Spike Lee

Spike Lee was born Shelton Lee in 1957, in Atlanta, Georgia. At a very young age, he moved from pre-civil rights Georgia, to Brooklyn, New York. Lee came from a proud and intelligent background. His father was a jazz musician, and his mother, a school teacher. His mother dubbed him Spike, due to his tough nature. He attended school in Morehouse College in Atlanta and developed his film making skills at Clark Atlanta University. After graduating, he went to the Tisch School of Arts graduate film program. He made a controversial short, The Answer (1980), a reworking of D.W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation (1915) -- a ten-minute film. Lee went on to produce a 45-minute film Joe's Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads (1983), which won a student academy award. Lee's next film, "The Messenger," in 1984, was somewhat biographical. In 1986, Spike Lee made the film, She's Gotta Have It (1986), a comedy about sexual relationships. The movie was made for 175,000 dollars, and made seven million. Since then, Lee has become a well-known, intelligent, and talented film maker. His next movie was School Daze (1988), which was set in a historically black school and focused mostly on the conflict between the school and the Fraternities, of which he was a strong critic, portraying them as materialistic, irresponsible, and uncaring. Lee went on to do his landmark film, Do the Right Thing (1989), a movie specifically about his own town in Brooklyn, New York. The movie portrayed a neighborhood ...

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Inside Man (2006)

BrilliantHeistBrainyMind blowing

When an armed, masked gang enter a Manhattan bank, lock the doors and take hostages, the detective assigned to effect their release enters negotiations preoccupied with corruption charges he is facing.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Spike Lee
CAST:  Denzel Washington  •  Jodie Foster  •  Clive Owen  •  Christopher Plummer

When an armed, masked gang enter a Manhattan bank, lock the doors and take hostages, the detective assigned to effect their release enters negotiations preoccupied with corruption charges he is facing.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Spike Lee
CAST:  Denzel Washington  •  Jodie Foster  •  Clive Owen  •  Christopher Plummer

25th Hour (2002)

DepressingHeartbreakingEmotionalThought provoking

In New York City in the days following the events of 9/11, Monty Brogan is a convicted drug dealer about to start a seven-year prison sentence, and his final hours of freedom are devoted to hanging out with his closest buddies and trying to prepare his girlfriend ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Spike Lee
CAST:  Edward Norton  •  Philip Seymour Hoffman  •  Barry Pepper  •  Rosario Dawson

In New York City in the days following the events of 9/11, Monty Brogan is a convicted drug dealer about to start a seven-year prison sentence, and his final hours of freedom are devoted to hanging out with his closest buddies and trying to prepare his girlfriend ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Spike Lee
CAST:  Edward Norton  •  Philip Seymour Hoffman  •  Barry Pepper  •  Rosario Dawson

Bamboozled (2000)

TV producer Pierre Delacroix becomes frustrated when network brass reject his sitcom idea. Hoping to get fired, Delacroix pitches the worst idea he can think of: a 21st century minstrel show. The network not only airs it, but it becomes a smash hit.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Spike Lee
CAST:  Damon Wayans  •  Savion Glover  •  Tommy Davidson  •  Jada Pinkett Smith

TV producer Pierre Delacroix becomes frustrated when network brass reject his sitcom idea. Hoping to get fired, Delacroix pitches the worst idea he can think of: a 21st century minstrel show. The network not only airs it, but it becomes a smash hit.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Spike Lee
CAST:  Damon Wayans  •  Savion Glover  •  Tommy Davidson  •  Jada Pinkett Smith

Clockers (1995)

Strike is a young city drug pusher under the tutelage of drug lord Rodney Little. When a night manager at a fast-food restaurant is found with four bullets in his body, Strike’s older brother turns himself in as the killer. Det. Rocco Klein doesn’t buy the story, ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Spike Lee
CAST:  Harvey Keitel  •  John Turturro  •  Delroy Lindo  •  Mekhi Phifer

Strike is a young city drug pusher under the tutelage of drug lord Rodney Little. When a night manager at a fast-food restaurant is found with four bullets in his body, Strike’s older brother turns himself in as the killer. Det. Rocco Klein doesn’t buy the story, ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Spike Lee
CAST:  Harvey Keitel  •  John Turturro  •  Delroy Lindo  •  Mekhi Phifer

Crooklyn (1994)

From Spike Lee comes this vibrant semi-autobiographical portrait of a school-teacher, her stubborn jazz-musician husband and their five kids living in '70s Brooklyn.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Spike Lee
CAST:  Alfre Woodard  •  Delroy Lindo  •  David Patrick Kelly  •  Zelda Harris

From Spike Lee comes this vibrant semi-autobiographical portrait of a school-teacher, her stubborn jazz-musician husband and their five kids living in '70s Brooklyn.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Spike Lee
CAST:  Alfre Woodard  •  Delroy Lindo  •  David Patrick Kelly  •  Zelda Harris

