Rosie Perez and Spike Lee in Do the Right Thing (1989) NBC Universal
Rosie Perez and Spike Lee in Do the Right Thing (1989) NBC Universal
Do the Right Thing (1989) NBC Universal

ACMI presents

Do the Right Thing

Spike Lee | U.S.A. | 1989 | R18+

This event has ended and tickets are no longer available.

“Woo-hee, it’s gonna be a scorcher today!” Lee’s breakout hit announced the arrival of a culturally provocative filmmaker with a bravura visual style.

Smart, vibrant, and urgent without being didactic, Do the Right Thing is one of Spike Lee's most fully realized efforts – and one of the most important films of the 1980s.

Rotten Tomatoes

Simmering tensions explode at the end of a sweltering summer's day in Brooklyn's Bed-Stuy neighbourhood after one of the locals, Buggin' Out (Giancarlo Esposito), agitates for a boycott of Sal's Pizzeria because he resents the absence of black sports stars and actors on Sal's Italian American-heavy 'Wall of Fame'. Samuel L. Jackson chronicles events as smooth-talking radio DJ Senor Love Daddy, whose on-air invocations to “chill” fail to quell the escalating tension.

Curator's Note

Nominated for a Best Original Screenplay Oscar (with a screenplay penned by Lee), Do the Right Thing confirmed Spike Lee's reputation as a socially engaged and culturally provocative filmmaker in full command of a bravura visual style. His fourth feature film in six years, Lee cast himself in the role of increasingly ambivalent pizza delivery guy, Mookie, and Rosie Perez in the role of Mookie’s Puerto Rican girlfriend, Tina, after seeing Perez dance to Experience Unlimited’s R&B song, ‘Da Butt’, at a club. Perez’s propulsive moves feature in the film’s opening sequence, in which she shadowboxes to ‘Fight the Power’, the film’s unofficial anthem and the track that helped catapult Public Enemy to the forefront of the late ‘80s hip-hop explosion in the States.

– Roberta Ciabarra; Curator, Film

Format: DCP
Language: English
Source: Universal Pictures
Courtesy: Universal Pictures
Duration: 119 min


See below for additional related events






ACMI Member


Get tickets


119 mins



Medium level coarse language


Cinemas, Level 2
ACMI, Fed Square

How to get there

Not an ACMI Member yet?

Experience ACMI in the very best way. Get a range of discounts and invitations to exclusive previews.


Multipasses – see more films in this program for less

Days of Summer program (Sat 17 Dec 2022 – Tue 14 Feb 2023)

There are no upcoming related events at this time.

ACMI building exterior at night - Shannon McGrath

Plan your visit

COVIDSafe visitor guidelines, information on accessibility, amenities, transport, dining options and more.

Start planning
Hero gnocchi - Jake Roden

Looking for dining options?

Our restaurant, cafe and bar in the heart of Fed Square features a seasonally driven menu developed by acclaimed Melbourne chef Karen Martini.

ACMI Shop items - red and blue colour scheme


Melbourne's favourite shop dedicated to all things moving image. Every purchase supports your museum of screen culture.

Shop online

Join our newsletter

Get updates on the latest news, exhibitions, programs, special offers and more.

You might also like