Do The Right Thing | 1989
Dazzling colours popping off the screen and a sultry jazz soundtrack create an overwhelmingly oppressive atmosphere as racial tensions erupt during a blistering New York heatwave.
Spike Lee’s stylised drama was shot in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn, where all of the film’s locations can be found on the block of Stuyvesant Avenue between Lexington Avenue and Quincy Street, just a few blocks southwest of Kosciusko Street Station on the the BMT Jamaica Line of the NY City Subway.
‘Sal’s Famous Pizzeria’ never existed. It was built from scratch on the empty lot at the southwest corner of Stuyvesant Avenue and Lexington Avenue.
The ‘Korean grocery store’, across from ‘Sal’s’, was built on the similarly vacant lot on the opposite corner of Stuyvesant.
At the southern end of the block, the home of pizza delivery man Mookie (Spike Lee) is 173 Stuyvesant Avenue, on the northeast corner of Quincy Street.
Directly opposite Mookie’s, the ‘Yes Jesus Last Baptist Church’, outside which Smiley (Roger Guenveur Smith) sells photos of Malcolm X, was another bit of fakery – a false front added to 184 Stuyvesant Avenue.
A few doors along from Mookie, Mother Sister (Ruby Dee) sits in her window at 167 Stuyvesant Avenue, keeping a watchful eye on the neighbourhood.
And on the other side of the street, 174 Stuyvesant Avenue was turned into the studio of ‘FM 108 We Love Radio’, from which DJ Mister Señor Love Daddy (Samuel L Jackson) broadcasts, though it seems to have been remodeled a little since 1989.