M. Night Shyamalan‘s The Sixth Sense opened in the US on 6 August 1999. It came out of nowhere in late summer, and scored $293 million in the US and $379 million in foreign territories for a $672.8 million global total. It was the second highest grossing film of the year behind Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.
The Sixth Sense is known for its twist ending where the audience discovers that Bruce Willis‘ Dr. Malcom Crowe has been one of the ‘dead people’ that Haley Joel Osment‘s Cole Sear has been seeing throughout the movie. It’s a great twist to be sure, but the film is loaded with gems.
Shymalan’s script is top-notch, filled with rich characterisation. James Newton Howard’s score is haunting and Tak Fujimoto’s cinematography is beautiful. The film’s performances are also brilliant and Osment and Toni Collette (as his mother) are flawless and Bruce Willis has never been better.
I saw The Sixth Sense when it opened on 6 November 1999 – three months after it was released in the US. This was, 20 years ago, a pre-digital age – and the film remained un-ruined (something that would never ever happen now).
I still watch The Sixth Sense every autumn, and I firmly believe that it’s one of the finest films ever made.