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The Sixth Sense (1999): I See People. They Don’t Know They’re Dead | Transcript

Explore the gripping plot twist in 'The Sixth Sense': A haunting story of a psychologist's otherworldly realization and a child's eerie gift
The Sixth Sense (1999): I see people. They don't know they're dead

CLASSIC SCENE

This scene is from the movie The Sixth Sense, directed by M. Night Shyamalan. It’s a pivotal moment that reveals a significant plot twist. Malcolm, played by Bruce Willis, is a child psychologist who has been helping a young boy, Cole, who claims to see dead people. Throughout the film, Malcolm is seen trying to reconcile his relationship with his wife, Anna, who appears distant and despondent.

In this scene, Malcolm enters his living room and sees Anna asleep. The wedding video is playing, and Anna, in her sleep, expresses her longing for Malcolm. As the scene unfolds, Malcolm begins to understand the truth about his existence – he has been dead all along, a ghost unaware of his own death. This realization is sparked by a series of flashbacks triggered by Cole’s voiceover and various visual cues, such as Malcolm’s inability to interact with the physical world (e.g., his wife grabbing the cheque, the heavy books blocking the door to his office, and the single place setting at the kitchen table).

The final revelation comes when Malcolm recalls the night he was shot and realizes he never survived the injury. The scene where Anna discovers the exit wound on Malcolm’s back confirms his death. This realization allows Malcolm to accept his fate and find peace, knowing he has helped Cole and reassured Anna of his love. He tells her she was never second in his life and bids her goodbye, signifying his readiness to move on from the world of the living. The scene closes with a fade to white, a symbol of Malcolm’s transition to the afterlife, and cuts back to a happier time shown in the wedding video, emphasizing the contrast between past happiness and the present revelation.

* * *

INT. LIVING ROOM – NIGHT: Malcolm enters the living room and notices Anna asleep in a chair. Their wedding video plays quietly on the television – we can hear Anna’s father making a speech. Malcolm takes a seat behind Anna, watching her. She does not acknowledge him.

MALCOLM: (softly) Anna.

Beat. He swallows.

ANNA: (without turning or opening her eyes) I miss you.

MALCOLM: I miss you too.

ANNA: (eyes still closed) Why, Malcolm?

MALCOLM: (on the verge of tears) What? What is it?

ANNA: Why did you leave me?

MALCOLM: I didn’t leave you.

Beat. Anna adjusts her sleeping position; as she does, a ring drops and rolls along the floor, coming to a stop by Malcolm’s feet. He stares at a gold wedding band – amazed. He looks to Anna’s hand; her wedding band still sits on her finger. Malcolm looks down at his own hand. There is no ring on his finger.

COLE: (voiceover) I see people.

CUT TO FLASHBACK: Face of Cole Sear in bed.

COLE: They don’t know they’re dead.

CUT TO PRESENT: Malcolm gets up, increasingly confused and frightened.

MALCOLM: (v.o.) How often do you see them?

COLE: (v.o.) All the time.

CUT TO FLASHBACK: Cole entering home, with his mother and Malcolm seated on opposite chairs.

COLE: (v.o.) They’re everywhere.

CUT TO PRESENT: Malcolm stumbling through corridor. His eyes are drawn to the kitchen table. Only one place setting is laid out on the tabletop.

COLE: (v.o.) They only see what they want to see.

CUT TO FLASHBACK: Malcolm and his wife at dinner, she grabs the cheque before he can touch it

CUT TO PRESENT: The wedding video still playing on TV. A drunken Malcolm is talking to the cameraman.

CUT TO FLASHBACK: Malcolm is trying the red-handled door to his basement office.

CUT TO PRESENT: The camera pulls back and Malcolm can see a table with heavy books in front of the door. It has not been opened in some time. Malcolm begins to back up the stairs.

CUT TO: Close-up on Anna. Her sleeping face fills the frame We notice for the first time that she is cold and her breath is forming mist. The sign that humans are in the presence of ghosts.

CUT T0 FLASHBACK: INT. BEDROOM – NIGHT

A gunshot close-up of Malcolm’s face. A scream. The camera pulls up to reveal Malcolm lying on the bed. His hands on his hip, he is trying to talk. A visibly distraught Anna rushes to his side.

ANNA: Oh God honey, let me see, let me see, let me see. Take your hands… oh God…

CUT TO PRESENT: Malcolm on stairs, he puts his hands to his hip.

CUT TO FLASHBACK: INT. BEDROOM – NIGHT

Anna pries Malcolm’s hands away from his hip to reveal the tiniest tear in the front of his shirt.

ANNA: (slightly relieved) Okay.

Anna’s eyes catch something dark. A pool of blood is forming under Malcolm. She slowly turns him over on his side. There is a large exit wound on his lower back.

CUT TO PRESENT: Malcolm turns around on stairs – there is blood on his back.

CUT TO FLASHBACK: INT. BEDROOM – NIGHT

Anna starts crying.

CUT TO: Close-up of Malcolm’s face. He is calm.

MALCOLM: I think I’m okay. Really. I think it just went in and out. I… It doesn’t even hurt anymore.

CUT TO PRESENT: INT. LIVING ROOM – NIGHT

Malcolm is at a distance watching Anna still asleep. Cut to dose-up of Anna. Her breath is still visible in the air. Cut to Malcolm sitting in front of her, close to her now.

MALCOLM: (softly) I think I can go now. I just needed to do a couple of things. Needed to help someone. Think I did. And I needed to tell you something. (Beat.) You were never second – ever. I love you.

CUT TO: Close-up on Anna. She smiles in her sleep.

MALCOLM: You sleep now. Everything will be different in the morning.

ANNA: (her eyes still dosed) Goodnight Malcolm.

MALCOLM: Goodnight Sweetheart

Malcolm closes his eyes. Fade to white.

CUT TO WEDDING VIDEO: Malcolm and Anna are kissing.

END CREDITS

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