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Do the Right Thing: The (The Criterion Collection)

4.3 out of 5 stars 359 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Spike Lee effectively combines humor and drama in this critically acclaimed film that traces the course of a scorching day on a block in the Bedford-Stuyevesant area of Brooklyn.

Additional Features

The Criterion Collection and Spike Lee have delivered an abundance of treasures in this new edition of Do the Right Thing. Addressing the viewer in video commentary specially filmed for this two-disc set, Lee warmly remembers the creative process and extraneous hoopla of his first masterpiece. Cameras were rolling on the day of the first read-through, capturing a fascinating glimpse of veteran actors and soon-to-be-knowns beginning to understand how special the film was going to be. Among other treats there's an illuminating one-hour making-of documentary; an interview with editor Barry Brown; and the video of Public Enemy's most lasting anthem, "Fight the Power." But Lee saves the best for the very end, delivering a "last word" in which he deliciously lambastes critics (by name!) who misguidedly predicted racial unrest upon the film's theatrical release. --Ryan Boudinot

Special Features

  • Special Features, Disc One: The Movie
  • New widescreen digital transfer, enhanced for 16 x 9 televisions
  • Audio commentary by director Spike Lee, cinematographer Ernest Dickerson, production designer Wynn Thomas, and actor Joie Lee
  • Special Features, Disc Two: The Supplement
  • New video introductions by Spike Lee
  • New video interview with editor Barry Brown
  • Spike Lee and line producer Jon Kilik revisit the film's Bedford-Stuyvesant locations
  • St. Clair Bourne's 60-minute documentary, The Making of Do The Right Thing
  • Spike Lee's behind-the-scenes footage, from rehearsal to wrap
  • Original storyboards for the riot sequence, plus a film-to-storyboard comparison

Product Details

  • Actors: Danny Aiello, Ruby Dee, Spike Lee, Ossie Davis, John Turturro
  • Directors: Spike Lee
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Special Edition, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: February 20, 2001
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (359 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004XQMV
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,940 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Do the Right Thing: The (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
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.
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Format: DVD
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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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This has to be one of Spike Lee's masterworks. Sadly, many of the central themes are as relevant today as they were 25 years ago.
A star-studded cast and a well-written script, combined with Lee's directorial skill makes this a movie for the ages. Rosie Perez makes her movie debut in this film along with veteran actors, such Danny Aiello, John Turturro, Samuel L. Jackson, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Giancarlo Esposito, Bill Nunn, the late Robin Harris (Bebe's Kids), Frankie Faison, Martin Lawrence and Steve Park.
There are few films of this caliber being made nowadays.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A beautifully thoughtful film. I hadn't seen it since its original release. The stunning scene that the film builds towards was eerily prescient in light of the "can't breathe" killing in NYC. Spike Lee takes care not to let any of his characters be one-dimensional. Maybe because of this, or because of his apparent belief that people can get the space to make a choice, this film seems terribly tragically innocent by today's standards.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
When this movie arrived in 1989, it was as if America had been slapped across the face by a small, african american who shouted "I AM SPIKE LEE!!! LISTEN TO ME!! NOW!!!!"

I will not sit here and tell you what this movie means to me or what it should mean to you. I've earned that it is a different experience that yields a different message to each person that sees it. I will tell you that it is a masterpiece that was robbed of Oscar consideration because I do not think America was ready or awake enough to accept this at the time. While some of the contenders for Best Picture are very good, none stand the test of time like Do the Right Thing - Not the winner "Driving Miss Daisy" or the runners up "Born of the 4th of July", "Dead Poets Society", "Field of Dreams" or "My Left Foot". There are other movies from that year that are classics that are better than most of the Best Picture nominees, like Woody Allen's masterpiece "Crimes and Misdemeanors", the animated movie that turned Disney animated features in a new direction "The Little Mermaid", one of the finest civil war movies ever made "Glory", a classic scifi from James Cameron "The Abyss", a brilliant Italian movie "Cinema Paridiso", the classic RomCom of all-time "When Harry Met Sally" and two very well made chick flicks "Steel Magnolias" and "Parenthood" - - - the bottom line was that 1989 was a classic year for movies, right up there with 1939 and 1962. As a result, "Do the RIght Thing" got lost in the shuffle and was not appreciated for the masterpiece that it was and still is.

If you have not seen this movie, clear time on your calendar to buy/rent this movie and prepare to have a raw nerve tweaked.
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