On this day in comedy on August 8, 1986 She’s Gotta Have It was released by Island Pictures.
This first film written and directed by Spike Lee, starred Tracy Camilla Johns, Tommy Redmond Hicks and John Canada Terrell. Ernest Dickerson was the cinematographer and S. Epatha Merkerson appeared as a doctor.
The film is about the sexual exploits of a freak in Brooklyn. She has 3 boyfriends who possess three distinctly different personalities. While Jamie (Hicks) is a nice guy and Greer is vain pretty boy, Mars (Spike Lee) is a goof-off, but a funny one. Nola (Johns) is running it like a man and that’s the way she likes it. Too bad for the guys, who each want her for himself and only him.
Shot in 12 days on a budget of $175,000 and grossing $7,137,502, She’s Gotta Have It was heralded by The New York Times as ushering in the independent film movement of the 1980s. It was also a departure from the Blaxploitation images of blacks in major motion pictures; economically and socially. The characters in this Lee maiden voyage are buppies not pimps, hos and hustlers.
She’s Gotta Have It won Spike Lee multiple awards. At the 1986 Cannes Film Festival – “Award of the Youth” Foreign Film, Spike Lee won. At the 1986 Los Angeles Film Critics Awards – “New Generation Award”, Spike Lee won and he also won Best First Feature at the 1987 Independent Spirit Awards.
By Darryl “D’Militant” Littleton
Check out this clip: