Do the Right Thing Scene Analysis Essay

Do the Right Thing Scene Analysis Essay

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Do the Right Thing is a dramatic comedic film that was directed by Spike Lee. The movie was released in 1989. Lee served in three capacities for the film: writer, director and producer of the movie, Ernest Dickenson was the cinematographer and Barry Alexander Brown was the film’s editor. For this film, Lee garnered together some notable actors and actresses, including Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis, Rosie Perez, Samuel L. Jackson, John Tuturro and Martin Lawrence. The setting of the movie is in Bedford-Stuyvesant; which is a neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York. This particular neighborhood is made up of several ethnic groups that include African Americas, Italians, Koreans, and Puerto Ricans. The movie takes place on a particularly hot day during the summer time. The extreme heat causes tensions between the different races in the neighborhood. In this paper, I will attempt to show how mise-en-scène, camera work, editing, and sound are used to convey “explicit” and “implicit” meaning in one scene in Do the Right Thing.
The scene that I will be analyzing takes place towards the end of the movie in which all the racial tensions that were boiling over erupted like a volcano and spewed out. This particular scene is about five minutes in length and is composed of about 25 shots. It takes place at the end of the day after Sal’s Famous Pizzeria has closed. We see that the pizzeria is closed and Sal is having a conversation with his sons Vito and Pino about him wanting to change the name of his store to Sal and Son’s Pizzeria. He also tells Mookie, “You are like a son to me.” The suddenly we here banging on the door, it’s the neighborhood kids wanting to get a slice of pizza. Although the pizzeria is closed, Sal tells a reluctant Mookie...

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...xt shot we observe them on the outside, for this Brown uses a straight cut rather than a jump cut to promote continuity into the next scene. All the scenes in the movie including this one take places in chronological order in a linear fashion. The editor also uses reverse angle cutting as well.
In the end, this particular scene of Do Right Thing, has both implicit and explicit meanings.

Work Cited
Do the Right Thing. Dir. Spike Lee. Perf. Danny Aiello, John Turturro, Giancarlo Esposito, Martin Lawrence, Bill Nunn, Richard Edson, Roger Guenveur Smith and Spike Lee. Forty Acres and a Mule Filmworks.1989. Streaming (Netflix)
“Do the Right Thing.” Internet Movie Database, n.d. Web. 23 Apr. 2011. <>
Stanley, Robert H. The Movie Idiom: Film as a Popular Art Form. Illinois: Waveland Press, Inc. 2011. Print

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