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8½ (1963)

Not Rated | | Drama, Fantasy | 25 June 1963 (USA)
1:59 | Trailer

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A harried movie director retreats into his memories and fantasies.



(story), (story) | 4 more credits »
3,465 ( 195)
Top Rated Movies #214 | Won 2 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »



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


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


A picture that goes beyond what men think about - because no man ever thought about it in quite this way! See more »


Drama | Fantasy


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





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Release Date:

25 June 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$11,947 (USA) (9 April 1999)


$50,690 (USA) (23 April 1999)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Often cited by Federico Fellini himself as one of his favorite films ever, even considering other directors' works. See more »


When Guido visits Carla during her illness, a strap of her slip disappears in the close shot after she rolls over, but is apparent in longer shots both prior and after. See more »


Guido: Hold it. Let me have a look at you. No, your makeup should be more...
Carla: ...more what?
Guido: Like a whore.
See more »


Featured in The Magic of Fellini (2002) See more »


The Ride of the Valkyries
from "Die Walküre"
Composed by Richard Wagner
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A fresh cinematic miracle
26 February 2005 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

8 1/2 remains one of the most original and spellbinding films I know of. One of the beauties of cinema is to merge the artist's memory and fantasy; Fellini certainly utilized this magic to present his story and characters that embody both humanity and mystery. This film is an autobiographical piece (of Fellini himself) about a movie director named Guido, how his life is consumed by his increasing obsession with work. He avoids questions and problems as if they will go away somehow, only to experience more questions and problems. Ultimately, Guido realizes the only way to solve his problems is to face them rather than escaping, accepting himself instead of wishing he was someone else.

The opening sequence--one of the most deftly crafted--is taken from Guido's movie (or his dream - can't remember for sure). The sequence brilliantly captures Guido's problems (which are dealt with in the rest of the picture) and exposes them metaphorically: him STUCK in traffic, TRAPPED in smoke, SUFFOCATING, wanting to escape, and pulled back down by his peers. Guido wants to make a movie about his (and Fellini's) MEMORIES: how once upon a time he learned about a chant that moves pictures, and the time he danced with the fat feminine prostitute figure. The other main component of his movie involves launching into space, a FANTASY that reflects Guido's (and Fellini's) desire to escape from worldly matters. In real life, Guido is having problems with everything from his wife to his movie. So he thinks a beautiful actress, whom he fantasizes but knows little to nothing about, will be the solution to all his problems. When Guido meets the actress, he realizes she can't solve his problems, only he himself has the choice. This realization leads to the film's closure, with Guido having learned what's important to him and the inevitability of taking responsibility.

One of the film's powerful features is ambiguously blending Guido's world with his imaginations. Thus the audience is constantly deciphering the context of what's on the screen. This invitation to participate in the film is welcome, and if we think about it, a person like Guido who lives in his office might not be able to tell at times whether an event happened in his life or inside his mind.

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