Top 5000
Up 295 this week

Do the Right Thing (1989)

R  |   |  Drama  |  21 July 1989 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.9/10 from 54,677 users   Metascore: 91/100
Reviews: 403 user | 98 critic | 15 from

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.



Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video


10 Best Back-to-School TV Shows

Dust off your varsity jacket and get excited for fall with our list of the 10 best back-to-school TV shows.

Visit our Family Entertainment Guide

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 21 titles
created 16 Jul 2014
a list of 36 titles
created 15 Aug 2014
a list of 49 titles
created 6 months ago
a list of 49 titles
created 5 months ago
a list of 26 titles
created 4 months ago

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Do the Right Thing (1989)

Do the Right Thing (1989) on IMDb 7.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Do the Right Thing.

User Polls

Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 15 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Malcolm X (1992)
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Biographical epic of the controversial and influential Black Nationalist leader, from his early life and career as a small-time gangster, to his ministry as a member of the Nation of Islam.

Director: Spike Lee
Stars: Denzel Washington, Angela Bassett, Delroy Lindo
Jungle Fever (1991)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Friends and family of a married black architect react in different ways to his affair with an Italian secretary.

Director: Spike Lee
Stars: Wesley Snipes, Annabella Sciorra, Spike Lee
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Jazz trumpeter Bleek Gilliam makes questionable decisions in his professional and romantic life.

Director: Spike Lee
Stars: Denzel Washington, Spike Lee, Wesley Snipes
Crooklyn (1994)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

From Spike Lee comes this vibrant semi-autobiographical portrait of a school-teacher, her stubborn jazz-musician husband and their five kids living in '70s Brooklyn.

Director: Spike Lee
Stars: Alfre Woodard, Delroy Lindo, David Patrick Kelly
Clockers (1995)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Young drug pushers in the projects of Brooklyn live hard dangerous lives, trapped between their drug bosses and the detectives out to stop them.

Director: Spike Lee
Stars: Harvey Keitel, John Turturro, Delroy Lindo
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Story of a woman and her three lovers.

Director: Spike Lee
Stars: Tracy Camilla Johns, Tommy Redmond Hicks, John Canada Terrell
School Daze (1988)
Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A not so popular young man wants to pledge to a popular fraternity at his historically black college.

Director: Spike Lee
Stars: Laurence Fishburne, Giancarlo Esposito, Tisha Campbell-Martin
25th Hour (2002)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Cornered by the DEA, convicted New York drug dealer Montgomery Brogan reevaluates his life in the 24 remaining hours before facing a seven-year jail term.

Director: Spike Lee
Stars: Edward Norton, Barry Pepper, Philip Seymour Hoffman
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A disparate group of African-American men travel by bus to Washington, DC for the Million Man March.

Director: Spike Lee
Stars: Ossie Davis, Charles S. Dutton, Andre Braugher
He Got Game (1998)
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A basketball player's father must try to convince him to go to a college so he can get a shorter sentence.

Director: Spike Lee
Stars: Denzel Washington, Milla Jovovich, Ray Allen
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A documentary of the notorious racial terrorist bombing of an African American church during the Civil Rights Movement.

Director: Spike Lee
Stars: Maxine McNair, Walter Cronkite, Chris McNair
Bamboozled (2000)
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A frustrated African American TV writer proposes a blackface minstrel show in protest, but to his chagrin it becomes a hit.

Director: Spike Lee
Stars: Damon Wayans, Savion Glover, Jada Pinkett Smith


Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Benjamin ...


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


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




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| |

Release Date:

21 July 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Heatwave  »

Box Office


$6,500,000 (estimated)


$27,545,445 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The word "fuck" is used approximately 240 times in this film, a rate of two a minute. See more »


Sal says only Italian-Americans are on the wall. However, there is also a picture of Sophia Loren, who is Italian, not Italian-American. See more »


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


Referenced in Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Sal's Pizza (2013) See more »


My Fantasy
Music and Lyrics by Teddy Riley
Performed by Teddy Riley featuring Guy
Cal-Gene Music, Inc., Virgin Songs, Inc. (BMI)
Courtesy of MCA Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

No more good guys.
17 December 2001 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Do the Right Thing" is a film from 1989 directed and written by Spike Lee who also stars in the movie. The rest of the cast includes Danny Aiello, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Richard Edson, Giancarlo Esposito, Bill Nunn, and John Turturro.

