Jungle Fever (1991) - IMDb
Friends and family of a married black architect react in different ways to his affair with an Italian secretary.


Spike Lee


Spike Lee
6 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Wesley Snipes ... Flipper Purify
Annabella Sciorra ... Angie Tucci
Spike Lee ... Cyrus
Ossie Davis ... The Good Reverend Doctor Purify
Ruby Dee ... Lucinda Purify
Samuel L. Jackson ... Gator Purify
Lonette McKee ... Drew
John Turturro ... Paulie Carbone
Frank Vincent ... Mike Tucci
Anthony Quinn ... Lou Carbone
Halle Berry ... Vivian
Tyra Ferrell ... Orin Goode
Veronica Webb ... Vera
Veronica Timbers Veronica Timbers ... Ming
David Dundara David Dundara ... Charlie Tucci


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. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sensuality, strong language, drug content, and for violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


During a scuffle in Paulie's (John Turturro) store, a man can be seen reading a newspaper with a front headline that reads "Doin' The Right Thing". This is a reference to Do the Right Thing (1989), also written and directed by Spike Lee. See more »


At the start of the film, Flipper Purify tells his boss that he objects to having a white secretary, and instead demands "a woman of color." That would have resulted in his dismissal, especially in a New York City company. Such a demand would have been in open violation of local, state and federal civil rights laws banning discrimination in hiring based on race. See more »


Gator Purify: [Gator is dancing with his mother, trying to butter her up] Hey pretty lady, you remember me?
Lucinda Purify: Say what you have to say, and go, before your father comes back!
Gator Purify: What's the matter? You don't like my dancing anymore? You usually offer to cook me something to eat.
Lucinda Purify: I ain't playin' with you Gator! Say what you have to say and go. And if it's money then forget it!
[loosens herself from his grip]
Lucinda Purify: The answer is no!
Gator Purify: Momma, you gotta help me out. I'm sick. In order for me to get right, I need money!
Lucinda Purify: You'd feel a ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The film's title logo appears as closing credits finish See more »


Can't Do Nothin' for Ya Man
Written by Flavor Flav (as William Drayton), Keith Shocklee and Eric Sadler
Courtesy of Def American Songs, Inc. and Your Mother's Music, BMI
Performed by Public Enemy
Courtesy of Def Jam / Columbia Records
by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

User Reviews

Raises questions
5 April 2004 | by QueenMakeda84See all my reviews

I love Spike Lee, I really do. He forces people to take a look at social situations as more than culture and things people do. He's more along the lines of why do we do what we do? His films have a distinct black voice, but provides angles from other ethnicities as well, I love that about him. He's not particularly one-sided about anything. I've always heard about this movie growing up, but never have I seen it. Well, BET decided it was time I should and showed it last Friday. I liked the way it was directed, but something about the film puzzles me. They went through all that without ever really having a yen for each other? He destroyed his marriage over a curiosity? I guess that's life, but it still unnerves me and doesn't flow with the film. Added to that, Flipper is/was staunchly pro-black, but I guess that's to show that even someone like him could dip to the other side. It was obviously a social issue of the early 90's and why successful black men decide it's time to trade up when they've made it. Apparently they think it's ok if they have enough money and that the world has changed enough that people will allow it. Personally, nothing has changed in some 40 odd years for a black men to think America's ok with him dating a white woman. Kobe's case has proved that and so did the scene where they were playing around and wrestling and someone called the cops on him cuz they thought he was raping her. Black men need to understand that the history of romantic race relations is this: White women were put on a pedestal as the epitome of beauty, desire, and purity. Black people were always the antithesis of that, but white men could jump back and forth as they pleased with no detriment to their character. Even in 2004, that mentality has a hard time going away. I liked that Flipper's father in the movie expounded upon that. Things haven't changed that much and Spike took that and ran with it to show it visually. The acting was very good for this film, because they didn't necessarily have to be, but they were great. The movie was clear, the music was cleverly applied in the right places. The scene with the women arguing about what it does to them to see black men with white women was brilliant. It seems quasi-feminist at the same time. It just has every approach and I love it. Great movie!

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Release Date:

7 June 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Jungle Fever See more »


Box Office


$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,332,860, 9 June 1991

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby SR



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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