6.8/10
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105 user 38 critic

Six Degrees of Separation (1993)

Trailer
1:39 | Trailer
An affluent New York City 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 ... Police Officer
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Storyline

New Yorkers Louisa "Ouisa" Kittredge (Stockard Channing) and John Flanders "Flan" Kittredge (Donald Sutherland) are upper-class private art dealers, pretentious, but compassionate. Their prized possession is a double-sided Kandinsky: one side represents control; the other, chaos. They relay a story to their friends and acquaintances that becomes legendary over time: their encounter with a young black stranger who came stumbling upon their front door one evening as they were courting Geoffrey Miller (Sir Ian McKellen), an important investor who could make them wealthy beyond their dreams. The young man, Paul Poitier (Will Smith), had just arrived in the city when he was mugged outside their building, he sported a minor knife wound to the abdomen. He was a friend of the Kittredges' children, who are attending Harvard; more importantly, he's the son of actor and Director Sidney Poitier. Tomorrow, Paul is meeting up with his father, who is in town directing a movie of "Cats". Beyond the ... 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Will Smith refused to kiss Anthony Michael Hall just before their kissing scene, so a camera trick was used showing only the backs of their heads. In an interview, Smith stated that Denzel Washington advised him not to kiss a man on-screen, for it would harm his career. Smith stated that he regretted not going through with it, saying, "it was very immature on my part." See more »

Goofs

When Flan is pretending to pray next to Ouisa, the boom mic and operator are reflected in the large window behind them. 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!
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in 311: Enlarged to Show Detail (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Just One of Those Things
by Cole Porter
See more »

User Reviews

 
Absorbing script and performances
5 June 2003 | by rosscinemaSee all my reviews

This is the film that made even the most harshest critics admit that Will Smith had real potential as far as being a serious actor is concerned. This is the story of a young gay hustler named Paul (Smith) who knocks on the door of Ouisa and Flan Kittredge (Stockard Channing and Donald Sutherland) and tells them a story of being mugged and also being the son of Sidney Poitier. He says he knows their children from college and remembered they lived there so thats why he came. After a lot of talking and impressing them he cooks them a nice dinner and they invite him to spend the night. They also loan him money but in the morning they find him with another man and they kick everyone out. The Kittredge's talk to their friends and find out that they all encountered Paul as well but were afraid to say something because they were embarrassed. The films title refers to the fact that we all know everyone by six people or degrees. The main focus of the film deals with how this young man made these characters take a good hard look at themselves and the relationship they have with each other and their children. The writing is very sharp and for most of us what is being said onscreen can easily go over our heads. Its a very intelligent script that forces the characters to see things that they seem to take for granted. Directed by Fred Schepisi who has shown a real knack for filming plays before and he also has shown to be very good at making films that are more character oriented. I remember one of his first films from the 70's called "The Devils Playground" and was impressed at that time by his direction. What really stood out for me though were the performances. Will Smith seems to tackle this complex script with an all to easy manner. As I watched his performance it was clear that he really understood the script and his character. You don't see that everyday from such a young actor, especially one that has limited training. But for me the best performance comes from Stockard Channing who was in the play as well. She's always been a very strong actress and a very underrated one at that. While watching her character in this film Channing does a wonderful job of allowing the viewer to watch her characters attitude change from the first scene to the very last. It really is Channings film and she received a well deserved Oscar nomination for it. Its one of the best in her career and its the driving force for the film. Casual film watchers may be put off by the sharp dialogue at first but I hope they stay with it, its a very good film about self realization and all the actors here are terrific.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

8 December 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Six Degrees of Separation See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$53,058, 12 December 1993

Gross USA:

$6,405,918

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,405,918
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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