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Don't you try to bulls--t me, boy. We're all on the hustle. I sell broads and dope and numbers. You sell crap and blue sky. It's all the same game.
~ Bumpy Jonas threatening Ben Buford

Bumpy Jonas is a mobster who runs a Harlem crime family in the 1971 movie Shaft and its first sequel, Shaft's Big Score (1972). He is loosely based on real-life Harlem gangster Bumpy Johnson.

He is portrayed by the late Moses Gunn.

Personality

Bumpy is amoral, ruthless, and calculating, manipulating every situation to benefit himself and cement his hold on power. He has no concept of loyalty, and will turn on anyone if he thinks it will work in his favor. His only redeeming quality is his love for his daughter Marcy, for whom he is willing to work with his nemesis, John Shaft.

For all his cunning and two-facedness, however, Bumpy is also a pragmatist, and will work on the side of law and order if there's something in it for him. While he and Shaft are sworn enemies, they respect each other.

Biography

Shaft

In the first film of the series, Bumpy sends his men to kidnap private detective John Shaft; they bring him before Bumpy, who asks Shaft to rescue his daughter Marcy, who was kidnapped by a Mafia family. He says that his rival gang leader (and Shaft's friend) Ben Buford is also involved in the crime.

Shaft finds where the Mafia is holding Marcy, and discovers that Bumpy lied about Ben's involvement in the crime in order to manipulate Shaft into taking him out. Shaft and Buford rescue Marcy together, killing several Mafiosi in the process. At the end of the film, the Mafia declares open war on Bumpy as a result of Shaft's actions.

Shaft's Big Score

In the first sequel, Bumpy is in a turf war with mobster Gus Mascola. He goes into business with corrupt insurance salesman Johnny Kelly, who runs a numbers racket for him in return for Bumpy getting rid of Mascola, whose operations are eating into Kelly's profits. Kelly also tries to kill Shaft, who is investigating the case on behalf of Kelly's legitimate business partner Cal Ashby.

Mascola orders his men to kill Bumpy in a drive-by shooting, but Bumpy survives, and reluctantly joins forces with Shaft against Mascola and Kelly. By the end of the film, both Mascola and Kelly are dead and a bloody race war has been averted, and Bumpy and Shaft declare a truce.

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