Oscar Movies: Sixth Sense, The

“Craftsmanship, cultural impact, and Box-office success. Now that's a trifecta Oscar may find hard to resist,” wrote Entertainment Weekly (EW).

With domestic grosses of close to $300 million, “The Sixth Sense” became the most successful horror film in the genre's history, placing its young director, M. Night Shyamalan, 29, at the forefront of commercial American filmmakers after modest indie beginnings.

Industry mavens wondered if the success might deem the film too mass-oriented and too commercial for “artistic” considerations, disregarding the fact that other blockbusters (Spielberg's “Jaws” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” among them) have also been nominated for the top Oscar).

Oscar Nominations

Picture, produced by Frank Marshall, Kathleen Kennedy, and Barry Mendel
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Screenplay (Original): Shyamalan
Supporting Actress: Toni Collette
Supporting Actor: Haley Joel Osment
Editing: Andrew Monshein

Oscar Context

“The Sixth Sense” competed for the Best Picture with American Beauty, which was nominated for 8 and won 5, including Best Picture; “The Cider House Rules,” with 7 nods and 2 Oscars (one for Supporting Actor Michael Caine); The prison drama “The Green Mile,” which received four nominations; and Disney's “other” movie that year, Michael Mann's superb factual drama, “The Insider,” which received the L.A. Film Critics Best Picture Award but failed to impress audiences and became a media event in the wrong sense of the term, namely, didn't help the picture's appeal.