Do the Right ThingDirector: Spike Lee, Danny Aiello, Richard Edson, John Turturro
Director Spike Lee dives head-first into a maelstrom of racial and social ills, using as his springboard the hottest day of the year on one block in Brooklyn, NY. Three businesses dominate the block: a storefront radio station, where a smooth-talkin' deejay (Samuel L. Jackson) spins the platters that matter; a convenience store owned by a Korean couple; and Sal's Famous Pizzeria, the only white-operated business in the neighborhood. Sal (Danny Aiello) serves up slices with his two sons, genial Vito (Richard Edson) and angry, racist Pino (John Turturro). Sal has one black employee, Mookie (Spike Lee), who wants to "get paid" but lacks ambition. His sister Jade (Joie Lee, Spike's sister), who has a greater sense of purpose and a "real" job, wants Mookie to start dealing with his responsibilities, most notably his son with girlfriend Tina (Rosie Perez). Two of Mookie's best friends are Radio Raheem (Bill Nunn), a monolith of a man who rarely speaks, preferring to blast Public Enemy's rap song Fight The Power on his massive boom box; and Buggin' Out (Giancarlo Esposito), nicknamed for his coke-bottle glasses and habit of losing his cool. When Buggin' Out notes that Sal's "Wall of Fame," a photo gallery of famous Italian-Americans, includes no people of color, he eventually demands a neighborhood boycott, on a day when tensions are already running high, that incurs tragic consequences.
- Release Date:
- Original Release:
- Universal Studios
Cast & Crew
|Giancarlo Esposito||Buggin Out|
|Bill Nunn||Radio Raheem|
|Ossie Davis||Da Mayor|
|Ruby Dee||Mother Sister|
|Frankie R. Faison||Coconut Sid|
|Robin Harris||Sweet Dick Willie|
|Samuel L. Jackson||Mister Senor Love Daddy|
|Miguel Sandoval||Officer Ponte|
|Rick Aiello||Officer Long|
|Roger Guenveur Smith||Smiley|
|Sherwin Park||Korean Child|
|Shawn Elliott||Puerto Rican Ice Man|
|Angel Ramirez||Stevie's Friends|
|Nelson Vasquez||Stevie's Friends|
|Travell Lee Toulson||Hector|
|David Weinberg||Plain Clothes Detective|
|Barry Alexander Brown||Editor|
|Ruth E. Carter||Costumes/Costume Designer|
|Ernest R. Dickerson||Cinematographer|
|Steve Kirshoff||Special Effects|
|Bill Lee||Score Composer|
|John C. Newby||Camera Operator|
|Hugh A. O'Brien||Stunts|
|Steve Rosse||Set Decoration/Design|
|Eddie Bo Smith||Stunts|
|Wynn P. Thomas||Production Designer|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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This movie is without a doubt the closest relection to the state of race relations in our nation today. Anyone who didn't understand the ending to this movie simply wasn't watching or just dreams too much of a perfect world in which everyone holds hands at the end and sings a happy song. The world doesn't work like that, people. I read somewhere that this movie came out the same year as Driving Miss Daisy. Not to hate on that movie, which was a great movie, but DTRT was better and had a more powerful message. This movie should have at least had an Oscar nomination for Best Picture, if not the award itself
“Do The Right Thing” finally tells it from the perspective of the people who live there. Engrossing and controversial, director/writer Spike Lee’s allegory on race from the flip side perspective pulls no punches. The film is at once beautiful and painful, and lusciously staged, from its opening frame to the last shot. Centerpiece performances by Danny Aiello as Sal, the owner of the ill-fated pizza shop, and Giancarlo Esposito’s zany radical, Buggin’ Out, were outstanding. “Do The Right Thing” is one of those rare films that transcends itself, as important a movie and as pivotal a social statement as any American film since “Birth Of A Nation.” Very sadly, it was over looked as an Best-Picture Oscar contender for 1989. A must-have movie for any serious film collector.
