Original film poster.
|Directed by||William Girdler|
|Produced by||David Sheldon|
|Written by||William Girdler|
|Music by||Monk Higgins|
|Distributed by||American International Pictures|
Private investigator Sheba Shayne (Grier) returns from Chicago, Illinois to her hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, to confront thugs who are trying to intimidate her father Andy into dissolving or handing over his family insurance company business. Sheba teams up with her partner's father, Brick Williams, and the two rekindle their old romance. Driving in her father's car, Sheba is nearly killed when the vehicle explodes. The local police warn Sheba against continuing to pursue her investigation, but she persists.
Later, four gangsters show up at Andy's office and open fire. Sheba kills three of them, but Andy is shot and killed during the battle. Sheba's investigation leads to an apartment complex where another shootout ensues. After a chase into a nearby amusement park, Sheba extracts a confession from a gangster named Pilot that the local gang is controlled by an insurance salesman called Shark Merrill.
Sheba joins a party aboard Shark's yacht, but is identified and captured. After the gang does away with Pilot by tying him to a speedboat and dragging him through the water at high speed, they attempt about to do the same to Sheba, but she escapes using a knife she had hidden in her wetsuit to cut the rope. As Brick leads the police to the yacht and another gun battle breaks out, Shark tries to escape in a speedboat but Sheba gives chase on a jet ski and kills him with a spear gun. Brick urges Sheba to continue their relationship but Sheba insists on returning to Chicago, though she promises to return to see him again since they are now business partners.
- Pam Grier – Sheba Shayne
- Austin Stoker – Brick Williams
- Rudy Challenger – Andy Shayne
- D'Urville Martin – Pilot
- Dick Merrifield - Shark Merrill
Roger Ebert gave the film 1.5 stars out of 4 and expressed his wish to see Pam Grier's "screen personality used in a better-directed film with more ambition." Vincent Canby of The New York Times called the film "a moderately entertaining B picture in the mode of 'Foxy Brown' and 'Coffy,' though somewhat less violent." Variety wrote, "Once you get past Grier's dazzling looks — and with coiffed hair, she looks better here than ever before — this is a flat suspenser kept unexciting by plodding pacing and poorly-shot action sequences." Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune gave the film 1 star out of 4 and wrote, "The sound track occasionally misses lips, the dialog always is stilted, and the fight scenes look as tho they've been choreographed at half speed." Linda Gross of the Los Angeles Times wrote, "'Sheba, Baby' is a routine adventure story but thankfully the racism and violence are minimal. William Girdler's direction is listless and lethargic and there is an embarrassing lack of electricity between Miss Grier and Stoker."
Bogle, Donald. Blacks in American Films and Television: An Illustrated Encyclopedia. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1989. p. 187
- Ebert, Roger (April 4, 1975). "Sheba, Baby". RogerEbert.com. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
- Canby, Vincent (March 27, 1975). "Private Eye 'Sheba'". The New York Times. 31.
- "Film Reviews: Sheba Baby". Variety. April 23, 1975. 18.
- Siskel, Gene (April 3, 1975). "The formula fails for a tough 'guy'". Chicago Tribune. Section 3, p. 5.
- Gross, Linda (March 28, 1975). "Pam Grier in 'Sheba, Baby'". Los Angeles Times. Part IV, p. 15.