Fanspot
Mookie's house

Movie Do the Right Thing (1989)
Mookie, a young pizza delivery boy, lives in a small house with his sister in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. A torn boy, trapped in the heat of New York...
173 Stuyvesant Avenue New York
173 Stuyvesant Avenue New York. Photo credit: Fantrippers

“I think there are plenty of good people in America, but there are also plenty of bad people in America and the bad ones are the ones who seem to have all the power and be in these positions to block things that you and I need.”

Malcolm X (quote used at the end of Do the Right Thing) by Spike Lee

In the film, Mookie lives in a house that is still standing today. As if time had stopped to allow this building to continue to keep alive the memory of this feature film, which was shot entirely on Stuyvesant Avenue, between Quincy Street and Lexington Avenue.

A seemingly modest shoot that upset the drug dealers operating in the area. So much so, that Spike Lee was encouraged to call on members of Fruit of Islam, a paramilitary branch of the Nation of Islam to keep them at bay.

For the purposes of the film, the team builds a real pizzeria from scratch on a vacant lot. The location has since been exploited by real estate developers, so while it’s impossible to sit down at Sal’s for a pizza, you can still immerse yourself in the remarkably preserved atmosphere of the feature film.

The city even decided in July 2015, on the twenty-fifth anniversary of its theatrical release, to rename part of Stuyvesant Avenue, Do the Right Thing Way. A memory of these eight weeks of filming that some locals are happy to tell tourists about.

It is also here that Spike Lee returns on April 22, 1989 with the rap group Public Enemy to film the video for Fight The Power, the main song of the soundtrack. The director thus shoots two versions of this video at the crossroads between the political rally and the live performance.

It was an opportunity for him to make the message of his committed book even clearer and to fuel an already heated controversy. Presented at Cannes, Do the Right Thing did not win any awards. Spike Lee, disappointed, left the festival prematurely. Only to return a few years later.

2

It took Spike Lee only two weeks to write the script for the film.

Mookie's house scene in Do the right thing
Mookie’s house scene in Do the right thing. Photo credit: 40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks.
Mookie's house scene in Do the right thing
Mookie’s house scene in Do the right thing. Photo credit: 40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks.

173 Stuyvesant Ave

A house that became a legend thanks to Spike Lee, that the city of New York has highlighted, like the rest of the street, renamed Do The Right Thing Way, for the 24th anniversary of the film.

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By Damien Duarte

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Passionné par la culture pop depuis son enfance, ses références vont de Donald Duck à Batman en passant par Marty McFly. Fantripper dans l'âme, voyager sur les traces de Ghostbusters, James Bond ou des héros de romans comme Cotton Malone font partie d'un séjour idéal et réussi !

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