Spike Lee and the cast of Do The Right Thing reunited recently in Brooklyn to celebrate the upcoming 25th anniversary of the film’s release in the summer of 1989. Since its release the film has become a cult classic, it has been added to The Criterion Collection and remains required watching for any film school curriculum worth its salt – a phenomenon that lends credence to Lee’s frustrations with The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which have lingered since the film was snubbed at the Oscars in 1990. That, however, seems to be the only smudge on an otherwise spotless record for Do The Right Thing – a production many consider to be Lee’s magnum opus. The film has definitely come full circle since the days when critics feared the content would incite a riot.
Do The Right Thing served as a launchpad for the careers of Giancarlo Esposito, Samuel L. Jackson, Rosie Perez and John Turturro. Danny Aiello also received an Oscar nod for his role as Sal – the hard but endearing boss of the neighborhood pizza shop who dutifully fields barbs from Mookie and Buggin’ Out ahead of the racially charged blow-up that rocked their Brooklyn block after the tragic death of Radio Raheem. The film written in ten days has retained its relevance and sheen over the decades since its release because of its fearless confrontation of social issues and Spike Lee’s ability to capture the times in vibrant color and stunning detail; Do The Right Thing effectively immortalizes the colors, fashion trends and music that pervaded at the time. The popularity of the timeless story has lead to a more recent push to adapt the film for Broadway though Spike Lee says he will not be playing Mookie in any potential theatrical productions. Check the footage below to watch the original trailer for the film, then stroll down memory lane with the cast as they reunite in Brooklyn.