Do the Right Thing (1989)

Salvatore "Sal" Fragione is the Italian owner of a pizzeria in Brooklyn. A neighborhood local, Buggin' Out, becomes upset when he sees that the pizzeria's Wall of Fame exhibits only Italian actors. Buggin' Out believes a pizzeria in a black neighborhood should ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Spike Lee
CAST:  Ossie Davis  •  Danny Aiello  •  Giancarlo Esposito  •  Richard Edson

Salvatore "Sal" Fragione is the Italian owner of a pizzeria in Brooklyn. A neighborhood local, Buggin' Out, becomes upset when he sees that the pizzeria's Wall of Fame exhibits only Italian actors. Buggin' Out believes a pizzeria in a black neighborhood should ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Spike Lee
CAST:  Ossie Davis  •  Danny Aiello  •  Giancarlo Esposito  •  Richard Edson

Get on the Bus (1996)

Several Black men take a cross-country bus trip to attend the Million Man March in Washington, DC in 1995. On the bus are an eclectic set of characters including a laid-off aircraft worker, a man whose at-risk son is handcuffed to him, a black Republican, a former ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Spike Lee
CAST:  Ossie Davis  •  Charles S. Dutton  •  Andre Braugher  •  Richard Belzer

Several Black men take a cross-country bus trip to attend the Million Man March in Washington, DC in 1995. On the bus are an eclectic set of characters including a laid-off aircraft worker, a man whose at-risk son is handcuffed to him, a black Republican, a former ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Spike Lee
CAST:  Ossie Davis  •  Charles S. Dutton  •  Andre Braugher  •  Richard Belzer

Girl 6 (1996)

A struggling actress in New York City takes a job as a phone sex operator.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Spike Lee
CAST:  Theresa Randle  •  Isaiah Washington  •  Spike Lee  •  Jenifer Lewis

A struggling actress in New York City takes a job as a phone sex operator.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Spike Lee
CAST:  Theresa Randle  •  Isaiah Washington  •  Spike Lee  •  Jenifer Lewis

He Got Game (1998)

A basketball player's father must try to convince him to go to a college so he can get a shorter sentence.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Spike Lee
CAST:  Denzel Washington  •  Ray Allen  •  Milla Jovovich  •  Rosario Dawson

A basketball player's father must try to convince him to go to a college so he can get a shorter sentence.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Spike Lee
CAST:  Denzel Washington  •  Ray Allen  •  Milla Jovovich  •  Rosario Dawson

Hoop Dreams (1994)

EmotionalGrippingBrilliantReal

Every school day, African-American teenagers William Gates and Arthur Agee travel 90 minutes each way from inner-city Chicago to St. Joseph High School in Westchester, Illinois, a predominately white suburban school well-known for the excellence of its basketball ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Steve James
CAST:  William Gates  •  Arthur Agee  •  Steve James  •  Dick Vitale

Every school day, African-American teenagers William Gates and Arthur Agee travel 90 minutes each way from inner-city Chicago to St. Joseph High School in Westchester, Illinois, a predominately white suburban school well-known for the excellence of its basketball ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Steve James
CAST:  William Gates  •  Arthur Agee  •  Steve James  •  Dick Vitale

Jungle Fever (1991)

DepressingThought provokingRomanticHeartbreaking

A successful and married black man contemplates having an affair with a white girl from work. He's quite rightly worried that the racial difference would make an already taboo relationship even worse.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Spike Lee
CAST:  Spike Lee  •  Annabella Sciorra  •  Ruby Dee  •  John Turturro

A successful and married black man contemplates having an affair with a white girl from work. He's quite rightly worried that the racial difference would make an already taboo relationship even worse.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Spike Lee
CAST:  Spike Lee  •  Annabella Sciorra  •  Ruby Dee  •  John Turturro

Malcolm X (1992)

A tribute to the controversial black activist and leader of the struggle for black liberation. He hit bottom during his imprisonment in the '50s, he became a Black Muslim and then a leader in the Nation of Islam. His assassination in 1965 left a legacy of ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Spike Lee
CAST:  Denzel Washington  •  Angela Bassett  •  Albert Hall  •  Al Freeman, Jr.

A tribute to the controversial black activist and leader of the struggle for black liberation. He hit bottom during his imprisonment in the '50s, he became a Black Muslim and then a leader in the Nation of Islam. His assassination in 1965 left a legacy of ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Spike Lee
CAST:  Denzel Washington  •  Angela Bassett  •  Albert Hall  •  Al Freeman, Jr.

