Cinema: Hot Time in Bed-Stuy Tonight

DO THE RIGHT THING Directed and Written by Spike Lee

On the hottest day of the year, good people can do bad things. Especially in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn's black ghetto where the crime rate sizzles and hopes evaporate in the summer glare. Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing is the story of a day in the death of the American Dream.

The day starts calmly enough, as if the people on Lee's Stuyvesant Avenue are the cheerful graduating class of Sesame Street. Da Mayor (Ossie Davis) spreads inebriated wisdom, Uncle Remus-style. Sal (Danny Aiello), the Italian American who runs the corner pizzeria,...

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