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The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

PG-13  |   |  Biography, Drama  |  15 December 2006 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 315,193 users   Metascore: 64/100
Reviews: 603 user | 198 critic | 36 from Metacritic.com

A struggling salesman takes custody of his son as he's poised to begin a life-changing professional endeavor.



(as Steven Conrad)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 12 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Christopher (as Jaden Christopher Syre Smith)
World's Greatest Dad
Chinese Maintenance Worker (as George K. Cheung)
David Michael Silverman ...
Doctor at First Hospital
Ferrari Owner
Joyful Raven ...


Based on a true story about a man named Christopher Gardner. Gardner has invested heavily in a device known as a "Bone Density scanner". He feels like he has made these devices. However, they do not sell as they are marginally better than the current technology at a much higher price. As Gardner tries to figure out how to sell them, his wife leaves him, he loses his house, his bank account, and credit cards. Forced to live out in the streets with his son, Gardner is now desperate to find a steady job; he takes on a job as a stockbroker, but before he can receive pay, he needs to go through 6 months of training, and to sell his devices. Written by John Wiggins

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

15 December 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Untitled Chris Gardner Project  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$55,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$26,541,709 (USA) (15 December 2006)


$162,586,036 (USA) (23 February 2007)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Jaden Smith, who plays Chris Gardner's son, is Will Smith's real-life son. Christopher is Jaden's middle name. See more »


When Chris is in the cab with Mr. Twistle solving the Rubik's Cube, the cab window behind him has a decal for a local radio station (KMEL) in the interior shots, but not the exterior shots. See more »


Christopher: What are you doing?
Christopher Gardner: Paying a parking ticket.
Christopher: ...But we don't have a car anymore.
Christopher Gardner: Yeah, I know...
See more »


Featured in 13th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards (2007) See more »


Bridge Over Troubled Water
Written by Paul Simon
Performed by Roberta Flack
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
By Arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Entertainment galore, plus inspiration for families, for entrepreneurs and for social action
15 December 2006 | by (Grand Rapids, Michigan) – See all my reviews

They just don't make many this good. The audience and I cried, laughed, cheered and applauded. The climactic scene is as powerful and cathartic as The Shawshank Redemption's golden moment. Will Smith is terrific, his son Jaden is just perfect, and Thandie Newton puts in a convincing supporting act. The movie's 1980s San Francisco is absorbing and authentic without stealing the show.

Best of all, if you are a thinker, this movie will challenge your visions of family, business and society. On one hand, the film reinforces the great American myth of the self-made man and equal opportunity. Myths are not necessarily false simply for being myths--we can make some of them true by choice, and our belief in this myth still helps make America great. Free-market capitalism is not the cure to all ills--surely it is the source of many ills--but it does open social doors that nothing else can even budge. On the other hand, if you can leave this movie without a burning indignation that any American child of any race should have to struggle just to have a place to sleep, you must be cynical indeed. This movie doesn't get on a soapbox, not even for a second--it just tells a real-life story that owns you before you know it.

I hope a few of us will let our motivations own us for years instead of hours after the movie's over.

223 of 274 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Was He A Bad Father? danmax67
Great film, illogical plot. Can somebody help me? zuhairi1994
On the test, why did Chris Gardener have an Essay Question? joshua_eash
Capitalist indoctrination? nandoflorestan
Hit by car high_society06
So he was like a telemarketer? zuckerkorn
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