*** #40, "Fight The Power"
** AFIS100Years100Movies10THAnniversaryEdition: #96
* CastingGag: Buggin' Out, who says Sal is racist for not putting any black people on his Italian-American exclusive "Wall of Fame" is played by Creator/GiancarloEsposito, who is himself half-black, half-Italian American.
* DoingItForTheArt: Creator/SpikeLee funded the entire film himself by maxing out his credit cards, surely as a way to maintain creative control over a film with such a personal, controversial subject.
** John Turturro (an Italian-American), actually playing... an Italian![[note]]He's frequently cast as [[FakeNationality Latinos]][[/note]]
** Who knew [[Series/BreakingBad Gus]] could be such a loudmouth?
** Mookie's sister Jade is played by Creator/SpikeLee's real-life sister Joie.
** Rick Aiello, who played Officer Long, is the real life son of Danny Aiello, who played Sal in the film.
** Ossie Davis and wife Ruby Dee, as Da Mayor and Mother Sister.
** The key scene when Danny Aiello and John Turturro talk alone in the restaurant booth was partly improvised. The scripted scene ended as the character Smiley approached the window. Everything after that until the end of the scene was completely ad-libbed.
** All of the scenes of the corner men were improvised.
* UnintentionalPeriodPiece: Radio Raheem seems to do nothing but walk around carrying a boombox blaring Music/PublicEnemy's "Fight the Power", and there are references to several contemporary well-publicized hate crimes, making it a perfect period piece of its late '80s release date (it was released in 1989).
** Creator/SpikeLee's first choice for Sal was Creator/RobertDeNiro, who turned it down because he felt the role was too similar to ones he had played in the past. Creator/MattDillon was also Lee's first choice for Pino.
** Creator/JamesEarlJones was offered to play the role as Da Mayor, but turned it down in favour of ''Film/TheBestOfTheBest''.
** The character [[InspirationallyDisabled Smiley]] was not originally in the script, but Lee added him after when his actor, Roger Guenveur Smith requested a role in his film.
** Creator/LaurenceFishburne was offered but turned down the role of Love Daddy.
** Creator/WesleySnipes turned down a role in the film in order to star in ''Film/MajorLeague''.
** [[spoiler: In the original scripted ending, Sal and Mookie reconcile. Sal, although upset, tells Mookie that he understands that Mookie had to do the right thing. Creator/SpikeLee changed the ending during filming and has never explained why he did]].
* UsefulNotes/BarackObama and his future first lady Michelle saw this film on their first date.