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Do the Right Thing (Widescreen)

Danny Aiello , Ossie Davis , Spike Lee    R (Restricted)   DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 42.99
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Do the Right Thing (Widescreen) + Boyz 'N The Hood (Anniversary Edition) (Bilingual)
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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, Giancarlo Esposito, Robin Harris, Samuel L. Jackson, Bill Nunn, Rosie Perez, and John Turturro, Spike Lee's powerful portrait of urban racial tensions sparked controversy while earning popular and critical praise. Criterion is proud to present Do the Right Thing in a new Director Approved special edition.


Spike Lee's incendiary look at race relations in America, circa 1989, is so colorful and exuberant for its first three-quarters that you can almost forget the terrible confrontation that the movie inexorably builds toward. Do the Right Thing is a joyful, tumultuous masterpiece--maybe the best film ever made about race in America, revealing racial prejudices and stereotypes in all their guises and demonstrating how a deadly riot can erupt out of a series of small misunderstandings. Set on one block in Bedford-Stuyvesant on the hottest day of the summer, the movie shows the whole spectrum of life in this neighborhood and then leaves it up to us to decide if, in the end, anybody actually does the "right thing." Featuring Danny Aiello as Sal, the pizza parlor owner; Lee himself as Mookie, the lazy pizza-delivery guy; John Turturro and Richard Edson as Sal's sons; Lee's sister Joie as Mookie's sister Jade; Rosie Perez as Mookie's girlfriend Tina; Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee as the block elders, Da Mayor and Mother Sister; Giancarlo Esposito as Mookie's hot-headed friend Buggin' Out; Bill Nunn as the boom-box toting Radio Raheem; and Samuel L. Jackson as deejay Mister Señor Love Daddy. A rich and nuanced film to watch, treasure, and learn from--over and over again. --Jim Emerson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hot Day In Brooklyn Jan. 3 2003
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. Read more ›
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5.0 out of 5 stars "The left hand is hate. The right hand is love." July 13 2004
This movie is largely an angry, outrageous film. But it is also a beautiful and enlightening one. DO THE RIGHT THING garnered Spike Lee, writer, director, and star of the film, both praise and criticism. But what you must remember, those who either praise it or look down upon it, is that DO THE RIGHT THING couldn't be further from the truth.
DO THE RIGHT THING was an introduction to Lee's brazen and bold style of filmmaking. He had a part in every aspect: direction, cast, production, writing the screenplay, etc. That's why, if someone is interested in seeing a "Spike Lee joint", I will definitely recommend DO THE RIGHT THING first and foremost.
It's a look at race relations in America circa 1989, a drastic glimpse in which the outsiders, meaning the audience, can feel as if they are right there in Harlem with Mookie (Spike Lee).
Mookie is an unmarried father, a boyfriend to Tina (Rosie Perez), loud and outspoken with her buxom figure. She pushes Mookie to spend more time with her and their son, complaining about him being a deadbeat dad. His excuse? Work.
True, much of Mookie's time is spent working at Sal's, a pizzeria in Harlem, run by white Italians in a neighborhood where the population appears to be around 99.5 percent black.
Other characters include Radio Raheem (Bill Nunn), Da Mayor (Ossie Davis), Mother Sister (Ruby Dee), Buggin' Out (Giancarlo Esposito) and Jade, Mookie's sister (Joie Lee). Radio Raheem's dialogue throughout the film it limited - he more or less expresses his freedom through his incessantly blaring radio. In fact, throughout the entire movie, Public Enemy's "FIGHT THE POWER" blasts throughout the neighborhood. Buggin' Out is irked with a situation at Sal's that he feels must immediately be taken care of.
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5.0 out of 5 stars That�s the double-truth� Ruth June 29 2004
In all likelihood Spike Lee's most important achievement - as director, writer and actor (though to my taste Mo' Better Blues is just as good a picture) and one of the strongest films you'll see about race relations, 'Do The Right Thing' looks dated at times, but it lost none of its impact and relevance. The movie takes place in a particularly hot day in a primarily African-American neighborhood in Brooklyn, and follows the various personalities who live there throughout the day; the center of the story is Sal's Famous Pizzeria - its owners, some of the few white people living in the neighborhood: Sal (Oscar nominated performance for Danny Aiello) and his two sons (John Torturro and Richard Edson), and Mookie (Spike Lee himself), the black delivery boy. What starts out as a light, entertaining movie with some amusing characters and light humor, gradually builds up tension to the point of being unbearable, up to the dramatic and tragic climax. Spike doesn't put as much emphasis on the characters themselves as he does on the relationships and the tension between them; and in this image of a very specific and small frame in time and place, makes a strong and important message about racism and race relations in general.
The film is populated with many different characters, all of them very memorable and each one a representative of a certain belief, mode of behavior or state of mind - on both sides of the conflict.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An EYE OPENER
The eye opener of the year...I loved it. Excellent story line and a must see movie by mature audiences only. Very compelling!
Published on June 29 2004 by Nick Rocco
4.0 out of 5 stars a controversal film that explores racism
This review is for the Criterion Collection DVD edition of the film.
Spike Lee's "Do the Right Thing" is a groundbreaking film indeed. Read more
Published on June 13 2004 by Ted
5.0 out of 5 stars Do The Right Thing
Ah, Spike Lee's ''Do The Right Thing'' made in 1989 is one of the most controversial ever made, it brought bough negative and critical acclaim for Spike Lee, it was
probably... Read more
Published on May 3 2004 by GreatWriterChrisJames
5.0 out of 5 stars Do The Right Thing
I still remember coming out of the movie theatre crying after seeing this film. Spike Lee is one of the most thought provoking writer/directors of his time and this film proves... Read more
Published on March 18 2004 by Geminigirl
4.0 out of 5 stars Do the Right Thing and see this movie
This movie is very confrontational, and not really a movie. It's a pissed off guys way of telling the world "HEY WE'RE ALL THE SAME YOU MORONS NOW LET'S STOP WITH THE RACIAL HATRED... Read more
Published on Jan. 20 2004 by Tom Servo
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic !
I first saw this movie in 1990. I have seen it a few more times since then, and today I am convinced that the movie stands the test of time. Read more
Published on Jan. 4 2004 by nadav haber
2.0 out of 5 stars An Overrated Effort that was Almost Great
This film had so much promise: the beautiful colors, the eventual all-star ensemble cast in great roles, the poignant topic, the up-and-coming director's early film, and so on. Read more
Published on Nov. 30 2003 by ixta_coyotl
3.0 out of 5 stars This is a dumb movie!!!!
I didn't understand it back then and I still don't understand it now it represents black people in a very negative way!!!! Read more
Published on Oct. 26 2003 by A. R SCOTT
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Interesting Moment In A Fine Film
You just have to love the nerve, the absolute gall, the pure audacity, of the lazy worthless little goof-off delivery kid who throws a garbage can through the main window of his... Read more
Published on Oct. 21 2003 by J. Reynolds
5.0 out of 5 stars Do the Right Thing Review
It's the hottest day of the summer and racial tensions run deep in the Bed-Stuy section of Brooklyn, New York. Read more
Published on Sept. 1 2003 by Crazy Jim
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