The 6th Man

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The 6th Man
Sixth man poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Randall Miller
Produced by David Hoberman
Written by Christopher Reed
Cynthia Carle
Starring Marlon Wayans
Kadeem Hardison
Michael Michele
Music by Marcus Miller
Cinematography Mike Ozier
Edited by Eric A. Sears
Touchstone Pictures
Distributed by Buena Vista Pictures
Release date(s)
  • March 28, 1997 (1997-03-28)
Running time 108 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $11 million
Box office $14,772,788

The 6th Man is a 1997 American sports comedy film directed by Randall Miller, starring Marlon Wayans and Kadeem Hardison. The film was released in the United States on March 28, 1997.[1] The film features real National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) schools, although the rosters are fictitious. Some schools shown in the film include the University of Washington, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Fresno State University, Georgetown University, the University of Kentucky, the University of Arkansas, UCLA, and others. The film features cameos from college basketball personalities such as Jerry Tarkanian and Dick Vitale.


Antoine (Kadeem Hardison) and Kenny Tyler (Marlon Wayans) are shown as children playing in a basketball game. Their father is coaching the team and directs Kenny to take the last shot for the win since they are in deficit, but Kenny passes the ball to Antoine out of fright, who misses.

The film fast forwards to the present-day and both Antoine and Kenny are attending the University of Washington and make up a famed duo on their college basketball team, the Huskies. The team goes out to a night club to celebrate their most recent win. While at the nightclub Kenny meets R.C. St. John (Michael Michele), a reporter for UW, with whom he sparks an interest in.

Later Washington is playing a road game at UCLA. During the game Antoine suffers a heart attack. He is carried off the court and later flat-lines in the ambulance car before reaching the hospital. Coach Pederson (David Paymer), the head coach, informs Kenny and the team after the game that Antoine has passed away. Kenny and the team have a hard time processing the news.

The team begins falling apart after Antoine's death. During one game, however, odd sequences begin to occur, leading to a surprising win (later learned to be contrived by Antoine's spirit). Antoine later appears to Kenny in the locker room, which initially frightens Kenny, though he eventually realizes it is indeed Antoine. Antoine informs Kenny that he is the only one who can see him.

Kenny's teammates begin to question Kenny's concerning behavior (as they can not see Antoine).Kenny concedes into telling his teammates about Antoine's reemergence, who are in disbelief. The team is reluctant to believe Kenny, but are convinced once Antoine uses supernatural forces to persuade them. Antoine begins to help the team.

Under the influence of Antoine, the team begins to storm through the competition and eventually make it to the NCAA tournament, for the first time in years. Meanwhile Kenny's relationship with R.C. deepens, despite Antoine's efforts to disband the two as he believes R.C. is only out to get a story on him, which is partially true, as she is originally prepared to submit a story to the paper on him upon his revelation to her that Antoine is in fact aiding the team, though she eventually decides against it.

The rest of the team begins to have misgivings about Antoine aiding them in their games. They confront Kenny on the matter, who informs Antoine. Antoine becomes irate, which leads Kenny to allow Antoine to stay. However in a game before the national championship Antoine seriously injures a player, leading Kenny to side with his teammates and tells Antoine to leave.

The team plays poorly in the first half of the championship game. At halftime, Kenny gives a speech to fire the team up, telling them that they still have Antoine in their hearts. The team goes back in the second half with an impressive rally to bring the game close. Kenny attempts the game winning shot. Antoine tries to help but Kenny tells him not to, as he makes the shot on his own. Antoine tells Kenny that he is proud of him and that he is being called back to heaven, as he goes off into the distance under an array of lights. Coach Pederson sees this and asks Kenny if this was Antoine, to which Kenny admits.



It was set and filmed in Seattle, Washington and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on April 2 until May 17, 1996.[2] It had an estimated budget of $11 million.[3]


The film was released on March 28, 1997 and made $4,128,178 in its opening weekend at the box office, and went on to gross $14,772,788 throughout its theatrical run.[4]


The 6th Man has a 23% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and an average critic rating of 3.8/10 based on 13 reviews.[5] Roger Ebert said of the film "The Sixth Man is another paint-by-the-numbers sports movie, this one about a college basketball team that makes it to the NCAA finals with the help of the ghost of one of its dead stars. Let's not talk about how predictable it is. Let's talk about how dumb it is. … Movies like The Sixth Man are an example of Level One thinking, in which the filmmakers get the easy, obvious idea and are content with it."[6]


The soundtrack was released on March 25, 1997 by Hollywood Records. It peaked at #33 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Van Gelder, Lawrence (March 28, 1997). "The Sixth Man (1997) Hoop Dreams and (Ghostly) Schemes". The New York Times. Retrieved July 7, 2012. 
  2. ^ "The Sixth Man (1997) - Filming locations". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved January 11, 2013. 
  3. ^ "The Sixth Man (1997) - Box office / business". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved January 11, 2013. 
  4. ^ "The 6th Man (1997)". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved January 11, 2013. 
  5. ^ "The 6th Man (1997)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved January 11, 2013. 
  6. ^ Ebert, Roger (March 28, 1997). "The Sixth Man review". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on January 11, 2013. Retrieved January 11, 2013. 
  7. ^ "The Sixth Man - Original Soundtrack : Awards". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Archived from the original on January 11, 2013. Retrieved January 11, 2013. 

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