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

The six degrees game frequently revolves around actor Kevin Bacon. (Six degrees of Kevin Bacon rhymes with Six Degrees of Separation; the one thing rhymes with the other; it's a spoof). J.J. Abrams went on to direct two Star Wars films, featuring Bacon's cousin, actor Mark Hamill. Donald Sutherland appeared in JFK with Bacon. Ian McKellen and Bacon have both appeared in the X-Men film series. See more »

Goofs

When talking about striking coal miners, Louisa puts down her wine glass twice. 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

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Will Smith Movies (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Try to Remember
by Harvey Schmidt
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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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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
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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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