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Do the Right Thing (1989)

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2:07 | Trailer
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
389 ( 210)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 20 wins & 15 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Features Danny Aiello's only Oscar nominated performance. 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!
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Crazy Credits

Film title logo at the end of closing credits 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 »


Soundtracks

Can't Stand It
Music and lyrics by David Hinds
Performed by Steel Pulse
Pulse Music, Ltd. (P.R.S.)
Courtesy of MCA Records
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User Reviews

 
Cruel reality meets light-hearted comedy
10 June 2020 | by TivanbovenSee all my reviews

I went to see a free showing of this film the other night, in light of recent events. Where a younger version of myself would have maybe shrugged and thought 'Well, this is an extreme depiction of reality', I now realize that it is not.

Do the Right Thing is a beautiful mix of comedy, great narration (what movie introduces an entire block of characters and makes you care about each of them?), intense dialogue and a very dark, grueling reality we live in, today. Not just in the United States, but everywhere in the world.

Unfortunately it cannot be fully called a historical drama yet. But hopefully, some day in the future we can watch this, have a chuckle and weep tears of sadness for the past in which racism, prejudice, bigotry and police brutality was commonplace. Until then: let's spread this movie out like a virus. It's been 30 years with hardly any change, the previous generations haven't been able to eradicate the evil that is racism. Let's do our best to make a difference.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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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)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,563,535, 2 July 1989

Gross USA:

$27,545,445

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$37,346,892
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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