Hollywood, CA — A film about the hottest day of the year is now one of the hottest contemporary movies ever made. Without a doubt, “Do the Right Thing” remains a timely tale to this day.
Although Spike Lee will tell you this film doesn’t reflect the New York of today.
In 1988, the actors came together for the first time to read through the script. Little did they know they were about to make film history. It was Martin Lawrence and Rosie Perez’s film debut.
And Samuel L. Jackson was simply Sam Jackson.
What makes this 20th Anniversary Edition so special is that we get to truly go behind the scenes to see how the film is made, in a very personal way. Lee and his family documented everything.
Lee himself conducted on camera interviews with the actors asking them how they will approach their characters. The responses are real and sometimes humorous and very entertaining.
Rosie Perez is particularly interesting. “Do the Right Thing” was her first film. She was very late to the first reading of the script and obviously got annoyed with one of the veteran actors. Perez let him have it and later when she was interviewed by Spike, she revealed she feels like she’s on the outside looking in, that she can’t relate to the other actors. We learn how Spike actually changed her life.
And there are very humorous moments with the late Robin Harris, and how he’s shaped his character “Sweet Dick Willie.” In the bonus video actor Roger Guenveur Smith (Smiley) tells the story of how there was no part for him in the film, but he showed up everyday with a character he created who eventually became a very pivotal player in the film.
But it wasn’t all fun and games, Lee made sure the actors understood that what the film was all about and what was at stake.
Lee told his actors, “The fact remains that, (Paul) this film is about the Black underclass. It’s not about the Black middle class, like “School Daze” and “She’s Gotta Have It.” This group is about one of the most impoverished, drug-ridden neighborhoods in the United States. And if you go to Bed-Stuy, you will see thousands of people hanging out with no job, with no direction in life. And that’s just the way it is. I mean, I don’t wanna dress this up any other way, because this is the truth.”
The “truth” as Spike Lee told it, sent shockwaves through the film industry and audiences alike.
In 1989 “Do the Right Thing” was nominated for two Academy Awards; Spike Lee for Best Original Screenplay and Danny Aiello was nominated for “Best-Supporting Actor.”
This celebration edition is perfect for film students and “wannabes.”
You’ve heard the old saying ‘people get mean when it’s hot’ and we get to spend one day in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn on the hottest day of the year. People are doing everything they can to say cool and out of each other’s way. It all boils down to a showdown between longtime Pizzeria owner Sal (Danny Aiello) and the neighborhood’s African American majority. A simple question explodes and ignites deep-seated racial tensions on both sides of the fence.
The cast reads like a who’s who in today’s Hollywood; Spike Lee, Danny Aiello, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Rosie Perez, John Turturro, Martin Lawrence and Samuel L. Jackson, plus some other familiar faces.
“Do the Right Thing” 20th Anniversary with an all new special edition coming to Blu-Ray, Hi-Def and DVD on June 30-exactly 20 years from its theatrical debut. The 20th Anniversary Edition is loaded with over 4 hours of revealing bonus material.
You “Do the Right Thing” and pick up this 20th Anniversary Edition June 30. You won’t regret it.
– Gail can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.