The story takes place in the city of New York City, New York in the area of Brooklyn within the neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant. It is on one of the hottest days in the summer. The story follows the adventures of a young African-American man named Mookie who lives with his sister and works as a delivery man for a middle-aged American-Italian man named Sal who owns the local pizza parlor, "Sal's Famous Pizzeria."

Mookie's heart is not into his job at all, and doesn't take it very seriously and often slacks off from it much to Sal's dislike. Mookie also has a three-year old son with his girlfriend Tina, but is too scared to marry her, move in together, and settle down.

"Sal's Famous Pizzeria" has been standing proudly in the neighborhood for twenty-five years. Sal, and his two sons Pino and Vito are few of the only white men who work in the area which is predominantly African-American. The neighborhood was originally a largely Italian-American neighborhood until the 1960's during the civil rights movement when black people moved into the neighborhood, which caused many of the local Italians to move out.

Sal's oldest son Pino, is a huge racist and hates having to work in a black neighborhood. Pino makes it very clear that he doesn't enjoy his job and that he hates black people. Sal's other son, Vito is more open toward blacks and just the opposite of Pino, and has a good friendship with Mookie.

One of Sal's regular customers, "Buggin' Out" notices that Sal's wall of fame in the restaurant only has pictures of Italians. He asks Sal why there are no black people on the wall, and Sal tells them that this is his place, and Italian people are to be all the wall only. Buggin' Out argues that because mostly black people spend their money in there that they do have some say over the creative control of the business. This idea does not go over too well with Sal, and he kicks Buggin' Out to the streets. Buggin' Out then plans to organize a boycott of Sal's pizzeria and goes on a quest to find those who will join him.

There are other little story lines and characters within the film, but the one I described above is the main plot of the story.

It's an interesting, thought provoking film that I think everyone should see. It's a little disturbing and not a feel good movie. It's also just a tiny bit dated (but the 80's theme is all apart of the appeal in my view) the film is kinda cheesy in some parts too, but again, it is apart of the appeal of the movie. There's also some reverse racism that goes on that is intended to be comical to black audiences, but I found it to be offensive and mean.

On that note, in many of Spike Lee's movies he often has his Italian characters as either being racist bullies that the audience are suppose to hate, or unintelligent people who the audience is suppose to laugh at, and we see both of that in the characters of Pino and Vito.

There are honestly no classic cinema good guys in this film. (which is not exactly a bad thing since it makes the film more realistic.) Not even the main character Mookie is someone I would call a hero. He doesn't set a very good example for the audience. He's a complete slacker when it comes to his job, and only cares about getting paid, and yet he doesn't do much to earn the money.

Spike Lee presents a very realistic and honest look at culture clashes that sadly exist in the United States of America. Now while it's true that I personally haven't been involved with too many race conflicts, thank goodness...all one has to do is observe history, read a newspaper or watch the news to see the realism in "Do the Right Thing" that is just as alive now that it was in 1989.

The thing about this film is that almost no one is nice. Almost everyone is a very rude jerk with no manners. Some might think this movie stereotypes New Yorkers, but there were mostly New York actors in it. I can see why NYC has the rep that it does (at least among some of the people I know) for it's rudeness, and this movie does not deny it. In most cases, anytime a person is rude to another person, that person will often react by also being ruder, and that happens often in this film, and so much violence and drama could have been avoided in this picture if one person could have turned the other cheek, swallowed their pride, been polite and unselfish. I think the movie is very realistically because in real life, the exact same thing I said above applies to everyday violent human events.

The title "Do the Right Thing" is interesting...because no one does the right thing.

19 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
I'm not racist, but I was on Sal's side. Vikingsrock158
Great film.... but Sal forgot how to run an American business. dasein_williams
More anti-Black or anti-White? kag2
Radio Raheem was an idiot jhiller420
Extra cheese is $2.00 dfwiebs
Film is more about cultural identity and social tension than racism flozone
Discuss Do the Right Thing (1989) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: