Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Has the Noted Director Lost His Touch? 'The Sixth Sense' Catapulted Director M. Night Shyamalan to Fame, but in Recent Years He Has Slipped as a Box-Office Draw

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Has the Noted Director Lost His Touch? 'The Sixth Sense' Catapulted Director M. Night Shyamalan to Fame, but in Recent Years He Has Slipped as a Box-Office Draw

Article excerpt

Once upon a time, an M. Night Shyamalan movie would be sold on his name: "From the director of 'The Sixth Sense.' " But these days, superstar Will Smith and his younger son, Jaden Smith, are doing most of the heavy lifting to promote "After Earth."

They aren't the only parent-child combo to ever star in a movie - - such a list might include Ryan and Tatum O'Neal in "Paper Moon," Henry and Jane Fonda in "On Golden Pond," Ben and Jerry Stiller in "Zoolander" -- but they are a popular, talented pair as they proved in "The Pursuit of Happyness."

Mr. Shyamalan burst out of the box office gate with his story that gave us the creepy catchphrase "I see dead people" but loosened his grip on the moviegoing public through the years. Critics hailed him, hated him and, even worse, forgot about him.

A look at movies directed by the Philadelphia resident:

"Wide Awake," 1998 -- Angelic-looking Joseph Cross plays a 10- year-old struggling to cope with the cancer death of his beloved grandfather (Robert Loggia) in this sincere but unsatisfying family film. Rosie O'Donnell has a small role as a nun and teacher who's a sports nut. Very limited release, with domestic gross of $282,175, according to boxofficemojo.com.

"The Sixth Sense," 1999 -- Haley Joel Osment always will be remembered as the little boy who whispered the signature phrase in this spooky psychological thriller with a surprise that held in the pre-Internet spoiler days.

The film, also starring Bruce Willis as a psychologist and Toni Collette as the child's mother, cuts to the heart of the nature of loneliness and human interaction or lack thereof. Earned six Oscar nominations, including best picture, writer and supporting actor for young Osment. No statuettes but a worldwide gross of $672,806,292.

"Unbreakable," 2000 -- Mr. Willis is a dispirited Philadelphia security guard who seems impervious to any kind of physical damage. He forms a bizarre bond with the operator of a gallery specializing in rare comic-book art who suggests the guard might possess supernatural powers. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.