Set on one block of Brooklyn's Bed-Stuy Do or Die neighborhood, at the height of summer, this 1989 masterpiece by Spike Lee confirmed him as a writer and filmmaker of peerless vision and passionate social engagement. Over the course of a single day, the easygoing interactions of a cast of unforgettable characters--Da Mayor, Mother Sister, Mister Senor Love Daddy, Tina, Sweet Dick Willie, Buggin Out, Radio Raheem, Sal, Pino, Vito, and Lee's Mookie among them--give way to heated confrontations as tensions rise along racial fault lines, ultimately exploding into violence. Punctuated by the anthemic refrain of Public Enemy's 'Fight the Power,' DO THE RIGHT THING is a landmark in American cinema, as politically and emotionally charged and as relevant now as when it first hit the big screen.

  • 2 hr RHDSD
  • Jun 30, 1989
  • Drama

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Cast & Crew

  • Danny AielloActor

  • Ossie DavisActor

  • Ruby DeeActor

  • Spike LeeActor

  • Bill NunnActor

    Commanding performer Bill Nunn made his feature debut in fellow Morehouse College graduate Spike Lee's School Daze (1988), but really etched himself into moviegoers' minds as a formidable screen presence in his second film with Lee, Do the Right Thing (1989), playing Radio Raheem, whose ever-present boom box is at the center of a fight that leads to his death at the hands of an overzealous police officer, the prelude to the all-out riot that follows (Nunn also acted in Mo' Better Blues (1990) and He Got Game (1998) for Lee). Though he made his initial mark playing young street toughs on screen, this veteran of the Atlanta stage showed he could use his impressive size for something other than menace with a critically acclaimed performance as Harrison Ford's sympathetic, high-spirited physical therapist in Regarding Henry (1991). Nunn subsequently played pretty much every type there is, all the way up to nice, huggable teddy bear guys like Whoopi Goldberg's protector Eddie Souther in Sister Act (1992). His professionalism made him a favorite of other directors besides Lee. He portrayed a Southern police chief in Bill Condon's White Lie (1991) (USA Network), later reteaming with Condon for Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh (1995), and has also acted twice for Michael Apted (Extreme Measures (1996), HBO's Always Outnumbered (1998)) and Gary Fleder (Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead (1995), Kiss the Girls (1997)). Nunn also turned in a fine performance as Tim Roth's adoptive father in The Legend of 1900 (1998), Giuseppe Tornatore's first English-language feature, released initially in Italy and then in the United States in 1999. He can also be seen in Spider-Man (2002), People I Know (2002) with Al Pacino and the prison thriller Lockdown (2000). Nunn has also found time to do numerous television pilots and three series. He was in the CBS series Traps (1994) with George C. Scott, sitcom Local Heroes (1995) for NBC and the critically acclaimed The Job (2001) with Denis Leary on ABC. He appeared on episodes of Chicago Hope (1994), Touched by an Angel (1994) (both CBS), New York Undercover (1994) and Millennium (1996) (both Fox), among others. Nunn lived in Georgia with his wife Donna and daughters Jessica and Cydney.
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  • Paul BenjaminActor

  • Robin HarrisActor

  • Richard EdsonActor

  • Samuel L. JacksonActor

    Samuel L. Jackson is an American producer and highly prolific actor, having appeared in over 100 films, including Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995), Unbreakable (2000), Shaft (2000), Formula 51 (2001), Black Snake Moan (2006), Snakes on a Plane (2006), and the Star Wars prequel trilogy (1999-2005), as well as the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Samuel Leroy Jackson was born in Washington, D.C., to Elizabeth (Montgomery) and Roy Henry Jackson. He was raised by his mother, a factory worker, and his grandparents. At Morehouse College, Jackson was active in the black student movement. In the seventies, he joined the Negro Ensemble Company (together with Morgan Freeman). In the eighties, he became well-known after three movies made by Spike Lee: Do the Right Thing (1989), Mo' Better Blues (1990) and Jungle Fever (1991). He achieved prominence and critical acclaim in the early 1990s with films such as Patriot Games (1992), Amos & Andrew (1993), True Romance (1993), Jurassic Park (1993), and his collaborations with director Quentin Tarantino, including Pulp Fiction (1994), Jackie Brown (1997), and later Django Unchained (2012). Going from supporting player to leading man, his performance in Pulp Fiction (1994) gave him an Oscar nomination for his character Jules Winnfield, and he received a Silver Berlin Bear for his part as Ordell Robbi in Jackie Brown (1997). Jackson usually played bad guys and drug addicts before becoming an action hero, co-starring with Bruce Willis in Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995) and Geena Davis in The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996). With Jackson's permission, his likeness was used for the Ultimate version of the Marvel Comics character, Nick Fury. He later did a cameo as the character in a post-credits scene from Iron Man (2008), and went on to sign a nine-film commitment to reprise this role in future films, including major roles in Iron Man 2 (2010), The Avengers (2012), Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) and Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) and minor roles in Thor (2011) and Captain America: The First Avenger (2011). He has also portrayed the character in the second and final episodes of the first season of the TV show, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2013). He has provided his voice to several animated films, television series and video games, including the roles of Lucius Best / Frozone in Pixar's film The Incredibles (2004), Mace Windu in Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008), Afro Samurai in the anime television series Afro Samurai (2007), and Frank Tenpenny in the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (2004).
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  • Rosie PerezActor

    Rosie Perez was born in Bushwick, Brooklyn, New York City, to Lydia Perez and Ismael Serrano, a merchant marine. She is of Puerto Rican descent. Rosie attended Grover Cleveland High School in Ridgewood, Queens, New York, and later enrolled at Los Angeles City College in Los Angeles, California. Rosie Perez was in her second year of college, and just about to move back to New York from Los Angeles. Her friends had given her a going-away party. When Spike Lee proposed that she work in his film Do the Right Thing (1989), she accepted. It would be her first major acting role. She went on play the supporting role of Carla Rodrigo in Peter Weir's Fearless (1993), for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. (She lost to Anna Paquin for The Piano (1993).)
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