Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
You Likely Won't Find a More Candid & Comprehensive Interview with Euzhan Palcy Than This One... You Likely Won't Find a More Candid & Comprehensive Interview with Euzhan Palcy Than This One... Watch Clip From 'Teachers' - a Film on the Education Crisis in the USA, Starring Tatyana Ali Watch Clip From 'Teachers' - a Film on the Education Crisis in the USA, Starring Tatyana Ali 40+ Black Filmmakers Will Take Over Twitter Tomorrow for an AFFRM-ing Objective. You Should Join Them... 40+ Black Filmmakers Will Take Over Twitter Tomorrow for an AFFRM-ing Objective. You Should Join Them... The Nina Simone Bio Starring Zoe Saldana Will Apparently Be Released Later This Year... The Nina Simone Bio Starring Zoe Saldana Will Apparently Be Released Later This Year... The American Black Film Festival Announces Its 2015 Films in Competition The American Black Film Festival Announces Its 2015 Films in Competition Why ‘The View’ Badly Needs Raven-Symoné Why ‘The View’ Badly Needs Raven-Symoné It's Black Bike Week! Watch 2 Short Documentaries on the Popular Annual Event It's Black Bike Week! Watch 2 Short Documentaries on the Popular Annual Event Gabrielle Union Joins Jamie Foxx in a Race to Save His Kidnapped Son, in 'Sleepless Night' Gabrielle Union Joins Jamie Foxx in a Race to Save His Kidnapped Son, in 'Sleepless Night' Meet the Cast of FX's 'American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson' (First-Look Images) Meet the Cast of FX's 'American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson' (First-Look Images) Here's the List of Films & TV Series Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix's Streaming Library in June Here's the List of Films & TV Series Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix's Streaming Library in June Watch Trailer for Teen TV Drama Series in Development, ‘MysEducation’ Watch Trailer for Teen TV Drama Series in Development, ‘MysEducation’ Watch a Clip From Ethiopia's First-Ever Cannes "Official Selection" - Coming-of-Age Drama 'Lamb' Watch a Clip From Ethiopia's First-Ever Cannes "Official Selection" - Coming-of-Age Drama 'Lamb' Watch Grace Jones’ “Banned” Citroën CX TV Commercial Watch Grace Jones’ “Banned” Citroën CX TV Commercial 'Chocolate City' Finally Gets a Trailer + Release Date Set (Might It Steal Some of 'Magic Mike's' Summer Thunder?) 'Chocolate City' Finally Gets a Trailer + Release Date Set (Might It Steal Some of 'Magic Mike's' Summer Thunder?) Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? Starz Announces Return Date for Original Series 'Power' + New Key Art + Trailer Starz Announces Return Date for Original Series 'Power' + New Key Art + Trailer Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Have You Seen Will Smith's Feature Debut As Crippled Homeless Man In 1992's 'Where The Day Takes You'?

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act June 3, 2014 at 11:01AM

Flashback To Will Smith's Feature Debut As Crippled Homeless Man In 'Where The Day Takes You'
0
Where the Day Takes You

Often when discussions are had about Will Smith's early acting career, and the dramatic turns he made that were counter to his immensely popular "Fresh Prince" image, and which many consider some of his best acting work, his performance in Six Degrees Of Separation is the film that most mention.

But I wonder how many of you have seen a little indie film, made a year before Six Degrees (1992) titled Where The Day Takes You, Big Willie's feature film debut, in which he co-stars with an ensemble cast of actors, in a story that centers on a group of teenage runaways, who form something of a family of their own, as they try to survive the streets of Los Angeles, with drugs, prostitution, violence and more ruling their days.

Will isn't the star of the film, but he gets his moments to shine, in a project that was independently financed, and eventually released in theaters (limited), making roughly $390,000 at the box office in 1992; unheard of today for a Will Smith movie... his base salary alone these days is about 60 times that number!

The film was directed by a fellow named Marc Rocco whose most recognizable film would likely be 1995's Murder In The First, which starred Christian SlaterGary Oldman and Kevin Bacon.

In Where The Day Takes You, Will was surrounded by a pretty good cast of actors, like Laura San GiacomoDermot MulroneyBalthazar GettyRachel TicotinSean AstinRicki Lake and others.

Will plays a character named Manny, a crippled homeless man.

Critical consensus on the film rated it very well overall, for a drama that I thought was a good showcase of the talents for these then young up-and-comers.

The film is on DVD currently, so you can rent it with a Netflix account (it's not streaming unfortunately), although my research tells me that, despite the fact that the film's theatrical run was in 1992, it wasn't released on DVD until 2003. I couldn't immediately find what the reasons for that were. I'm surprised the distributors haven't exploited and pushed it more, especially as Will Smith's star has risen over the years, billing it as "Will Smith's Feature Film Debut," or something like that...

The film did tour the film festival circuit before its release, gathering acclaim along the way - nominated for the "Critics Award" at the Deauville Film Festival, and won the Golden Space Needle Award at the Seattle International Film Festival.

It's a nostalgic trip worth taking - something to add to your weekend viewing list. Again, it's on DVD, but not streaming on Netflix, to the disappointment of a lot of you I'm sure. Although Amazon does have it as an Amazon Instant Video rental or purchase, meaning, you can stream it via Amazon, but on a pay-per-view basis.

Watch the clip below which highlights Mr Smith:

This article is related to: Will Smith


Shadow & ActNewsletter