7.9/10
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Do the Right Thing (1989)

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.

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Sal
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Paul Benjamin ...
ML
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Jade
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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:

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Details

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Language:

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Release Date:

21 July 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Heatwave  »

Box Office

Budget:

$6,500,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$27,545,445 (USA)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Wesley Snipes turned down a role in the film, in order to star in Major League (1989). He'd team up with Lee for Mo' Better Blues (1990), and would be the lead in Jungle Fever (1991). See more »

Goofs

When Da Mayor first presents the bunch of roses to Mother Sister the blooms are fully opened. However, later in the film when the roses are again seen in her apartment, the blooms are closed. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Mister Senor Love Daddy: Wake up! Wake up! Up you wake!
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Connections

Referenced in Mike & Mike: Episode dated 3 June 2016 (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Lift Every Voice and Sing
Music and Lyrics by James Weldon Johnson and Rosamond Johnson
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Spike Lee's explosive, brilliant cinematic masterpiece
8 January 1999 | by (Fargo, North Dakota) – See all my reviews

I felt that Do the Right Thing should have been included in the AFI's Top 100. It has remained a powerful and moving film that I cannot stop thinking about years after its release. All of the elements so beautifully coalesce: the acting (from Turturro to Davis to Harris to Esposito; its all superb), the cinematography (Dickerson's extreme angles and vivid color scheme perfectly contribute to the feeling of heat), the screenplay (funny and light catapults to poignant and fierce in the blink of an eye), and the direction (Lee is never afraid to take huge risks in his technique). Everything pays off double. This is one of the best movies I have ever seen.


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