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Do the Right Thing (1989)

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On the hottest day of the year on a street in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, everyone's hate and bigotry smolders and builds until it explodes into violence.

Director:

Spike Lee

Writer:

Spike Lee
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Popularity
1,333 ( 30)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 18 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Danny Aiello ... Sal
Ossie Davis ... Da Mayor
Ruby Dee ... Mother Sister
Richard Edson ... Vito
Giancarlo Esposito ... Buggin Out
Spike Lee ... Mookie
Bill Nunn ... Radio Raheem
John Turturro ... Pino
Paul Benjamin ... ML
Frankie Faison ... Coconut Sid
Robin Harris ... Sweet Dick Willie
Joie Lee ... Jade
Miguel Sandoval ... Officer Ponte
Rick Aiello ... Officer Long
John Savage ... Clifton
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Storyline

This film looks at life in the Bedford-Stuyvesant district of Brooklyn on a hot summer Sunday. As he does everyday, Sal Fragione opens the pizza parlor he's owned for 25 years. The neighborhood has changed considerably in the time he's been there and is now composed primarily of African-Americans and Hispanics. His son Pino hates it there and would like nothing better than to relocate the eatery to their own neighborhood. For Sal however, the restaurant represents something that is part of his life and sees it as a part of the community. What begins as a simple complaint by one of his customers, Buggin Out - who wonders why he has only pictures of famous Italian-Americans on the wall when most of his customers are black - eventually disintegrates into violence as frustration seemingly brings out the worst in everyone. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It's the hottest day of the summer. You can do nothing, you can do something, or you can...

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian | Spanish | Korean

Release Date:

21 July 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Heatwave See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$27,545,445
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The word "fu-ck" is used approximately two hundred forty times in this film, an average rate of two per minute. See more »

Goofs

Sal places a piece of pizza in front of Buggin' Out before they have their argument. After the argument, Buggin' Out sits down to eat his pizza. The piece of pizza looks different than the one Sal gave him. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Mister Senor Love Daddy: Wake up! Wake up! Up you wake!
See more »

Alternate Versions

the "pan & scan" version broadcast on ITV4 truncates the conversation between Radio Raheem and the Koreans when he visits their store to replace the batteries for his portable radio. The sequence where the husband loses his temper and swears "mother-f&%k you", to which Raheem responds warmly is omitted. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Inside Man (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Party Hearty
Music and Lyrics by William "Ju Ju" House and Kent Wood
Performed by Experience Unlimited (as EU)
Ju House Music (ASCAP) and Syce-M-Up Music (ASCAP)
Courtesy of Virgin Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

No Humanity in any Characters
8 August 2009 | by crichards713See all my reviews

I was incredibly disappointed by this movie. The only character that seemed to be anything other than a crude cartoon was the Mayor. Seriously, I know that riots have been started over tragically trivial things in real life, but a radio? I'm sure any store owner, whether black or not, would have objected to Radio Raheem's obnoxious boom box. And once the cops showed up and there was a real reason for outrage, the community continued to lash out at Sal's shop, ignoring that Raheem would quite likely have murdered him in the street had the cops not arrived. And, no, that in no way justifies the actions of the office who killed Raheem. And how dare Mookie ask Sal for his salary?


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