Do the Right Thing (1989)

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

Original Title : Do the Right Thing
Director : Spike Lee
Writer : Spike Lee
Genre : Comedy
Country : USA
Language : English
Producer : Jon Kilik , Spike Lee , Monty Ross
Music : Rubén Blades
Cathy Block
James Weldon Johnson
Rosamond Johnson
Raymond Jones
Bill Lee
Sami McKinney
Michael O'Hara
Lori Perry
Mervyn Warren
Chuck D.
Flavor Flav
Photography : Ernest R. Dickerson
IMDB ID : 0097216
OpenSubtitles.orgSearch Subtitles on
poster for "Do the Right Thing" by Spike Lee (1989)
Do the Right Thing (1989) - Spike Lee


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
Samuel L. Jackson Mister Senor Love Daddy (as Sam Jackson
Rosie Perez Tina
Roger Guenveur Smith Smiley
Steve White Ahmad
Martin Lawrence Cee
Leonard L. Thomas Punchy (as Leonard Thomas
Christa Rivers Ella
Frank Vincent Charlie
Luis Ramos Stevie
Richard Habersham Eddie
Gwen McGee Louise
Steve Park Sonny
Ginny Yang Kim
Sherwin Park Korean Child
Shawn Elliott Puerto Rican Icee Man
Diva Osorio Carmen
Chris Delaney Stevie's Friends
Ángel Ramírez Stevie's Friends
Sixto Ramos Stevie's Friends
Nelson Vasquez Stevie's Friends
Travell Lee Toulson Hector
Joel Nagle Sergeant
David E. Weinberg Plainclothes Detective
Yattee Brown Double Dutch Girl
Mecca Brunson Double Dutch Girl
Shawn Stainback Double Dutch Girl
Soquana Wallace Double Dutch Girl
Erik Dellums Customer in pizzeria (uncredited
Garry Pastore P.O. Bonamo (uncredited


It's the hottest day of the year in the Bed-Stuy district of Brooklyn, and tensions are growing in this black ghetto area, with the only local businesses a Korean grocery and Sal's Pizzeria. Mookie, Sal's delivery boy, manages to always be at the center of the action.


Fight da powah! Okay, time has reduced the music to an embarrassing joke, at least that of Public Enemy, but Do The Right Thing still retains its meaning. Luckily Bob Marley and Spike Lee's father contribute some quality music to the film. Do The Right Thing is a tremendous achievement from Spike Lee that boldly approaches the white-hot subjects of race and class relations and leaves us with an ambiguous but hugely effective ending. The film starts off with the horrifyingly annoying newcomer Rosie Perez on a soundstage with a rotating background of what appears to be Lee's ideal neighborhood, engaging in some sort of nutty activity that must have at one time vaguely resembled dancing. (spoilers) The entire movie takes place over the course of one tremendously hot day in Brooklyn, in which the neighborhood's racial tensions build up and build up and ultimately explode in a riot that results in the total destruction of a beloved pizzeria and the death of one of the neighborhood youths. The film contains a surprising array of very colorful (no pun intended) characters, and the narrative structure moves along at a realistic pace but is able to keep your attention throughout the film. The film successfully manages several different storylines that all take place simultaneously and all add to the escalation of racial conflict that explodes at the end of the film. We see Sal, the owner of the town's pizzeria, and his sons as they interact with the residents of the inner city neighborhood in which the pizzeria operates and where they never fully feel that they belong. They are racial outsiders, but the have run a good business for years in the community which seems to be Lee's effort to prove that racially different people can live together happily. John Turturro is excellent as Pino, Sal's older son who is the less tolerant one towards the black people in the neighborhood. One of the more interesting about the movie is the title. After watching it, it seems that the right thing that the title refers to is the single act of Mookie throwing that trash can through the front window of Sal's Pizzeria at the end of the film. It seems like this is an vicious act against Sal's business, but you have to keep in mind the scene up to that point. Sal and his sons were cornered in front of the store by a mob angered by the death of Radio Raheem, one of the town's charming youths, and Mookie knows that the three of them are in danger. When he threw the can through the window, he took the mob's anger and redirected from Sal and his sons and onto the store. He probably saved their lives. There was clearly something right about that initially questionable thing that Mookie did. There is obviously going to be a lot of controversy about a movie like this because it deals with the hotly debated issue of racial relations, but you really have to analyze it before you can make any accusations, because it is a very complex film. Spike Lee manages to create a movie that starts off with almost endlessly entertaining comedy but ultimately winds up as a tremendously powerful and moving film, a technique hardly ever seen, but when it's done right, as is the case here and in other films like Life Is Beautiful, the result is that much more effective.
poster for "Do the Right Thing"
343 x 510
Do the Right Thing (1989) - Spike Lee