Shaft's Big Score!

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Shaft's Big Score!
Original theatrical release poster by John Solie
Directed byGordon Parks
Produced by
Written byErnest Tidyman
Based onCharacters
by Ernest Tidyman
Music byGordon Parks
CinematographyUrs Furrer
Edited byHarry Howard
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • June 8, 1972 (1972-06-08)
Running time
104 min.
CountryUnited States
Box office$10,000,000[1]

Shaft's Big Score! is a 1972 American neo-noir action crimedrama film starring Richard Roundtree[2] as the private detective John Shaft. Directed by Gordon Parks,[2] this is the second film in the trilogy. Ernest Tidyman once more supplied the screenplay. The first film's composer Isaac Hayes was unavailable, so Parks, the returning director, did the score himself. The film was produced on a budget of $1,978,000. Shaft's Big Score! also stars Moses Gunn, Drew Bundini Brown, Joseph Mascolo, Julius Harris, and Joe Santos.[2]


While New York is never at a loss for criminal activity, things take a turn for the worse when the corrupt co-owner of a funeral parlor and insurance agency kills his partner, a personal friend of John Shaft, only to discover that the money he was planning to steal to pay his gambling debts is missing. He makes a deal with the mobster he owes (Joseph Mascolo) to split the business but also makes the same deal with crime lord Bumpy Jonas (Moses Gunn). The bullets start flying when the hoods find they've been played against each other, and Shaft is forced to clean up the mess.



Shaft's Big Score! earned estimated North American rentals of $4 million.[3]

Critical response[edit]

Shaft's Big Score! received a lukewarm reception from critics, with New York Times critic Roger Greenspun describing the film as "less responsible, less detailed, less personal, less serious and less fun" than the original due to feeling more mechanical.[4]. Conversely, Roger Ebert awarded the film 3 stars out of 4, describing it as "mass-audience escapist entertainment" that works better than the original film did.[5] Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes retrospectively gives the film a rating of 70% based on reviews collected from 10 critics, with an average rating of 5.5 out of 10.[6]


Shaft's Big Score! was released in theatres on June 8, 1972. The film was released on DVD initially on June 6, 2000, then August 30, 2005, and finally January 31, 2006 by Warner Home Video.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Shaft's Big Score, Box Office Information". The Numbers. Retrieved January 21, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c "Shaft's Big Score!". Turner Classic Movies. Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System (Time Warner). Retrieved December 10, 2016.
  3. ^ "Updated All-time Film Champs", Variety, 9 January 1974 p 60
  4. ^ Greenspun, Roger (1972-06-22). "Something Happened on Way to the Sequel:Roundtree Returns in 'Shaft's Big Score". The New York Times. New York City: The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2011-06-12.
  5. ^ "Shaft's Big Score". Chicago Sun-Times. Chicagodate=: Sun-Times Media Group. Retrieved 2011-06-12.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Shaft's Big Score!". Warner Home Video. Burbank, California: Warner Bros. June 6, 2000. Retrieved December 10, 2016.

External links[edit]