Synopsis: Dark, biting satire of the television industry, focusing on an Ivy-League educated black writer at a major network. Frustrated that his ideas for a "Cosby Show"-esque take on the black family has been rejected by network brass, he devises an outlandish scheme: reviving the minstrel show. The hook: instead of white actors in black face, the show stars black actors in even blacker face. The show becomes an instant smash, but with the success also come repercussions for all involved.
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Music
Actors: Damon Wayans, Savion Glover, Jada Pinkett Smith, Tommy Davidson
Production: New Line Cinema
  1 win & 10 nominations.
 
IMDB:
6.5
Metacritic:
50
Rotten Tomatoes:
48%
R
Year:
2000
135 min
$1,883,628
Website
335 Views

INT. APARTMENT - MORNING

WE are in the living quarters of PIERRE DELACROIX. The

windows overlook the Brooklyn Promenade and the majestic

lower Manhattan skyline.

DELACROIX (V.O.)

Bonjour, my name is Pierre Delacroix.

I'm a television writer, also a

showrunner, a creative person.

We see a tall figure move in and around the space.

DELACROIX (V.O.) (CONT'D)

I'm one of those people responsible

for what you view on your idiot box.

CLOSE ON:

Monogrammed cuff sleeve - the initials P.D.

2.

DELACROIX (V.O.) (CONT'D)

The problem is not enough of you

have been watching.

CLOSE ON:

Monogrammed shirt pocket - the initials P.D.

DELACROIX (V.O.) (CONT'D)

With the onslaught of the internet,

video and interactive games, nine

hundred channels to choose from and

whatnot, our valued audience has

dramatically eroded.

CLOSE ON:

Razor cuts a path through a white foam on a black face.

DELACROIX (V.O.) (CONT'D)

To put it in much more simple

terms...

Delacroix YELLS.

DELACROIX (V.O.) (CONT'D)

Like rats fleeing a sinking ship.

CLOSE ON:

The handsome face of Pierre Delacroix.

DELACROIX (V.O.) (CONT'D)

People tuning out by the millions.

Delacroix turns to the CAMERA and addresses US.

DELACROIX (CONT'D)

Which is not good.

EXT. TENEMENT - LOWER EAST SIDE - MORNING

The tenement building is boarded up, condemned, bombed out,

but a home, a shelter nonetheless.

INT. TENEMENT - MORNING

People to our surprise live in here. It is a commune. The

homeless, people who have been left out, forgot about,

written off, and don't matter. The fringes of society.

CHEEBA, a skinny Puerto Rican male, tries to wake a

slumbering body under a mass of old newspapers.

3.

CHEEBA:

Yo, let's get to it. You don't

dance, we don't eat. Simple as that.

The mass begins to move.

CHEEBA (CONT'D)

That's right. We slow. We blow.

We snooze. We lose.

INT. CNS TOWER - MORNING

MANRAY, a young African-American dread-lock male, and Cheeba

are getting set up in front of the entrance to the

CONTINENTAL NETWORK SYSTEM building. CNS is one of the

fledgling, upstart new networks, trying to battle with ABC,

NBC, CBS, FOX, WB, and UPN.

ANGLE ON:

Entrance. Cheeba is putting the portable floor down on the

sidewalk. Manray sits on the curb, taking the sneakers off

and putting on his tap shoes; bottle caps are on the soles

of the shoes instead of real taps.

CHEEBA:

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.

I know everybody is in a hurry to

work, ready to begin another day in

this rat race. But don't sleep us.

I'm Cheeba and I introduce to you

the world renown MANRAY, the man

with the educated feet.

Manray takes a small bow. A few, not many, people have

stopped to look.

CHEEBA (CONT'D)

As we continue our world wind tour,

we would like to give you a little

somethin', somethin' before you go

off to make that money. I give you

Manray.

CLOSE ON:

Manray, who starts to do his thing, and when he starts doing

his thing attention must be paid.

ANGLE ON:

Crowd, as Manray gets busy, people gather to watch.

ANGLE ON:

4.

Delacroix, he is about to walk into the CNS building but

stops to check out Manray.

CLOSE ON:

Manray, he pounds out some intricate steps and freezes at

the end of the move.

ANGLE ON:

Crowd, who applaud as Cheeba unfolds a brown shopping bag

and holds it out in front of them.

CHEEBA (CONT'D)

Thank you very much but please

don't go without giving us some

cheddar, cheese, money. We prefer

two's than fews.

People are digging into their pockets.

CHEEBA (CONT'D)

I would like to add that both of us

are homeless. Not that it means

anything.

A WOMAN is about to dump some change in the brown paper bag.

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Spike Lee

Shelton Jackson "Spike" Lee is an American film director, producer, writer, and actor. His production company, 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks, has produced over 35 films since 1983. more…

All Spike Lee scripts | Spike Lee Scripts

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