|Six Degrees of Separation|
|Directed by||Fred Schepisi|
|Produced by||Arnon Milchan|
|Written by||John Guare|
|Music by||Jerry Goldsmith|
|Editing by||Peter Honess|
|Release date(s)||8 December 1993|
|Running time||112 minutes|
Six Degrees of Separation is a 1993 film adaptation of the John Guare play of the same title, which was inspired by the real-life con artist David Hampton. The film makes reference to two Kandinsky artworks, "Black Lines" and "Several Circles", referred to as chaos and control in the film respectively.
Fifth Avenue socialite Ouisa Kittredge (Stockard Channing) and her purveyor of high-art husband Flan (Donald Sutherland), are pedigree parents of "two at Harvard and one at Groton." But the privileged insular world inhabited by the Kittredge family, as well as their public status as distinguished arbiters of culture, makes them easy prey for a consummate con-artist like Paul (Will Smith). One night, he mysteriously shows up at their front door - injured and bleeding- claiming to be Sidney Poitier's son and a close college crony of the Kittredges' Ivy League progeny. Impressing Ouisa and Flan with his articulate literary expositions, Paul proves to be a sharp-witted, learned young man with epicurean taste and surprising culinary skill. His highbrow façade is so charmingly persuasive, Paul soon has the Kittredges lending him money, putting him up for the night and taking satisfaction in his appraisal of their posh lifestyle. Much to the Kittredge's shock Paul is revealed to be a highly persuasive con-man, who has charmed his way into many upper-crust homes along the upper East side with his wit and insider knowledge. As Paul's plot unravels he becomes an urban legend of the upper crust, a witty anecdote to banter about at cocktail parties. However, he has a profound effect on the many individuals who encounter him, linking them in their shared experience.
The film was a great critical success, as it currently holds a 93% at Rotten Tomatoes. It was also Stockard Channing's best known movie in 15 years.
This film is also known for Will Smith's debut as a dramatic actor, receiving critical praise.