6.9/10
17,964
102 user 34 critic

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.

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Writers:

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Ouisa
... Paul
... Flan
... Geoffrey
... Kitty
... Larkin
... Dr. Fine
... Trent
... Elizabeth
... Rick
... Ben
... Woody (as Osgood Perkins)
... Tess
... Doug (as Jeffrey Abrams)
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:

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Details

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Release Date:

8 December 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Seis Graus de Separação  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$6,410,676
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Meryl Streep was interested in playing the lead because she liked the play, and she had worked with Fred Schepisi on Plenty (1985) and A Cry in the Dark (1988). See more »

Goofs

Paul says that Sidney Poitier was born on the 24th of February, 1927. He was actually born on February 20th. 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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Connections

References Blackboard Jungle (1955) See more »

Soundtracks

Try to Remember
by Harvey Schmidt
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

This was a brilliant play
14 August 2003 | by See all my reviews

I saw Stockard Channing do this play on Broadway, and it remains one of the best theater experiences ever. It's really the story of her character Ouisa gradually seeing that her life is just pretty surfaces, and in meeting this young con-man with whom she makes an intense emotional connection, that she wants more than her marriage, her friends, her life. The dialogue goes like the wind and you barely get a chance to catch your breath; some of the dialogue is spoken as a soliloquy. It's John Guare's mastery of the language at its best, better than "The House of Blue Leaves." I'm much more of a movie person than a theater person, but this play really sang.

Unfortunately the translation to film is only partially successful. Whereas the play is a spoken confessional of Oiusa Kitteridge, the movie emphasizes Paul (Will Smith). Smith does a good-to-great job with this character. The transition from a verbal to a visual medium robs the language of much of its power, and rather than re-write it as a movie, it's sort of a 'half-transition,' which doesn't really please anyone. The other problem I had with it was Donald Sutherland; who wasn't half-bad. But John Cunningham, who played the role on Broadway, was sharper, harder, a GAMBLER...Sutherland just comes across as a nice guy that gets a bit upset that he's been conned. And the emotional blow that comes at the end of the play when you realize that Oiusa's perfect marriage is falling apart just doesn't come across.

Still fascinating for its premise and worth a look; even this watered-down version never fails to entertain.


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