply--



Get your stenographer and I'll give her

   minutes and then I've got things to do.



Amafi did this trying to find me.



The law will punish him.



Fuck the law!



What does it do about the shitheads

who charge     francs a month...


            stay in a craphouse like this?



Why don't you really clamp down

on the slave trade?



I'll tell you why!



The black ghetto of Paris is as far away...



...from the Champs Elysées

as    th Street is from Park Avenue!



You need a bunch of poor bastards to work

on your roads and in your damn kitchens!



So, don't lay any of that

law-will-punish-him shit on me!



Alarm clock, she work!



Where do you take the money you collect?



-Where does Amafi do business?

-Perreau, he knows nothing!



Rue Chalet,     !



Stay here, keep your head down!



Damn close, baby.



-I heard shooting--

-Damn right!



Look around and check those files!

Anything that could lead us to Amafi!



Now, tell us, where is Jowi?



Don't know! Don't know!






This is where they killed him.



Killed who?



My brother. He wrote this in our language.



What does it mean?












Castle, mountain, fort?



"Château Marquis. Château Michelle.



"Château Montfort.



"Built by Count André Montfort in     .

Family residence...



"...until commandeered

by German occupying forces.



"Used as Gestapo headquarters

and prison from      to     ."



Where is it?



"Situated    kilometers outside of Paris

on the main road to Amiens."



Call lnspector Cusset

and tell him where I've gone.



-Has he told you?

-No! Nothing!



You dumb bastards!



Trying to run away, to go to the police!



I've given thousands of jobs to Africans.

They don't complain!



But because of you troublemakers

and that bastard, Shaft...



...l have to leave this country. So...



...l'm going to bury you all

along with the evidence.



Almost there.



Mr. Shaft?



Yeah, me.



I played the tapes.

I listened to you making love to her.



And her to you.

Why did you have to kill her?



One of your men threw a knife.



She was in the wrong place

at the wrong time.



Then why wasn't her body

still onboard ship?



I promised her a boat ride.



Well, she would have liked that.



All right, throw out your iron.



There's only one way out of here.



I've wired this place for demolition.



I've got    hostages down below.



Unless you drop your gun and step out

where I can see you...



...l'll set off the charges.



You're bluffing, man.



Look down at your feet.



No point in trying to pull those lines.



The wires you can see

are for the upper staircase only.



I've got a detonator down here

for this half block.



All right?



Out...where I can see you!



Hey, Jowi!



Monsieur, unless you hurry,

you are going to miss your plane.



Where does a guy get a cab around here?






A I'aéroport.



One of our passengers has asked

if you'd mind company.



Put her right here, baby.


Special help by SergeiK