Do you remember the movie "Do the Right Thing?"

John Miller

Image: 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks

About This Quiz

In the heat of a summer day, the temperatures rise, and so do the tensions in a multi-ethnic city neighborhood. A violent confrontation ensues. How much do you remember about "Do the Right Thing"?

"Do the Right Thing" is an urban movie from 1989. Who has the starring role?

"Do the Right Thing" is an urban movie starring Spike Lee. Lee plays a young man by the name of Mookie.

Mookie is a young black man in a Puerto Rican neighborhood in which city?

Mookie live in the midst of the multicultural haven of Brooklyn, in New York City. But there's trouble brewing.

Mookie's occupation becomes a centerpiece of the storyline. What does he do for a living?

Mookie is a pizza delivery man who works for a long-established Brooklyn pizza joint. We are getting hungry just thinking about it.

Actor Danny Aiello plays the part of Salvatore Frangione. What's Sal doing with his life?

Sal is the man who owns the pizza joint. He's an Italian-American who's watched the neighborhood morph from a white-dominated area into a location with many minorities like Puerto Ricans and blacks.

How does Sal's son Pino feel about black people?

Sal's son Pino is a through-and-through racist. He despises blacks and wants to move the family restaurant to a whiter neighborhood.

What's Mookie's take on his pizza job?

Mookie is pretty unmotivated and isn't very concerned with trying to get ahead in life. This fact is a source of consternation to Tina, the mother of his young son.

The weather is a key plot point. What's the weather like in "Do the Right Thing"?

It's one of the hottest days of the year. All of the characters are outside on the street just trying to get by without suffering heat exhaustion.

A character named "Radio Raheem" wanders the neighborhood. He's always carrying which object?

Radio Raheem clearly loves his big boom box, because he carries it everywhere. He's always playing Public Enemy's "Fight the Power."

One character is nicknamed Smiley. What's Smiley's big challenge?

Smiley is a mentally-disabled man who roams the streets. He's often seen holding up pictures of famous civil rights leaders.

Another young black man, nicknamed "Buggin' Out," also wanders the neighborhood. He's very interested in which topic?

Buggin' Out is very interested in the concept of civil rights. He's continually engaging other residents in conversations about minority rights.

Buggin' Out enters Sal's pizza shop. What's he upset about?

Buggin' Out is angry that Sal's "Wall of Fame" has only pictures of white people. He thinks that the wall should have some pictures of black people, especially since most of Sal's profits come from local blacks.

How does Sal respond to Buggin' Out's demand that he put pictures of black icons on his wall?

Sal simply refuses Buggin' Out's demands. It's his restaurant, he's an Italian-American, and those are the kinds of people that he wants on his wall.

After Sal refuses to meet his demands, what does Buggin' Out do?

Buggin' Out is even angrier now that Sal has refused to budge on the picture issue. He tries (and fails) to start a boycott. None of the locals want to participate. They love the pizza too much.

How does Mookie react to the confrontation between Sal and Buggin' Out?

Mookie doesn't see any reason to escalate the confrontation. He pulls Buggin' Out aside and tells him to come back some other time.

During one famous scene, Pino and Mookie get into an argument about what topic?

Pino and Mookie have a loud verbal confrontation regarding race. Both men then utter hateful racist phrases directly into the camera.

Buggin' Out and Radio Raheem return to the pizza store and once again demand that Sal change the pictures. What does Sal do?

The two young men march into the shop, with Raheem's radio at full volume. Sal can't take any more of the conflict and the noise. He whips out a baseball bat and destroy's Raheem's boom box.

After Sal ruins Raheem's radio, a physical fight ensues and moves out into the streets. Where are the police?

The police arrive promptly and try to break up the confrontation. But things get out of control in a hurry.

After the police arrive, what happens?

The cops try to subdue the young black men, but there's a scuffle. One cop puts Raheem in a chokehold and kills him.

A crowd of locals witnesses Raheem's death. How do the people react?

The locals are furious about Raheem's unnecessary death. They begin murmuring amongst themselves maybe they should attack the pizza shop's owners.

Mookie doesn't want to see Sal's family attacked by an angry mob. How does he distract the mob?

In a desperate bid to distract the angry mob, Mookie shatters the restaurant's front window with a trash can. The mob then turns its fury on property instead of people.

What do the police officers do after they kill Raheem?

The two police officers see that they've just killed a black man in front of a black crowd. They hurriedly load Raheem's body in the squad car and then flee the area.

The angry mob moves down the street towards a Korean market. How does the owner drive them away?

The owner of the Korean market exclaims that he's not white and that he's actually black, just like the mob. They decide to move on, sparing his store.

During the confrontation, what does Smiley do?

Smiley, the kind but mentally-disabled man, is swept up in the mob mentality. He sets Sal's pizza store on fire.

Firefighters arrive on the scene to douse the flames in the pizza shop. What does the mob do?

The firefighters are just trying to do their jobs, but the mob is in the way. The situation continues to escalate in a bad way.

More police officers arrive and warn the mob to back away from the scene. Then what do the the firefighters do?

The police warned the crowd, but they didn't listen. They instruct the firefighters to turn their hoses on the mob, which only makes things worse.

What is Mookie doing during the rioting?

Mookie is in disbelief at the violent scene. All he can do is sit on the curb and try to make sense of it all.

As the building smolders, what does Smiley do?

In a moment of extreme symbolism, Smiley enters the ruins and hangs a picture of Malcolm X on the wall. Meanwhile, Sal looks at his ruined shop in despair.

As the mob finally calms down, what does Sal do to Mookie?

Sal is looking for a scapegoat, and he blames Mookie for triggering the riot because he tossed the garbage can through the window. He fires Mookie. Mookie demands the money that Sal owes him.

After a loud confrontation, how do things end with Sal and Mookie?

Sal and Mookie realize that their friendship is worth saving. Their reconcile near the ashes of Sal's store.

How does the movie end?

The movie concludes with two quotes, one from Martin Luther King, Jr. and one from Malcolm X. The former preaches non-violence; the latter concedes that sometimes violence is an intelligent response to threats.

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!

Explore More Quizzes