Spike Lee's third feature, ''Do the Right Thing'' stormed into theatres in 1989. Thought provoking, well written and very funny, this beautifully photgraphed movie explores the complex issue of race relations in the microcosm of a small neighborhood in Brooklyn. Add to it tremendous performances by Danny Aiello, Ossie Davis & Ruby Dee, and this film is a classic that stands up to years of viewing. Lee's use of colors and visuals makes you believe it's a extremely hot and humid day in New York, even as you sit in an air conditioned theatre (or living room). The film alternates between the lazy day that is unfolding and the tensions of race relations on this block in Bed-Stuy. Engaging as it it is funny, this will always be the movie Spike Lee is remembered for. The movie captures you with a beautiful crane shot over the street in Brooklyn where it takes place. The voice of Samuel L. Jackson as the narrative D.J. of We Love radio draws you into the neighborhood and never lets go. Aiello, John Turturro & Richard Edson play the father and sons that own Sal's Famous Pizzeria. The only white owned business on the block, Sal's is the focal point of the movie. Confrontations between races and brothers are centered in and around Sal's. For some, an exhausting film to watch, ''Do the Right Thing'' is a film that will always engage debate and for me, will always be enjoyed.
The first time I’ve seen Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing” was at the theater and the movie refused to leave my mind for about several weeks. It just kept replaying itself constantly in my mind of the events and the turn a bouts of the story. The writing is so sharp and the movie is hilarious as well as the only movie to make Roger Ebert cry. Deceptively open and simple in its presentation, this is one of the most complex and layered movies about human relationships that I have ever seen during that time. This movie is every bit as compound as its subject matter. I disagree with those who characterize the film as "preachy." Quite to the contrary, I think the genius of the film is precisely in the fact that Spike does not tell the viewer what to think - he just compels you to think. Spike spends most of the movie setting up his characters and their situations, some are comedic, some are dramatic, and some are both. The acting is naturally great, with John Turturro, Danny Aiello, and Spike himself standing out as the best played and most interesting characters. The movie looks very much “of the 80’s” as far as fashion and things like that go but that doesn’t take any power away from the movie. But the biggest question people seem to have after they have watched this movie is about doing the right thing and whether or not Mookie did it. Spike always only says that he’s never been asked that question by a person of color. However my feeling on the matter is this: Did Mookie do the right thing? No. Did Sal do the right thing? No. From the time that Radio Raheem comes into Sal’s at the end, not one person does the right thing. Not Mookie, Sal, Radio, Buggin Out, the cops, or whoever. Everything horrible that happens could have been avoided if one person had done the right thing, and yet nobody does. I think that’s why the movie stuck with me. Most movies would show everyone (or just the “hero”) doing the right thing and everything turning out happily, but that’s not what usually happens in reality. Too often people give in to their worst instincts. In here we have New York explodes over a seemingly little incident because racial tensions are always just below the surface. This film is truly a work of art and out all Of the Spike Lee movies I've seen this is one of his finest. “Do the Right Thing” is one of the signatures of an American classic.
My favorite movie. I cant identify with the struggle of the African American, being an Anglo Australian, but this movie opened my eyes to those very struggles. An upbeat and uplifting movie with positive messages that, even though it ends in tragedy, there is hope for a better day ahead. Are you down with something positive in the community?
That's the truth, Ruth. And that's all I have to say about that.
THIS MOVIE WAS GOOD FOR THE MIND AS WELL AS THE SOUL!
No matter what it is in this film everything spills into violence over a heated argument when the character Buggin' Out confronts Sal. Just Watch! Race is precisely the central theme and it's no secret since out in the open which if we'd be more honest about race in this country it'd help, not be a panacea since race relations is the most divisive issue in American and world history.
MR. LEE IS A POET OF THE BLACK EXPERIENCE. HIS INSIGHTFUL LOOK AT URBAN AMERICA (BED-STY)IS UNDOUBTEDLY A PERSONAL EXPERIENCE. THOSE WHO DOUBT MR LEE'S SKILLS ARE ONLY HATING THE BROTHER. LET'S GIVE HIM HIS DUE!