8.1/10
82,493
223 user 100 critic

8½ (1963)

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

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
A harried movie director retreats into his memories and fantasies.

Director:

Writers:

(story), (story) | 4 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
3,511 ( 129)
Top Rated Movies #229 | Won 2 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

La Dolce Vita (1960)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A series of stories following a week in the life of a philandering paparazzo journalist living in Rome.

Director: Federico Fellini
Stars: Marcello Mastroianni, Anita Ekberg, Anouk Aimée
Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A man seeks answers about life, death, and the existence of God as he plays chess against the Grim Reaper during the Black Plague.

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Max von Sydow, Gunnar Björnstrand, Bengt Ekerot
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

After living a life marked by coldness, an aging professor is forced to confront the emptiness of his existence.

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Victor Sjöström, Bibi Andersson, Ingrid Thulin
The 400 Blows (1959)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Moving story of a young boy who, left without attention, delves into a life of petty crime.

Director: François Truffaut
Stars: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Albert Rémy, Claire Maurier
Amarcord (1973)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A series of comedic and nostalgic vignettes set in a 1930s Italian coastal town.

Director: Federico Fellini
Stars: Magali Noël, Bruno Zanin, Pupella Maggio
La Strada (1954)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A care-free girl is sold to a traveling entertainer, consequently enduring physical and emotional pain along the way.

Director: Federico Fellini
Stars: Anthony Quinn, Giulietta Masina, Richard Basehart
Persona (1966)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A nurse is put in charge of a mute actress and finds that their personas are melding together.

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Bibi Andersson, Liv Ullmann, Margaretha Krook
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A waifish prostitute wanders the streets of Rome looking for true love but finds only heartbreak.

Director: Federico Fellini
Stars: Giulietta Masina, François Périer, Franca Marzi
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

In post-war Italy, a working-class man's bicycle is stolen. He and his son set out to find it.

Director: Vittorio De Sica
Stars: Lamberto Maggiorani, Enzo Staiola, Lianella Carell
Breathless (1960)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A small-time thief steals a car and impulsively murders a motorcycle policeman. Wanted by the authorities, he reunites with a hip American journalism student and attempts to persuade her to run away with him to Italy.

Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Stars: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Seberg, Daniel Boulanger
Rashômon (1950)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A heinous crime and its aftermath are recalled from differing points of view.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Machiko Kyô, Masayuki Mori
Tokyo Story (1953)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

An old couple visit their children and grandchildren in the city; but the children have little time for them.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu
Stars: Chishû Ryû, Chieko Higashiyama, Sô Yamamura
Edit

Cast

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 ...
Edit

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:

More sensational than "La Dolce Vita" See more »

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

25 June 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$50,690 (USA) (23 April 1999)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In 2002, named by "Positif" (France) as one of the 50 best films of the last 50 years (critics' choice: #3) 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: What is this flash of joy that's giving me new life? Please forgive me sweet creatures; I didn't realize, I didn't know. How right it is to accept you, to love, you... and how simple! Luisa, I feel I've been set free. Everything looks good to me, it has a sense, it's true. How I wish I could explain, but I can't... everything's going back to what it was. Everything's confused again, but that confusion is me; how I am, not how I'd like to be. And I'm not afraid to tell the truth now, what I ...
See more »

Connections

Featured in Videofobia: El visitante del más allá (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Danse des Mirlitons
From "The Nutcracker"
Composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Exhilarating and inspired
26 April 2004 | by (Vancouver, B.C.) – See all my reviews

Fellini's 8 1/2 opens with a stunning dream sequence in which a man is trapped in his car in the middle of a traffic jam. The doors and windows are locked and there is no escape. Other drivers simply sit and stare at him passively. The driver starts to panic as smoke begins to build up within the car. Propelling himself outside a window, he floats over the other cars and soars above the world until he is pulled down a rope attached to a tether on his ankle. The driver is Guido Anselmi (Marcello Mastroianni), a film director at odds with himself. Shot in black and white, 8 1/2 is an exhilarating, confusing, irritating, and inspired journey into a man's consciousness. It is not just a look at the inner turmoil of one person, but also a commentary on each person's struggle to make sense of their life. The film's combination of kaleidoscopic images, evocative score by Nino Rota, and amazing performances ensure its place as one of the greatest films of the century.

Guido is preparing to shoot a new film with an expensive budget. He constructs a huge spaceship launch pad that costs $80 million but he is unsure of what he wants to say. Guido's dishonesty in dealing with his marriage, his career, and the fact that he really does not want to make the film forces him to falsely mislead people as to his true intentions. He feels like a failure and is physically spent. He checks into a spa to restore his health and well being but the contingent of producers, actors, writers, and hangers on undermine his strength. His feeling of being overwhelmed by personal and professional obligations provides the catalyst for dreams and fantasies that take him back to his childhood.

Fellini shows his encounter with the prostitute Saraghina (Eddra Gale) and the guilt he has to deal with in a confrontation with the Catholic Church. Guido invites his intellectual wife Luisa (Anouk Aimée) to the set but their relationship has turned cold and passionless, and sparks fly when she has to confront Carla (Sandra Milo), his buxom mistress. Guido is misguided but he has an innocence and charm that allows us to overlook his indulgences. He enjoys his pleasures but has a conscience and feels guilty about cheating on Luisa whom he loves and is afraid of losing. He fantasizes that all of the women in his life are together in a harem where they all dote on his every whim. When they finally recognize how little he cares about them, he is forced to suppress their revolt.

As image piles on image and the fantasy becomes indistinguishable from the reality, the viewer may get lost in a maze of dazzling incoherence. Fellini, however, always returns to solid ground and the film offers not only a satire on the frenzy, the uncertainty, and the clash of egos involved with making a film but also a serious commentary on the importance of honesty in a relationship. If 8 1/2 is occasionally exhausting, the ending is invigorating, letting us know that life is a game in which each of us is on the stage performing our roles and the only sane response to its turmoil is to join hands in love and celebrate the moment.


170 of 219 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?