- Rated: R
- Run Time: 1 hours, 24 minutes
- Video: Black & White / Color
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Released: January 15, 2008
- Originally Released: 1986
- Label: MGM (Video & DVD)
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
- Aspect Ratio: Widescreen - 1.66
- Dolby Digital 5.1 - English
- Mono - English
- Subtitles - English, French, Spanish - Optional
- Additional Release Material:
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Memorable Quotes and Dialog:
"Please, baby-baby-baby, please!"
- Mars Blackmon (Spike Lee), to Nola (Tracy Camila Johns) upon being dumped
New York Times - 08/08/1986
"...The film probes important and intriguing questions....It has a power..."
Variety - 03/26/1986
"...[Lee displays] exemplary depth and talent....[The] camerawork of Ernest Dickerson is most impressive and stylish..."
Los Angeles Times - 08/21/1986
"...A joyfully idiosyncratic little jazz-burst of a film, full of sensuous melody, witty chops and hot licks..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 08/21/1992
"...For all the laughs and sweet moments it provides, this film forces its audience to consider rather than drool over the subject of sex..."
Total Film - 07/01/2006
3 stars out of 5 -- "[The script] crackles with energy and sex, Ernest Dickerson's camerawork is fluid and assured and the smoky score sets a laconic rhythm."
SHE'S GOTTA HAVE IT formally introduced the name Spike Lee to audiences all over the world. The film, an intelligent comedy shot in black-and-white with one sequence of color, places--for among the first time--a young, bright African-American woman in the cinematic spotlight. Nola Darling (Tracy Camila Johns) is an attractive young woman with a problem--three problems to be exact. She is simultaneously being wooed by three hopeful, but hopeless, male suitors: Jamie (Tommy Redmond Hicks), a sensitive type who wants to settle down with her; Greer (John Canada Terrell), a narcissistic model who sees her as his trophy; and Mars Blackmon (Lee himself), an aggressive and funny bike messenger who makes her laugh. Nola is attracted to the best in each of them, but is unable to make up her mind as to whom she likes best. She even entertains the notion that something may be wrong with her, thinking perhaps she's oversexed. When a visit to a therapist fails to clear her mind, Nola finally comes to the realization that she must take control of her life. Lee's feature-length debut features a lush jazz score by his father, Bill Lee, and demonstrates a witty, distinctive style. The critical success of the film paved the way for a new generation of independent African-American filmmakers to begin to be recognized by Hollywood on their own terms.
Spike Lee's first feature--an appealing comedy that evokes the style of Woody Allen yet bears its own, unique stamp--evolves around the life of Nola Darling (Tracy Camila Johns) an independent and sexy young African-American woman, and her simultaneous romantic entanglements with three men (one of whom--Mars Blackmon-- is played by Lee). The director's father, Bill Lee, provides a seductive jazz score for this winning debut that put Spike Lee on the filmmaking map.
Essential Cinema |
- Theatrical Release: August 20, 1986
- SHE'S GOTTA HAVE IT was shot in Super-16mm--in black-and-white, with one color sequence--on location in New York, New York.
- The film's estimated budget was $175,000.
- The film screened at the 1986 Cannes Film Festival.
- Actor Tracy Camilla Johns was a member of the Negro Ensemble Company prior to her performance in SHE'S GOTTA HAVE IT.
- The film begins with a quote from African-American writer Zora Neale Hurston. Lee was to continue this practice, referencing quotes from other African-American figures in his later films--for example, he quotes Malcolm X and Martin Luther King in DO THE RIGHT THING.
- SHE'S GOTTA HAVE IT is writer/director Spike Lee's feature film debut. His hour-long thesis JOE'S BED-STUY BARBERSHOP: WE CUT HEADS, which he made at New York University's Graduate Film program, won several awards, including a Student Academy Award. The favorable publicity it earned gave Lee enough momentum to find financial backing for SHE'S GOTTA HAVE IT.
- Lee received funding for SHE'S GOTTA HAVE IT from, among other sources, the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York Foundation of the Arts, the Jerome Foundation, the Brooklyn Arts Cultural Association, and the Black Film-Maker Foundation.
- Reginald Hudlin, who plays a brief bit part in the film, is also a director whose credits include HOUSE PARTY and BOOMERANG.
- In February 2001, Spike Lee told USA Weekend, "When I started, Michael Schultz was the only black director working. You had Richard Pryior and Eddie Murphy. That was it. It was HOLLYWOOD SHUFFLE and SHGI [SHE'S GOTTA HAVE IT] that really changed the landscape. That's when you had a lot more black films being made."