7.9/10
66,969
435 user 107 critic

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.

Director:

Writer:

Reviews
Popularity
3,111 ( 376)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 18 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

As Carl Black gets the opportunity to move his family out of Chicago in hope of a better life, their arrival in Beverly Hills is timed with that city's annual purge, where all crime is legal for twelve hours.

Director: Deon Taylor
Stars: Mike Epps, Zulay Henao, Alex Henderson
Crooklyn (1994)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Spike Lee's vibrant semi-autobiographical portrait of a school teacher, her stubborn jazz musician husband and their five kids living in Brooklyn in 1973.

Director: Spike Lee
Stars: Alfre Woodard, Delroy Lindo, David Patrick Kelly
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Four friends conspire to turn the tables on their women when they discover the ladies have been using Steve Harvey's relationship advice against them.

Director: Tim Story
Stars: Chris Brown, Gabrielle Union, Kevin Hart
Barbershop (2002)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A day in the life of a South Side Chicago barbershop.

Director: Tim Story
Stars: Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer, Eve
Repos (Video 2006)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

In this extremely hilarious comedy, Tea (Master P) and Coffee (Michael Blackson) are two repo men who work for Mr. Henderson (Katt Williams) at Banks Repo. While trying to break their "repo... See full summary »

Directors: Sal Martino, Master P
Stars: Michael Blackson, Master P, Katt Williams
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

A Wall Street investment banker who has been set up as the linchpin of his company's mob-backed Ponzi scheme is relocated with his family to Aunt Madea's southern home.

Director: Tyler Perry
Stars: Tyler Perry, Eugene Levy, Denise Richards
House Party (1990)
Comedy | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Kid decides to go to his friend's house party, but even he can't predict what's in store for him.

Director: Reginald Hudlin
Stars: Christopher Reid, Robin Harris, Christopher Martin
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An actor limited to stereotypical roles because of his ethnicity, dreams of making it big as a highly respected performer. As he makes his rounds, the film takes a satiric look at African American actors in Hollywood.

Director: Robert Townsend
Stars: Robert Townsend, Craigus R. Johnson, Helen Martin
Hair Show (2004)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

Peaches, a hair stylist from Baltimore, and her estranged sister, Angela, the owner of an upscale salon in Beverly Hills, get reacquainted when Peaches decides to attend a celebration for ... See full summary »

Director: Leslie Small
Stars: Mo'Nique, Kellita Smith, Gina Torres
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

Terry is an up and coming comedian, but believes politics will get him the big breaks and more time at the popular Dukie's Comedy Club. Just so happens that Terry is 'sleeping' with Ruby ... See full summary »

Director: Topper Carew
Stars: Martin Lawrence, John Witherspoon, Lance Crouther
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Inspired by his fiancée (who dumped him), a man publishes a break-up hand-book for men, becoming a best-selling author in the process.

Director: Daniel Taplitz
Stars: Jamie Foxx, Gabrielle Union, Morris Chestnut
Houseguest (1995)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

In hot water with the mob over an unpaid debt, a con man poses as a family friend in an affluent Pennsylvania suburb.

Director: Randall Miller
Stars: Sinbad, Phil Hartman, Kim Greist
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Sal
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Paul Benjamin ...
ML
...
...
...
...
Officer Ponte
...
...
Edit

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:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

21 July 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Heatwave  »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$6,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$27,545,445
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Rick Aiello and Miguel Sandoval, who played Officers Long and Ponte, would reprise their roles in Jungle Fever (1991), which was also directed by Spike Lee. 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 »

Connections

Featured in 1,001 Movies You Must See (Before You Die) (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
excellent drama with a message
10 December 2004 | by See all my reviews

If I had to make a list of the top ten things that I find most boring, racism would be right at the summit along with economics and The Blair Witch Project. For that reason, I have avoided Do the Right Thing up until now for fear that it would be a lecture on racism...but actually, I don't know what I was afraid of, as this film is really good. Spike Lee's racial drama is actually more a film about the feebleness of racial divides and how violence only breeds violence, as opposed to a film ABOUT racism. In fact, the film can be best described as a cinematic materialisation of Martin Luther King's famous "an eye for an eye leaves everybody blind" speech.

For this movie, Spike Lee has put together a terrific cast, that includes many actors that have gone on to become big names in the movie industry, people such as Samuel L. Jackson, John Turturro and Martin Lawrence, not to mention smaller stars such as Ossie Davis. The cast comes together excellently and the neighbourhood that Spike Lee has created for this film feels very real, and through the multiple personalities that inhabit it, it manages to stay interesting and realistic throughout. The atmosphere of the neighbourhood is also of note, and you really do get the feeling that someone could say 'biatch' or 'dogg' at any time. Spike Lee delights in showing us many different people, and at different times - including their reactions to certain events and their interactions with each other, and it all helps to build up both their own characters and the neighbourhood that they live in. This proves to be invaluable to the film as it has no real plot and therefore relies on the characters and the neighbourhood that it has created to build itself, it's scenario and therefore it's message, up.

Do the Right Thing is a portrait of how multiple cultures live together in modern day America and it also succeeds in being a stark and potent portrayal of how violence never gets anyone anywhere. Spike Lee has shown his talents as an actor, director and a writer with this film, and even though majority opinion of him seems to be that he's a disagreeable old crone; at least he's one that has talent.


57 of 96 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 435 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page