The Sixth Sense (1999) Poster


Jump to: Director Cameo (1) | Director Trademark (3) | Spoilers (6)
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."
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.
According to M. Night Shyamalan, Donnie Wahlberg lost 43 pounds for the role.
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).
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.
The movie's line "I see dead people" was voted as the #100 of "The 100 Greatest Movie Lines" by Premiere in 2007.
Filmed in sequence.
On the Vista Series DVD, if the Main Menu is left idle long enough, a discordant note will play as a ghost walks past the breakfast table on the screen.
M. Night Shyamalan wrote the role of Malcolm Crowe with Bruce Willis in mind.
The movie's line "I see dead people." was voted as the #44 movie quote by the American Film Institute (out of 100).
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.
The movie was rented by 80 million people in 2000 - making it the year's top-rated tape and DVD title.
This was the first of two movies that Bruce Willis owed Disney after he caused another production, "The Broadway Brawler", to be shut down due to him firing the director. He also was paid $10 million, half of his usual salary at the time.
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."
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).
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, O Lord." These are the first few words of Psalm 130 in the Book of Psalms.
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.
M. Night Shyamalan pitched the film as a cross between The Exorcist (1973) and Ordinary People (1980).
Opened on M. Night Shyamalan's birthday.
Cole and Vincent both have a patch of grey/white hair. They are both on the right side of their heads, Vincent's to the side and Cole's behind the ear.
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Although Cole is supposed to be 9, Haley Joel Osment was actually 11.
Liam Aiken turned down the role of Cole Sear.
ESP ability was first discovered by American botanist Joseph Banks Rhine in 1931 when he experimented with Adam Linzmayer, an economics undergraduate at Duke University.
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Director Cameo 

M. Night Shyamalan:  Dr. Hill, who examines Cole Sear after the "accident" at the birthday party.

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.
M. Night Shyamalan:  [twist ending] 
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M. Night Shyamalan:  [Home Invasion]  Vincent's entering Crowe's apartment at the beginning.


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

In the scene when Cole says the famous line "I see dead people", the camera does a closeup on Bruce Willis face. Producer Frank Marshall was worried that might have given the game away. It implied that Malcolm was a dead person. Fortunately, none of the audiences in the test screenings or afterwards picked up on it.
While circling a passage in the notes, Bruce Willis does so with his right hand. Willis is actually left-handed; he learned how to write right-handed so that viewers wouldn't notice that his wedding band was no longer on his hand. Willis also draws the circle clockwise (like a left-handed person would), while most right-handed people would draw it counter-clockwise.
According to M. Night Shyamalan, the movie was inspired by an episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark? (1990) called Are You Afraid of the Dark?: The Tale of the Dream Girl (1994) directed by David Winning in which leading characters are ignored by somebody and don't realize that they are dead until the final moment. In The Tale of the Dream Girl, a brother discovers that only his sister can see him and she ultimately shows him his own obituary.
M. Night Shyamalan deliberately used the color red to depict when the world of the living and the world of the dead would crossover. If red was in a scene where that was not the case, he would change it. The door to the church where Cole and Malcolm first interact is red, and the statue Cole takes from the church has a red robe. The doorknob to Malcolm's basement is red. Cole's school uniform jacket is reddish (maroon); he is often approached by the dead people while at school and/or wearing his uniform. Anna wears a red dress at the restaurant where Malcolm is late for their anniversary. When Malcolm is watching his wife Anna in the shower and notices her prescription in the cabinet, it's in a reddish-brown container. Lynn Sear's nail polish is red when she is pointing out the white spots (ghosts) on all the pictures of Cole in the hallway. Cole's 'free association' writing is in red ink; the writing presumably records things he's heard from the dead. At the birthday party all the visible balloons are pastel-colored, except for the red balloon that floats up the stairway and leads Cole to the small closet. Cole is wearing a red sweater when he is attacked by the spirit in the closet. Cole's blanket at the hospital is reddish (pink) when he confesses to Malcolm that he sees dead people. The birthday gift Anna gives to Sean is in a red box and she is wearing red when the two of them embrace and Malcolm breaks the shop door. When Malcolm listens to a taped session with Vincent, as he turns up the cassette recorder volume the control numbers go from white to red. Kyra Collins appears in Cole's fort, and the blanket covering it is red. The box containing Kyra's VHS tape is trimmed in red and has a red-lined interior. The outfit worn by Mrs. Collins at Kyra's wake is bright red, and she is the only person wearing a bright color. In the video, the soup Mrs. Collins brings to Kyra is tomato soup, and the bottle of pine cleaner Mrs. Collins adds to the soup has a red cap on it. The bicyclist Cole sees next to the car is wearing a red helmet. The blanket that Anna Crowe covers herself with while watching the wedding video is red.
Thoughout the movie, we never see Malcolm (Bruce Willis) drive anywhere. He and Cole are always either walking or taking a bus. This could be a clue that Malcolm is actually dead.
The soundtrack release of the movie gives away the ending. The final song on the CD is titled Malcolm is dead.
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