Mo' Better Blues (1990)

Opens with Bleek as a child learning to play the trumpet, his friends want him to come out and play but mother insists he finish his lessons. Bleek grows into adulthood and forms his own band - The Bleek Gilliam Quartet. The story of Bleek's and Shadow's friendly ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Spike Lee
CAST:  Denzel Washington  •  Spike Lee  •  Wesley Snipes  •  Giancarlo Esposito

Opens with Bleek as a child learning to play the trumpet, his friends want him to come out and play but mother insists he finish his lessons. Bleek grows into adulthood and forms his own band - The Bleek Gilliam Quartet. The story of Bleek's and Shadow's friendly ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Spike Lee
CAST:  Denzel Washington  •  Spike Lee  •  Wesley Snipes  •  Giancarlo Esposito

School Daze (1988)

Fraternity and sorority members clash with other students at a historically black college during homecoming weekend.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Spike Lee
CAST:  Laurence Fishburne  •  Joe Seneca  •  Giancarlo Esposito  •  Jasmine Guy

Fraternity and sorority members clash with other students at a historically black college during homecoming weekend.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Spike Lee
CAST:  Laurence Fishburne  •  Joe Seneca  •  Giancarlo Esposito  •  Jasmine Guy

She Hate Me (2004)

Fired from his job, a former executive turns to impregnating wealthy lesbians for profit.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Spike Lee
CAST:  Anthony Mackie  •  John Turturro  •  Kerry Washington  •  Woody Harrelson

Fired from his job, a former executive turns to impregnating wealthy lesbians for profit.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Spike Lee
CAST:  Anthony Mackie  •  John Turturro  •  Kerry Washington  •  Woody Harrelson

She's Gotta Have It (1986)

The story of Nola Darling's simultaneous sexual relationships with three different men is told by her and by her partners and other friends. All three men wanted her to commit solely to them; Nola resists being "owned" by a single partner.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Spike Lee
CAST:  Tracy Camilla Johns  •  Tommy Redmond Hicks  •  John Canada Terrell  •  Spike Lee

The story of Nola Darling's simultaneous sexual relationships with three different men is told by her and by her partners and other friends. All three men wanted her to commit solely to them; Nola resists being "owned" by a single partner.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Spike Lee
CAST:  Tracy Camilla Johns  •  Tommy Redmond Hicks  •  John Canada Terrell  •  Spike Lee

Street Fight (2005)

This documentary follows the 2002 mayoral campaign in Newark, New Jersey, in which a City Councilman, Cory Booker, attempted to unseat longtime mayor Sharpe James.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Marshall Curry
CAST:  Cory Booker  •  Spike Lee  •  Al Sharpton  •  Cornel West

This documentary follows the 2002 mayoral campaign in Newark, New Jersey, in which a City Councilman, Cory Booker, attempted to unseat longtime mayor Sharpe James.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Marshall Curry
CAST:  Cory Booker  •  Spike Lee  •  Al Sharpton  •  Cornel West

The Original Kings of Comedy (2000)

The Original Kings of Comedy achieves the seemingly impossible task of capturing the rollicking and sly comedy routines of stand-up and sitcom vets Steve Harvey, D.L. Hughley, Cedric the Entertainer, and Bernie Mac and the magic of experiencing a live concert show. ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Spike Lee
CAST:  Steve Harvey  •  D. L. Hughley  •  Cedric the Entertainer  •  Bernie Mac

The Original Kings of Comedy achieves the seemingly impossible task of capturing the rollicking and sly comedy routines of stand-up and sitcom vets Steve Harvey, D.L. Hughley, Cedric the Entertainer, and Bernie Mac and the magic of experiencing a live concert show. ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Spike Lee
CAST:  Steve Harvey  •  D. L. Hughley  •  Cedric the Entertainer  •  Bernie Mac

When We Were Kings (1996)

It's 1974. Muhammad Ali is 32 and thought by many to be past his prime. George Foreman is ten years younger and the heavyweight champion of the world. Promoter Don King wants to make a name for himself and offers both fighters five million dollars apiece to fight ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Leon Gast
CAST:  Muhammad Ali  •  George Foreman  •  Don King  •  James Brown

It's 1974. Muhammad Ali is 32 and thought by many to be past his prime. George Foreman is ten years younger and the heavyweight champion of the world. Promoter Don King wants to make a name for himself and offers both fighters five million dollars apiece to fight ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Leon Gast
CAST:  Muhammad Ali  •  George Foreman  •  Don King  •  James Brown

Summer of Sam (1999)

Spike Lee's take on the "Son of Sam" murders in New York City during the summer of 1977 centering on the residents of an Italian-American South Bronx neighborhood who live in fear and distrust of one another.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Spike Lee
CAST:  John Leguizamo  •  Adrien Brody  •  Mira Sorvino  •  Jennifer Esposito

Spike Lee's take on the "Son of Sam" murders in New York City during the summer of 1977 centering on the residents of an Italian-American South Bronx neighborhood who live in fear and distrust of one another.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Spike Lee
CAST:  John Leguizamo  •  Adrien Brody  •  Mira Sorvino  •  Jennifer Esposito
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