Do the Right Thing

Do the Right Thing is a 1989 motion picture produced, written, and directed by Spike Lee and released by Universal Pictures. The film tells a tale of bigotry and racial conflict in a multi-ethnic community in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, on the hottest day of the year. It stars Lee, Danny Aiello, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Richard Edson, Giancarlo Esposito, Bill Nunn and John Turturro. Do the Right Thing also marks the feature film debuts of both Martin Lawrence and Rosie Perez. It is the second film role ever for Samuel L. Jackson, who plays DJ Mister Señor Love Daddy, an alternative voice of the author to Spike Lee's character.

It is often regarded as Lee's finest film (with the possible exception of Malcolm X ).

In 1999, the film wasREAD MORE

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Do the Right Thing:Synopsis

The film features a multitude of characters, almost all of whom are portrayed sympathetically. The main character in the film is Mookie (Lee), a young man who lives with his sister and works as a pizza delivery man for the local Sal's Pizzeria. Mookie isn't very diligent about making his deliveries with any sort of punctuality, but is obsessed with making money: "I gotta get paid". Sal (Aiello), the pizzeria’s Italian-American owner, has owned the shop for decades, even after most of the other white residents have moved out, because he respects his customers. His youngest son Vito (Edson) shares his view, but his eldest son Pino (Turturro) "detests the place like a sickness" and "hates niggers."

The Bed-Stuy street corner the charactersREAD MORE

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Do the Right Thing:Controversies

The film was released to protests from many reviewers, including Joe Klein in New York magazine; it was openly stated in several newspapers that the film could incite black audiences to riot. In the event, no such riots occurred, and Lee criticized white reviewers for assuming that black audiences were incapable of restraining themselves while watching fiction.

The central question at the end of the film is whether Mookie 'does the right thing' when he throws the garbage can through the window, thus inciting the riot that destroys Sal's pizzeria. The question is directly raised by the contradictory quotationsREAD MORE

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Do the Right Thing:Awards & nominations

1990 Academy Awards

Best Actor in a Supporting Role — Danny Aiello (nominated)
Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen — Spike Lee (nominated)
1989 Cannes Film Festival

Golden Palm — Spike Lee (nominated)
1990 Chicago Film Critics Association Awards

Best Director — Spike Lee (won)
Best Picture (won)
Best Supporting Actor — Danny Aiello (won)
1990 Golden Globes

Best Director (Motion Picture) — Spike Lee (nominated)
Best Motion Picture - Drama (nominated)
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture — Danny Aiello (nominated)
Best Screenplay (Motion Picture) — Spike Lee (nominated)
1991 NAACP Image Awards

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Motion Picture — Ruby Dee (won)
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture — Ossie Davis (won)
1989 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards

Best Director — Spike Lee (won)
Best Music — Bill Lee (won)
Best Picture (won)
Best Supporting Actor — Danny Aiello (won)
1989 New York Film Critics Circle Awards

Best Cinematographer — Ernest R. Dickerson (won)
National Film Preservation Board

National Film Registry (1999)

MTV Movie Awards

The Bucket of Excellence (lifetime achievement award, 2006)

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