The Sixth Sense

Trivia: For his role as Vincent, Donnie Wahlberg lost so much weight that, between when he met M. Night Shyamalan and when he arrived on set for filming, Shyamalan found him completely unrecognizable.

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Trivia: Every time dead people are close by, there is something red in the preceding scene (i.e., when Cole is at the birthday party and is about to get trapped in the attic with the ghosts, there is a red balloon rising toward the ceiling; when Graham comes home to his wife sleeping and is about to realize that he too is dead, she is wearing a red throw; when Cole is in the car with his mother and there is an accident up ahead, she is wearing a red sweater, etc).

Trivia: The doctor that treats Cole after the incident at the birthday party is played by director M. Night Shamalyan. Interesting about this scene is that Shamalyan came from a family of doctors, including his wife who is one. He also at one time wanted to become a doctor before he decided on a career in filmmaking.

Trivia: Watch carefully as Dr. Malcolm walks away from his wife's jewelry shop - his jacket is open, and he keeps his left hand over his lower left-hand-side stomach...


Trivia: The first draft was very different. Malcolm was a world-weary forensic photographer working on a serial killer case, and Cole was his son. When Malcolm discovers that his son can see dead people, they would team up to have Cole speak with the ghosts of the killer's victims to try to figure out who the killer was. It was very much a police thriller... just with a supernatural twist. Writer/director M. Night Shyamalan completely overhauled the story into a horror-drama during multiple rewrites.


Trivia: Part of the reason Haley Joel Osment won his part was because he impressed director M. Night Shyamalan during the audition with his dedication to the movie - he mentioned offhand that he "read it three times last night." Shyamalan asked if he meant his lines... to which Osment replied that no, he read the entire script front-to-back three times the night before.


Trivia: If you pay attention, there's a nice subtle detail... you can see that both Vincent and Cole have white patches in their hair. While it has never been definitively proven, there is a belief that periods of extreme stress or fear can affect hair pigmentation and make it turn white. One study actually did observe the effect in mice that were placed in high-stress situations for periods of time. Since Vincent and Cole are both terrified of the ghosts they see, they have similar white patches.


Trivia: Toni Collette reportedly didn't realise the movie was a horror film until she finally saw a cut of it. She was so emotionally affected by the script and her character, she assumed it was a straight-up drama with a supernatural twist. When she finally saw the movie, she realised how scary it was.


Trivia: Toni Collette actually auditioned for this movie as an afterthought. She was in town auditioning for another movie, and auditioned for "The Sixth Sense" on a whim. She lost the other part, and got the part of Cole's mother, earning her great feedback and praise.


Trivia: Funnily enough, despite having one of the most famous twists of all time, the soundtrack album actually completely spoils it - the final track is literally called "Malcolm is Dead." Anyone who saw the track listing before the movie would have it ruined for them.


Trivia: Bruce Willis, for his role in the movie, received $100 million dollars, as part of his contract said he would take a percentage of the box-office profit and the DVD sales.

The Sixth Sense mistake picture

Continuity mistake: The tape is labelled "Vincent Grey" in the first shot, but the label disappears in the next shot. (01:11:32)

More mistakes in The Sixth Sense

Cole Sear: They see only what they want to see.

More quotes from The Sixth Sense

Question: Does Cole know for the whole movie that Malcolm is dead? If he does, why isn't he afraid of him like he is of the other dead people in the movie?

Answer: Cole knew that Malcolm was dead as early as the first few scenes. When he opens his door to the house he doesn't immediately step out. Almost as if he didn't want to go out that day. After he finally muster up the courage, he waits for Malcolm to look away as he hurriedly makes his exit. He also picks up his pace as Malcolm begins to follow him. He knew from the very first time he saw him, and yes he was just as afraid of Malcolm as he was of the other ghost.

Answer: Yes, of course. Remember that Cole tells us that these ghosts only "see what they want to see". To avoid giving away the whole plot twist of the movie, we see Malcolm as he sees himself - no injury, and dressed as would be appropriate for where he sees himself. But we know Cole can see dead people, and he sees them as they truly are. The young blonde boy with the back of his head blown out should make this clear. As for the second part of your question, I think Cole is scared of Malcolm at first. You can see his fear when Malcolm walks past him in the church to sit in the pew in front of where he is playing. His tension slowly eases during their conversation, but he still looks wary as he leaves the church. I get the impression that Cole spends large portions of his time in this building, yet he leaves this time within a few minutes of arriving; he doesn't want to stay near this new ghost. He becomes comfortable with him later of course, and Malcolm eventually wins his trust through honesty about his own problems, but this is not true from the start.

Answer: I think we have to assume, while it is never said, that Cole is not afraid of all ghosts, just some that are angry, upset or creepy. He has talked to them, as evidenced that he knows Latin phrases, or the guy killed in Vietnam in the specific division and province. So while a bit scared of all of them, he is willing to talk or listen a little, but not enough to know they want his help. Then, here comes a child psychologist who knows how to talk to kids and get them to open up a bit, and Cole starts to trust him. But he certainly seems to know he is a ghost. While it is not said, he probably knows the difference between seeing a ghost and a live person always.

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