To mark 33 years of Do The Right Thing, Spike Lee went back to where it began: The streets of Brooklyn. On June 30, the filmmaker posted a video visiting a mural of himself as Mookie, encircled by tributes to his late co-stars.
"Thirty-three years ago today, Do The Right Thing opened in theaters," the filmmaker says to camera. Released in 1989, the movie dramatizes an eruption of racial tension in the Bed–Stuy neighborhood of Brooklyn on the hottest day of the year and earned Lee his first Oscar nomination. It remains one of Lee's most enduring joints.
"I want to take this moment to thank the great actors who are no longer with us," Lee continues, paying his respects to the late Paul Benjamin (who played ML), Ruby Dee (Mother Sister), Ossie Davis (Da Mayor), Robin Harris (Sweet Dick Willie), Frank Vincent (Charlie), Danny Aiello (Sal) and his sons, Danny Aiello III and Rick Aiello, and Bill Nunn (Radio Raheem). In the caption, he also honored Shawn Elliott, who played Icee Man. "May They Continue To Rest In Paradise."
"I want to thank everyone for all the support and love you've given me and my films," Lee concludes the video. "I appreciate that. And also, please be safe — safe, safe, safe — this coming holiday. Peace and love."
In a follow-up post, he shared a photo of himself, captioned, "And Remember 'ALWAYS DO THE RIGHT THING'"
Do The Right Thing was nominated for two Oscars in 1990: Danny Aiello for Best Supporting Actor and Lee for Best Original Screenplay. Lee would go on to win an Honorary Award at the 88th Academy Awards in 2016, as well as the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay (for BlacKkKlansman) in 2019.
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