8.1/10
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8½ (1963)

Not Rated | | Drama | 25 June 1963 (USA)
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A harried movie director retreats into his memories and fantasies.

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Writers:

(story), (story) | 4 more credits »
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3,366 ( 70)
Top Rated Movies #237 | Won 2 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Luisa Anselmi (as Anouk Aimee)
...
Rossella Falk ...
Rossella
...
...
...
...
La Saraghina (as Edra Gale)
Guido Alberti ...
Pace, il produttore
Mario Conocchia ...
Conocchia, il direttore di produzione
Bruno Agostini ...
Bruno - il secondo segretario di produzione
Cesarino Miceli Picardi ...
Cesarino, l'ispettore di produzione
...
Mario Pisu ...
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Storyline

Guido is a film director, trying to relax after his last big hit. He can't get a moment's peace, however, with the people who have worked with him in the past constantly looking for more work. He wrestles with his conscience, but is unable to come up with a new idea. While thinking, he starts to recall major happenings in his life, and all the women he has loved and left. An autobiographical film of Fellini, about the trials and tribulations of film making. Written by Colin Tinto <cst@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

This film talks about you...about your life...about your family...about your work...about your doubts...about your dreams...You will see yourself in the leading role as though you were looking in a mirror...This is your film. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

25 June 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

 »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,947, 11 April 1999, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$50,690, 25 April 1999
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Goofs

When Guido visits the cardinal in the mud bath, the cardinal is sitting in a chair, fully dressed in his cassock, as two attendants use a sheet to form a curtain around him; however, as the camera cuts to a closer angle, the cardinal is suddenly undressed to the waist. See more »

Quotes

Guido: Could you walk out on everything and start all over again? Could you choose one single thing, and be faithful to it? Could you make it the one thing that gives your life meaning... just because you believe in it? Could you do that?"
Claudia: I don't know... could you?"
Guido: No, the character I'm thinking of couldn't. He wants to possess and devour everything. He can't pass anything up. He's afraid he'll miss something. He's drained.
Claudia: That's how the film ends?
Guido: No, that's how it begins. Then he meets a girl at ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Nocturne No. 2 in E flat Major, Op. 9,2
(uncredited)
Written by Frédéric Chopin
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Artsy-schmartsy, pseudo-intellectual Fellini is one big yawn.
19 April 2001 | by See all my reviews

Fellini's abstract, artful, surrealistic masterpieces certainly deserve their place in cinematic history, but "8 1/2" should not be among them. I know it's not posh to put down Italy's genius (I seldom see any critics having the balls to do so), but I cannot applaud a respected artist's piece of work simply on name value when, for me, it is meritless as entertainment, does little to stimulate the mind other than to numb it, or further the appreciation of film making. Mind-altering drugs should not be an option for getting through a difficult movie. As a result, all "8 1/2" did for me was induce drowsiness. Overlong, laborious, ostentatious, and utterly self-indulgent, this is the kind of movie to see if you are a chronic insomniac. Folks, put away those expensive and dangerous tablets and pills...try "8 1/2"..for a nice, safe and restful sleep.

Supposedly, this is one of Fellini's most intensely personal projects. Big deal. Marcello Mastroianni portrays an obsessed Fellini-like filmmaker in the midst of undertaking a new project, enslaved by weird, warped, surreal visions and concepts that serve as motivators. A number of foreign beauties (Claudia Cardinale, Anouk Aimee) are entrapped in subplots that go virtually nowhere. I remember "Fellini Satyricon" as being an equally difficult, visually-arresting piece, but at least the director had the sense to make it forbiddenly erotic with its bizarre assortment of characters prancing about in panoramic perversity.

Self-analytical, psychological mumbo-jumbo goes just so far. You remember those inane "Saturday Night Live" skits with Gilda Radner that spoofed these heady, overblown Italian movies? They were pointing their finger at this baby, not "La Dolce Vita," a far better film.

If ambiguous, esoteric, highly pretentious art is your thing...go for it. If not, but you feel you'd like to fit in and hold your own in a Fellini(esque) conversation, may I suggest his more plot-friendly "masterpieces" -- "Nights of Cabiria," "La Strada" or even the slim but delightful "Ginger and Fred," all showcasing the extraordinary talents of Fellini's legendary wife Giulietta Masina.

Come to think of it, perhaps SHE is what this film is missing!


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