6.9/10
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Six Degrees of Separation (1993)

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An affluent New York couple finds their lives touched, intruded upon, and compelled by a mysterious young black man who is never quite who he says he is.

Director:

Fred Schepisi

Writers:

John Guare (play), John Guare (screenplay)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Stockard Channing ... Ouisa
Will Smith ... Paul
Donald Sutherland ... Flan
Ian McKellen ... Geoffrey
Mary Beth Hurt ... Kitty
Bruce Davison ... Larkin
Richard Masur ... Dr. Fine
Anthony Michael Hall ... Trent
Heather Graham ... Elizabeth
Eric Thal ... Rick
Anthony Rapp ... Ben
Oz Perkins ... Woody (as Osgood Perkins)
Catherine Kellner ... Tess
J.J. Abrams ... Doug (as Jeffrey Abrams)
Joe Pentangelo Joe Pentangelo ... Police Officer
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Storyline

New Yorkers Ouisa and Flan Kittredge are upper class private art dealers, pretentious but compassionate. Their prized possession is a double sided Kandinsky, one side that represents control, the other side chaos. They relay a story to their friends and acquaintances that over time becomes legendary. It is their encounter with a young black man who they had never met or heard of but who comes stumbling upon their front door one evening as they are courting an important investor, Geoffrey Miller, who could make them wealthy beyond what they could have dreamed. That black man is Paul Poitier, who has just arrived in the city, was just mugged outside their building and is sporting a minor knife wound to the abdomen. He is a friend of the Kittredge's children, who are attending Harvard, but more importantly is the son of actor/director Sidney Poitier. Tomorrow, Paul is meeting up with his father who is in town directing a movie of "Cats". Beyond the attraction of talking Paul into getting... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

For Paul, every person is a new door to a new world.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 December 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Seis Graus de Separação See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$6,410,676
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Will Smith's character in the film passes himself off as Sidney Poitier's son. In real life, when Smith met Poitier for the first time, the veteran actor said, "well, you're almost handsome enough to be my son." See more »

Goofs

Paul's position when talking about the huskey statue changes between shots. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Flan: My God!
Ouisa: Is anything gone?
Flan: How can I look, I'm shaking!
Ouisa: I want to know if anything's gone!
Flan: Calm down.
Ouisa: We could have been killed! Oh, my God! The Kandinsky!
Flan: The Kandinsky!
Ouisa: It's gone, oh my God! Call the police!
Flan: Oh, no, there it is. Oh! The silver Victorian inkwell!
[...]
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Soundtracks

The American
Quartet #6 in F major, Op. 96
by Antonín Dvorák (as Antonin Dvorak)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
'I want life to be experiences, not just anecdotes'
7 October 2005 | by gradyharpSee all my reviews

SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION is an outstanding play transformed to the screen with dignity but with a script that keeps us in the live theatre instead of in a motion picture. Not that that is a bad thing: the script by John Guare is brilliant. It simply seems a little static, with its marvelous plays on words, repeated phrases, and disjointed movements significant unto themselves but not really taking advantage of cinematic possibilities of flow.

Essentially the tale of how a married couple who deal art (Stockard Channing and Donald Sutherland - both in peak form) are so caught up in their superficial lives that they are taken in by a handsome young African American con artist (Will Smith) whose various antics bring the couple round to reexamining their shallow existence. Most of the story is related over art dealings and dinner conversations and are peopled by such luminaries as Kitty Carlisle, Ian McKellen, artists Chuck Close and Kazuko, Mary Beth Hurt, Bruce Davidson etc - a really fine ensemble. There are many social comments clustered in this story and it continues to play well after its origins on the stage and fifteen years after the movie was made. This was one of Will Smith's entries into film as well as one of the gifted Stockard Channing's finest roles. Highly recommended for repeated viewings. Grady Harp


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