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Do the Right Thing Details


Director Spike Lee dives head-first into a maelstrom of racial and social ills, using as his springboard the hottest day of the year on one block in Brooklyn, NY. Three businesses dominate the block: a storefront radio station, where a smooth-talkin' deejay (Samuel L. Jackson) spins the platters that matter; a convenience store owned by a Korean couple; and Sal's Famous Pizzeria, the only white-operated business in the neighborhood. Sal (Danny Aiello) serves up slices with his two sons, genial Vito (Richard Edson) and angry, racist Pino (John Turturro). Sal has one black employee, Mookie (Spike Lee), who wants to "get paid" but lacks ambition. His sister Jade (Joie Lee, Spike's sister), who has a greater sense of purpose and a "real" job, wants Mookie to start dealing with his responsibilities, most notably his son with girlfriend Tina (Rosie Perez). Two of Mookie's best friends are Radio Raheem (Bill Nunn), a monolith of a man who rarely speaks, preferring to blast Public Enemy's rap song Fight The Power on his massive boom box; and Buggin' Out (Giancarlo Esposito), nicknamed for his coke-bottle glasses and habit of losing his cool. When Buggin' Out notes that Sal's "Wall of Fame," a photo gallery of famous Italian-Americans, includes no people of color, he eventually demands a neighborhood boycott, on a day when tensions are already running high, that incurs tragic consequences. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

  • Release date:June 30, 1989


Awarded by
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Spike Lee Best Director 1988 Winner
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Spike Lee Best Director 1989 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Spike Lee Best Screenplay 1989 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Spike Lee Best Original Screenplay 1989 Nominee
New York Film Critics Circle Ernest R. Dickerson Best Cinematography 1989 Winner
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Danny Aiello Best Supporting Actor 1988 Winner
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Danny Aiello Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture 1989 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Danny Aiello Best Supporting Actor 1989 Nominee


Danny Aiello
as Sal
Spike Lee
as Mookie
Richard Edson
as Vito
John Turturro
as Pino
Giancarlo Esposito
as Buggin Out
Rosie Perez
as Tina
Bill Nunn
as Radio Raheem
Ossie Davis
as Da Mayor
Ruby Dee
as Mother Sister
Paul Benjamin
as ML
Frankie R. Faison
as Coconut Sid
Robin Harris
as Sweet Dick Willie
Joie Lee
as Jade
Samuel L. Jackson
as Mister Senor Love Daddy
Martin Lawrence
as Cee
John Savage
as Clifton
Roger Guenveur Smith
as Smiley
Ginny Yang
as Kim
Sherwin Park
as Korean Child
Frank Vincent
as Charlie
Nelson Vasquez
as Stevie's Friends
Eric Payne
Christa Rivers
as Ella
Luis Ramos
as Stevie
Angel Ramirez
as Stevie's Friends
Gwen McGee
as Louise
Miguel Sandoval
as Officer Ponte
Steve White
as Ahmad
Shawn Elliott
as Puerto Rican Ice Man
Erik Koniger
David Weinberg
as Plain Clothes Detective
Richard Habersham
as Eddie
Rick Aiello
as Officer Long
Diva Osorio
as Carmen
Stephen Park
as Sonny
Tom Wright
Robi Reed
Dominic Marcus
Leonard Thomas
as Punchy
Joel Nagle
as Sergeant


Spike Lee
Jon Kilik
Spike Lee
Ernest R. Dickerson
Bill Lee
Composer (Music Score)
Barry Alexander Brown
Wynn P. Thomas
Production Designer
Spike Lee
Monty Ross
Steve Rosse
Set Designer
Ruth E. Carter
Costume Designer
Steve Kirshoff
Special Effects
Eddie Bo Smith, Jr.
Otis Sallid
Rosie Perez
Robi Reed
Matiki Anoff