I am one of the many columnist-critics who regard Spike Lee‘s Do The Right Thing as one of the finest films of the ’80s. I have it ranked sixth on my current ’80s roster. I decided that the instant that Mookie threw that garbage can through Sal’s Bed-Stuy pizza parlor window. It therefore comes as no surprise to me or anyone else that World of Reel‘s Jordan Ruimy announced yesterday that Do The Right Thing was the #1 choice among over 200 critics.
If this or that critic insists that Lee’s film is the best of the Reagan decade, fine. Ditto others choosing Platoon or Local Hero or The King of Comedy or Prince of the City or Raging Bull. Or HE going with Risky Business. Whatever. But when you hear that Do The Right Thing topped “almost half the lists,” as Ruimy puts it, one can at least wonder why. Most of us agree that people (and especially critics) tend to judge films according to whatever cultural winds may be blowing at a given moment, and right now Spike’s 1989 film seems to fit right in.
Ruimy: “Lee’s film no doubt benefited from an abundance of relevance over the past year in a socially and politically tumultuous America dominated by racial issues.”
HE ’80s faves: Risky Business, The Hidden, Drugstore Cowboy, Raging Bull, Local Hero, Do The Right Thing, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Prince of the City, Blue Velvet, Platoon.
#11 through #16: Full Metal Jacket, Scarface, Thief, Lost in America, Die Hard and Aliens.