Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Enter The New Normal Writing Contest From Issa Rae's ColorCreative & Project Greenlight Digital Studios Enter The New Normal Writing Contest From Issa Rae's ColorCreative & Project Greenlight Digital Studios Missed It Last Night? Watch 'A Ballerina’s Tale' in Full Now Missed It Last Night? Watch 'A Ballerina’s Tale' in Full Now Ava DuVernay Wanted for Two (2!) Major Sci-Fi/Fantasy Studio Projects (UPDATE: Lupita Nyong'o May Star in One of Them) Ava DuVernay Wanted for Two (2!) Major Sci-Fi/Fantasy Studio Projects (UPDATE: Lupita Nyong'o May Star in One of Them) Tonight: Nelson George's Misty Copeland Doc - 'A Ballerina’s Tale' - Premieres on INDEPENDENT LENS Tonight: Nelson George's Misty Copeland Doc - 'A Ballerina’s Tale' - Premieres on INDEPENDENT LENS Now Streaming on Netflix: Award-Winning 'Sand Dollars' (Dominican Republic's Best Foreign Language Film Oscar Entry) Now Streaming on Netflix: Award-Winning 'Sand Dollars' (Dominican Republic's Best Foreign Language Film Oscar Entry) Jamie Foxx Will Play Little John to Taron Egerton's Robin Hood in "Progressive" Take on the Legend Jamie Foxx Will Play Little John to Taron Egerton's Robin Hood in "Progressive" Take on the Legend James Franco Will Direct Film Based on Aziah "Zola" Wells' 148-Tweet Narrative That Went Viral James Franco Will Direct Film Based on Aziah "Zola" Wells' 148-Tweet Narrative That Went Viral Is Idris Elba a Hollywood Leading Man Yet? Is Idris Elba a Hollywood Leading Man Yet? Regarding 'Song of the South' – The Film That Disney Doesn’t Want You to See Regarding 'Song of the South' – The Film That Disney Doesn’t Want You to See Watch the Electrifying First Trailer for Don Cheadle's 'Miles Ahead' Watch the Electrifying First Trailer for Don Cheadle's 'Miles Ahead' Madonna's 'Blonde Ambition' Dancers Tell Their Own Stories in New Documentary 'Strike a Pose' Madonna's 'Blonde Ambition' Dancers Tell Their Own Stories in New Documentary 'Strike a Pose' Watch Episode 1 of PBS' New Civil War-Set Drama Series 'Mercy Street' + On-Set Visit Watch Episode 1 of PBS' New Civil War-Set Drama Series 'Mercy Street' + On-Set Visit Watch: OWN Previews New Primetime Series 'It's Not You, It's Men' (Tyrese Gibson & Rev Run Host) Watch: OWN Previews New Primetime Series 'It's Not You, It's Men' (Tyrese Gibson & Rev Run Host) LeToya Luckett, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Andra Fuller Star in New TV One Comedy Series 'Here We Go Again' LeToya Luckett, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Andra Fuller Star in New TV One Comedy Series 'Here We Go Again' TV One Aims to Change the Reality Genre with New Series, 'The Next 15' TV One Aims to Change the Reality Genre with New Series, 'The Next 15' Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton Is Heading to TV Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton Is Heading to TV Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? 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