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Do the Right Thing: The Criterion Collection
Do the Right Thing The Criterion Collection
Actors: Danny Aiello, Ruby Dee, Spike Lee, Ossie Davis, John Turturro
Director: Spike Lee
Genres: Drama, African American Cinema
R     2001     2hr 0min

The hottest day of the year explodes onscreen in this vibrant look at a day in the life of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. Featuring a stellar ensemble cast that includes Danny Aiello, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Richard Edson, G...  more »

     

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Movie Details

Actors: Danny Aiello, Ruby Dee, Spike Lee, Ossie Davis, John Turturro
Director: Spike Lee
Genres: Drama, African American Cinema
Sub-Genres: Drama, African American Cinema
Studio: Criterion
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 02/20/2001
Original Release Date: 06/30/1989
Theatrical Release Date: 06/30/1989
Release Year: 2001
Run Time: 2hr 0min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 3
Edition: Special Edition,Criterion Collection
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
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Member Movie Reviews

K. K. (GAMER)
Reviewed on 1/19/2023...
Alot of people like this movie but I did not. Spike Lee recycled actors from his other movies.

Movie Reviews

Lee did the right thing
keviny01 | 02/26/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"In only his third film, Spike Lee created a classic that is both socially relevant and artistically accomplished. By focusing the actions at one location in one day, this film reminds us that race relation cannot be improved if we don't improve the way each one of us interacts with everyone else. The film's finale is notable for its echos of real events that occurred not long before the film was made, and its prescience of events to follow. It is an unforgettable movie scene that shows how intolerance can victimize everyone. Nevertheless, the apocalyptic vision of the final scene did not sit well with some critics. Is it a call to end violence or to start violence, they asked. In the film Lee seems to say there are no easy answers. Somewhat overlooked is the fact that the film also makes keen observations of lives of American black underclass, especially in the portrayals of the "cornermen". Their exchanges are as amusing as they are trenchant in commenting the state of affairs of lower-class blacks. And through them, Lee takes the uncompromising position that sometimes the underprivileged can also be victims of their own mentalities.Also, Lee subtlely shows the many faces of racial intolerance. While Sal's son Pino overtly hates blacks, and Buggin' Out is overtly intolerant of whites, but is the attitude of Sal himself really conducive towards racial harmony? Does he have a desire to get to know his neighbors, or does he simply want to "have no trouble with these people", as he puts it? By leaving this aspect ambiguous, Lee makes us think just what IS the right thing to do... Despite all the criticisms against him, I believe Lee tackled the difficult subject as intelligently as any director could have done.The Criterion DVD contains most of the supplements in the Criterion laserdisc released in 1995 -- audio commentaries, cast meetings and screen tests, 'Making Of' documentary. New supplements include Lee's press conference at the '89 Cannes festival, video interview with editor Barry Brown, "Fight the Power" music video, and a video segment showing the filmmakers re-visiting the Bed-Stuy neighborhood.The DVD's video quality is characterized by deep, rich, saturated colors which cinamatographer Ernst Dickerson so brilliantly captured in order to create a feeling of overwhelming heat (literally and figuratively). There is a Dolby Digital 2.0 audio track (Prologic-decodable to surround), and a PCM stereo track that actually sounds brighter and crisper than the DD track."
Hot Day In Brooklyn
Thomas Magnum | NJ, USA | 01/03/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Spike Lee's 1989 film Do The Right Thing is among a handful of films that rise above the level of actual entertainment. It is thought-provoking, educational study of race relations. The film takes place during one extremely hot day in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. The neighborhood is predominately black, but the film centers around a pizzeria owned by Sal (Danny Aiello) who is white. All of Sal's customers are the black, but on his wall he has pictures of white film and music stars. This is a source of irritation to some customers, especially the radically minded Buggin' Out (Giancarlo Esposito). But Sal refuses to change and he goes about his business. Sal's two sons, Pino (John Turturro) and Vito (Richard Edson) also work at the pizzeria as does Mookie (Mr. Lee) who is Sal's delivery boy. Pino is highly bigoted and isn't afraid to let his opinions be know, while Vito is more sensitive and adverse to confrontation. Real life husband and wife Ossie Davis & Ruby Dee appear as the neighborhood elders, Da Mayor & Mother Sister who are constantly trading humorous barbs at one another while dispensing advice to the locals. Other interesting characters such as Radio Raheem, Sweet Dick Willie & DJ Mister Senor Love Daddy are featured throughout the film. Mr. Lee does a brilliant job of conveying the extreme heat that has overtaken the neighborhood. You can almost feel the heat while watching the film. Tensions also slowly rise through the film until the climatic riot scene where Sal's pizzeria is burned down, started by Mookie throwing a garbage can through the window. This is particularly devastating to Sal as he genuinely cared for Mookie and can't believe Mookie would do this to him. Mr. Lee's message in the film is that one doesn't know exactly what the right thing is. He illustrates this by the messages of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. Dr. King was for a peaceful solution to racism while Malcolm X said to fight for equality by any means necessary. Is passively sitting back right or is violence right? Mr. Lee never answers the question, which is exactly his point. Do The Right Thing was shunned at the 1989 Academy Awards garnering only a nomination for Mr. Aiello (which was richly deserved) in the Best Supporting Actor category. Ironically the film that won Best Picture was Driving Miss Daisy which was the stereotypical Hollywood portrayal of blacks as subservient workers and the type of film that Mr. Lee's pictures were the antithesis of. All in all, Do The Right Thing is a brilliant movie and one that deserves all the accolades that it received."
Do the Right Thing - an irritating piece of genius
E. Carroll | San Antonio, TX United States | 11/06/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I remember a female friend of mine telling me she watched this film, and at the end stood up crying and yelling, "stop fighting! " This movie provokes you in that way. That Spike Lee managed to get these severe reactions from his actors - even the ones opposed to him onscreen - is brilliant. I doubt anybody in the cast completely agreed with his final product, but that is what makes this movie so moving. I wish other directors/producers would have the guts to tackle any subject as faithfully as Lee has here. I have followed John Turturro's career since "Do the Right Thing", and I'm barely able after all this time to forgive him for some of the things he says in this movie. Yes, it's only a movie. And Spike Lee is only a genius. To my friend who shouted in the theater, I can only say I wish this movie didn't have to be made."