Taking a look at Spike Lee


Many people know Spike Lee from his powerful message movies, or his appearances at New York Knicks games. For me, I’ve only seen one of his films and that is Do the right thing. Do the right thing has a very powerful message seen throughout the movie. This message is racism.

This message of racism is hidden in between the walls of Salvatore “Sal” Fragione’s pizzeria in Brooklyn. This all starts off with Buggin’ out becoming upset when he realizes that the Wall of Fame on the wall are all Italian actors. Buggin’ out expresses his opinion that a Pizzeria in a black neighborhood should showcase black actors, but Salvatore “Sal” Fragione disagrees. Throughout this movie, Sal’s tensions with the neighborhood becomes worse once the message is out.

After watching this movie in a class I took last year, I wanted to look more into it. There was a strong message here, and I’m sure there had to been some background that went along with this. Let’s start out with the title of this movie. Do the right thing comes from a very influential person, Malcolm X. The title that Spike Lee chose came from Malcolm X’s famous quote, “You’ve got to do the right thing.” I find this very interesting that Spike Lee chose this because as known by a pretty popular crowd, Lee is known to wear a Malcolm X hat with Malcolm’s picture on it(as seen below). He even made a movie about him. Spike Lee knew Malcolm X left a lot behind.



Photo Credit: Pinterest

Another interesting thing that I found out about this movie was that Spike Lee took only two weeks to write the whole script to this film. That in itself blows my mind because for most directors it takes up to months, and sometimes even a year for them to be done writing a script. Imagine the amount of time he had to put into focusing on just the script. Must have been days of drinking red bull and maintaining a couple of hours of sleep per day.

In an article I read, Spike Lee’s Do the right thing caught the eye of some very popular names. Barack and Michelle Obama viewed this film on their first date back in 1989. Obama had this to say about Lee’s film. “‘Do the Right Thing’ still holds up a mirror to our society, and it makes us laugh and think, and challenges all of us to see ourselves in one another,” Obama said.

Last thing I want to talk about for this movie is the use of foul language. In Do the right thing, the word fuck is used 240 times. This means the word fuck is used at about 2 times per minute. That’s a pretty incredible amount of times for this word to be used. I guess it just spikes up the script a little bit.

A couple fun facts that I found was that Do the right thing made the 2007 American Film Institute Top 100 best movies of all time. Spike Lee’s film made the list by 4, which sat at 96th.

Overall, I would recommend to others.

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5 Responses to Taking a look at Spike Lee

  1. One of Spike Lee’s best films, in my opinion, is this film. This film was released decades ago, yet it’s still relatable today. That speaks on Lee’s filmmaking ability and on our society. Those are some interesting fun facts especially the one about the time he took to write the film.


  2. enprescott says:

    Do The Right Thing is one of the few Spike Lee films that I’ve watched, and despite my aversion to his works, it’s actually pretty decent. It was interesting to find out that Spike took only two weeks to write the script. Otherwise, I like your analysis of the movie.


  3. dionnarhema says:

    I like the fun facts that you provided, especially the one about the amount of times the word “fuck” was said. To think that there is someone in the world who took the time to count that, you’ve got to be appreciative.


  4. Just Rhyan says:

    Two weeks?? Wow I really need to step my production up. I can not imagine writing such a script in just two weeks, that in itself is an accomplishment.


  5. Do the Right Thing is always the first film that comes to mind whenever I hear Spike Lee’s name mentioned. Talk about starting a career off with a bang. I always admired the fact that he was such a film nerd and went to film school and then managed to find a way to make his voice heard throughout his films.


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