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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
Reviews
Popularity
2,293 ( 210)
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

Included among the American Film Institute's 1998 list of the four hundred movies nominated for the Top 100 Greatest American Movies. See more »

Goofs

When the kids are getting the scraped ice treats: The brick of ice goes from 1/8 of an inch to about three inches scraped between shots. 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 The Striking Truth 3D (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Prove to Me
Music and Lyrics by Raymond Jones and Sami McKinney
Performed by Perri
Zubaidah Music, Inc. (ASCAP), Unicity Music, Avid One Music (ASCAP)
Courtesy of Zebra/MCA Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

An underappreciated masterpiece
20 April 2000 | by Vlad W.See all my reviews

I find it a tremendous oversight that this film gets so little recognition. The American film institute couldn't find one place in one hundered American films for this cinematic masterpiece that pulls no punches . It got no academy award and most importantly I could not find one friend who had heard of it. I call this a tremendous oversight because the film is wonderful. I know that Spike Lee is a rather eccentric personality and is not well liked by everyone, but his films are brilliant and this is no exception.

For about the first two thirds of the movie the plot meanders around a section of New York City as the characters awaken and start their days. For this first two thirds we have a comedy that is funny because of the eccentric and wonderfully developed characters. The audience is pulled into the story by the rich dialogue and inventive cinematography. There is just some quality about this film that makes it seem so real. This all sets up for the imminent tragedy to be all the worse as a result of the connection the audience has with the movie.

Then the film explodes. Those who have seen it know what I mean and those who have not should see it. This last third of the film should not be explained, it must be experianced. In fact this whole film should be experianced. I can't say enough.


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