The Sixth Sense

The Sixth Sense is a 1999 American psychological thriller film, written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan. It tells the story of Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment), a troubled, isolated boy who is able to see and talk to the dead, and an equally troubled child psychologist (Bruce Willis) who tries to help him. The film established Shyamalan as a writer and director, and introduced the cinema public to his signatures, most notably his affinity for twist endings. The film was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture.


M. Night Shyamalan pitched the film as a cross between The Exorcist (1973) and Ordinary People (1980).

Director Trademark: [M. Night Shyamalan] [twist ending]

Director Trademark: [M. Night Shyamalan] [Home Invasion] Vincent’s entering Crowe’s apartment at the beginning.

The movie’s line “I see dead people” was voted as the #100 of “The 100 Greatest Movie Lines” by Premiere in 2007.

The movie was rented by 80 million people in 2000 – making it the year’s top-rated tape and DVD title.

Filmed in sequence.

The voice on the tape of Vincent’s session is speaking Spanish, the person is saying: “Please, I don’t want to die Lord, save me, save me.”

Is one of only four horror films to receive an Oscar nomination for Best Picture; the other three were The Exorcist (1973), Jaws (1975), and The Silence of the Lambs (1991).

Liam Aiken turned down the role of Cole Sear.

Director Cameo: [M. Night Shyamalan] Dr. Hill, who examines Cole Sear after the “accident” at the birthday party.

Opened on M. Night Shyamalan’s birthday.

Director Trademark: [M. Night Shyamalan] [car accident] Cole tells his mother about his powers while they’re stuck in traffic because of a car accident.

When Cole and his mother are sitting in the kitchen, there is a glass on the table that you can only get in Philadelphia. It originally comes filled with Penn Maid sour cream which is not readily available anywhere else.

Reputedly, Haley Joel Osment got the role of Cole Sear for one of three reasons: First, he was best for it. Second, he was the only boy at auditions who wore a tie. Third, M. Night Shyamalan was surprised when he asked Haley Joel Osment if he read his part. Osment replied, “I read it three times last night.” Shyamalan was impressed saying, “Wow, you read your part three times?” To which Osment replied, “No, I read *the script* three times.”

According to M. Night Shyamalan, Donnie Wahlberg lost 43 pounds for the role.

The movie’s line “I see dead people.” was voted as the #44 movie quote by the American Film Institute (out of 100).

The Latin phrase Cole speaks in the church when he first meets Malcolm: “De profundis clamo ad te domine” translates to “Out of the depths, I cry to you, Oh Lord.” These are the first few words of Psalm 130 in the Book of Psalms.

In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked this as the #89 Greatest Movie of All Time. This was one of the newest entries on the list (from films which were released between 1997 and 2005).

Toni Collette has said that she was so moved by the emotional resonance of the story whilst filming, she didn’t even realize it was a horror film until after its release.

M. Night Shyamalan wrote the role of Malcolm Crowe with Bruce Willis in mind.

A lot of the members of M. Night Shyamalan family are doctors. This is the reason why he cameos as a doctor, as a tribute to his family.

Although Cole is supposed to be 9, Haley Joel Osment was actually 11.

While in New York auditioning for Bringing Out the Dead (1999), Toni Collette also auditioned for this film as an afterthought. She said the scene in the car toward the end of the film, which was the audition scene, was the scene that really drew her to the film.

Filed under: GoreMaster 100 Films

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