The Sixth Sense
Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan
Produced by: Sam Mercer
Written by: M. Night Shyamalan
Cast: Bruce Willis
Haley Joel Osment
Toni Collette
Olivia Williams
Donnie Wahlberg
Release date August 6, 1999
Runtime: 107 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English
Ratings: US:Rating PG-13.gif; UK:15; Australia:M

The Sixth Sense is a 1999 film written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan about a troubled, isolated boy played by Haley Joel Osment, and a child psychologist, played by Bruce Willis, who tries to help him but is going through some personal troubles of his own. The film is set in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The movie was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Haley Joel Osment), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Toni Collette, who played Osment's mother) and Best Director (M. Night Shyamalan, who also wrote the story).

The film, with a budget of approximately $40 million, earned $293,501,675 in the United States and a worldwide gross of $672,806,292, making it the #22 on the list of box-office money earned in the U.S. as of December, 2005. It was the first and only film since Titanic to gross over $20 million for five consecutive weekends in North America.


Spoiler warning: The following contains plot details about
the entire movie.

Dr. Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis) is a prominent child psychologist, who in the opening scene, returns home one night with his wife from an event in which he was honored for his efforts with children. The two discover they are not alone, and a disturbed, nearly naked man (Donnie Wahlberg) appears in the doorway of their bathroom with a gun. He is upset that Crowe has not helped him, and Crowe realises that he is Vincent Gray, a former patient whom Crowe treated as a child for his hallucinations and delusions. He blames Malcolm for his inability to help him and shoots him in the stomach, and seconds later pulls the trigger on himself.

Months later, Malcolm returns to work with another frightened boy, 9-year old Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment), with a similar condition to Vincent. Malcolm becomes dedicated to this patient, though he is haunted by doubts over his ability to help him, after his failure with Vincent. Meanwhile, he begins to neglect his wife, Anna (Oliva Williams) with whom his relationship is falling apart. Malcolm earns Cole's trust and Cole ultimately confides in him that he is clairvoyant and can see dead people. Though Crowe is naturally skeptical at first, he eventually comes to believe that Cole is telling the truth, and that Vincent may also have had the same ability as Cole. He continues to help Cole by suggesting that Cole try to find a purpose with his gift, by trying to communicate with the ghosts, perhaps to help them on their journey by aiding them in their unfinished business on Earth. Cole attempts to communicate with the ghost of one girl who appears in his bedroom, and who appears to be sick. He finds out where the girl, Kyra Collins (Mischa Barton) lives, and going to her house, where a wake is being held for her, he discovers a videotape where Kyra told him to find it, and gives it to Kyra's father. Watching it, Kyra's father realizes that when she was bedridden with illness she had accidentally videorecorded her mother poisoning her food, which led to Kyra's death. Empowered now by his ability to use his gift to positive effect, Cole confesses his ability to his mother, Lynn (Toni Collette). Athough his mother is troubled by his story, Cole tells her that her mother (Cole's grandmother) went to see her perform in a dance recital one night when she was a child, though Lynn did not know this, because her grandmother stayed in the back of the audience where she could not be seen. Lynn accepts this as the truth, and her rapport with Cole is strengthened.

His faith in himself now restored as a result of his success with Cole, Crowe returns to his home, where he finds his wife sleeping on the couch, watching their old wedding video. A short 'conversation' with his sleeping wife follows, and it is then that the film's major plot twist is revealed: Crowe himself has in fact been dead all along, having died the night that Vincent shot him, and hence obviously why Cole could see him while his wife was seemingly distant.

Spoilers end here.

Cast members

  • Bruce Willis - Dr. Malcolm Crow
  • Haley Joel Osment - Cole Sear
  • Olivia Williams - Anna Crowe
  • Toni Collette - Lynn Sear
  • Glenn Fitzgerald - Sean
  • Donnie Wahlberg - Vincent Gray
  • Mischa Barton - Kyra Collins

Selected quotes

  • "I see dead people." - Haley Joel Osment as Cole Sear
  • "They see only what they want to see." - Osment as Cole Sear
  • "Look at my face; I was not thinking anything bad about you." - Toni Collette as Lynn Sear
  • "You failed me! You failed me!" - Donnie Wahlberg as Vincent Gray
  • "I think I'm okay really. I think it just went in and out. I... It doesn't even hurt anymore." - Bruce Willis as Malcolm Crowe
  • "...They don't see each other. They only see what they want to see. They don't know they're dead." - Osment as Cole Sear

In Popular culture

The film had a huge impact on popular culture, and the line "I see dead people" became a well-used catchphrase after the film's release.

  • A parody, "I see dumb people," was printed on t-shirts due to the excessive use of the original line. The line was one of the caveats of the horror spoof Scary Movie.
  • The line made the lore of Total Nonstop Action Wrestling when Planet Jarrett "buried" the careers of Team 3D in October 2005 (James Storm, before making a joke, said mock-frightened, "I hear dead people!").
  • In the 2002 film Undercover Brother, the title character (played by Eddie Griffin) undergoes a form of brainwashing by the Brotherhood (an African-American spy group) to absorb white culture go undercover in a white-owned company. After having to watch Riverdance, Major Dad, and Murder, She Wrote, Undercover Brother finally has a "caucasian overload" and whimpers "I see white people!"
  • That line had previously been invoked by Billy Crystal at the Academy Awards in the spring of 2000. In one of his sketches, the TV camera would zoom in on various celebrities in the audience, and Crystal would speak a joking line that was supposed to be what the actor was "really thinking". When the camera focused on Michael Clarke Duncan of The Green Mile, Crystal said, "I see white people!"
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This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at The Sixth Sense. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with MOVIEPEDIA, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.