Down 1,277 this week

8 ½ Women (1999)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  10 December 1999 (UK)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 5.8/10 from 3,272 users   Metascore: 36/100
Reviews: 44 user | 36 critic | 25 from

Following the death of a mother, a father and son open up a brothel in their Genevan estate after watching (1963).



Watch Trailer
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

Fall TV: 15 Returning TV Shows Worth Binge Watching

Which returning shows do we recommend binging on? We've picked out 15 great options for you. Read this and more lists in our Fall TV section.

Read our list

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 31 titles
created 01 Feb 2012
a list of 32 titles
created 22 May 2012
a list of 31 titles
created 04 Dec 2012
a list of 47 titles
created 27 Jul 2014
a list of 22 titles
created 11 months ago

Related Items

Search for "8 ½ Women" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: 8 ½ Women (1999)

8 ½ Women (1999) on IMDb 5.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of 8 ½ Women.
1 nomination. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

As a young girl in Japan, Nagiko's father paints characters on her face, and her aunt reads to her from "The Pillow Book", the diary of a 10th-century lady-in-waiting. Nagiko grows up, ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Greenaway
Stars: Vivian Wu, Ewan McGregor, Yoshi Oida
Nightwatching (2007)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An extravagant, exotic and moving look at Rembrandt's romantic and professional life, and the controversy he created by the identification of a murderer in the painting 'The Night Watch'.

Director: Peter Greenaway
Stars: Martin Freeman, Emily Holmes, Eva Birthistle
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Tired of her husband's philanderous ways, the mother of two daughters drowns her husband. With the reluctant help of the local coroner, the murder is obscured. Her daughters are having ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Greenaway
Stars: Bernard Hill, Joan Plowright, Juliet Stevenson
Fantasy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An exiled magician finds an opportunity for revenge against his enemies muted when his daughter and the son of his chief enemy fall in love in this uniquely structured retelling of the 'The... See full summary »

Director: Peter Greenaway
Stars: John Gielgud, Michael Clark, Michel Blanc
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An American architect arrives in Italy, supervising an exhibition for a French architect, Boullée, who is famous for his oval structures. Through the course of 9 months he becomes obsessed ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Greenaway
Stars: Brian Dennehy, Chloe Webb, Lambert Wilson
Comedy | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Mr. Neville, a cocksure young artist is contracted by Mrs. Herbert, the wife of a wealthy landowner, to produce a set of twelve drawings of her husband's estate, a contract which extends ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Greenaway
Stars: Anthony Higgins, Janet Suzman, Anne-Louise Lambert
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Oliver Deuce, a successful doctor, is shattered when his wife is killed in a freak car accident involving the car being driven by Alba Bewick colliding with a very large rare bird. His twin... See full summary »

Director: Peter Greenaway
Stars: Brian Deacon, Eric Deacon, Andréa Ferréol
Adventure | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The first of three parts, we follow Tulse Luper in three distinct episodes: as a child during the first World War, as an explorer in Mormon Utah, and as a writer in Belgium during the rise ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Greenaway
Stars: JJ Feild, Raymond J. Barry, Michèle Bernier
Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Hendrik Goltzius, a late sixteenth-century Dutch printer and engraver of erotic prints, seduces the Margrave of Alsace into paying for a printing press to make and publish illustrated books.

Director: Peter Greenaway
Stars: F. Murray Abraham, Giulio Berruti, Halina Reijn
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Director: Peter Greenaway
Stars: Raymond J. Barry, Noraly Beyer, Stephen Billington
Documentary | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An 'essayistic' documentary in which Greenaway's fierce criticism of today's visual illiteracy is argued by means of a forensic search of Rembrandt's Nightwatch. Greenaway explains the ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Greenaway
Stars: Martin Freeman, Eva Birthistle, Jodhi May
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A movie about the corruption in all levels of society. A baby is born from a supposed-to-be virgin woman, so a chain of hysteria about divine intervention in the birth takes place.

Director: Peter Greenaway
Stars: Julia Ormond, Ralph Fiennes, Philip Stone


Cast overview, first billed only:
Philip Emmenthal
Matthew Delamere ...
Storey Emmenthal
Annie Shizuka Inoh ...
Simato (as Shizuka Inoh)
Kirina Mano ...
Griselda / Sister Concordia
Natacha Amal ...
Giaconda the Baby Factory
Manna Fujiwara ...
Giulietta / Half Woman
Celeste, Emmenthal Maid
Myriam Muller ...
Marianne, Emmenthal Maid
Amelia, Philip's Wife


After his wife dies, 55-year-old businessman Philip Emmenthal, at the prompting of his playboy son Storey, populates his Geneva villa with eight and a half concubines. Three are from Kyoto, where Storey manages Pachinco palaces. Each has a distinctive personality: a nun, a child bearer, a gambler, a student of Kabuki, a horsewoman with a pet pig, a maid. Philip throws off his strait-laced and repressed attitudes, immersing himself in pleasure. After about a year, the women begin to assert their own power. Side adventures pre-figure the household's breakup, and the women depart in one way or another, one at at time. Philip's fate is in the hands of Palmira, his favorite. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


When sexual desire becomes an obsession, it's every man for himself. See more »


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content including dialogue and pervasive nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| | |


| | |

Release Date:

10 December 1999 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

8 femmes 1/2  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$92,000 (USA) (26 May 2000)


$417,517 (USA) (21 July 2000)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Philip Emmenthal: I like sleeping. You were conceived in this bed.
Storey Emmenthal: You weren't sleeping then.
Philip Emmenthal: No... but I have a feeling your mother was.
See more »


Features  (1963) See more »


Sosaku Yoshiwara
(Kabuki music)
Written by Hirokazu Sugiura
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Women: Types and Missteps
24 July 2000 | by (Virginia Beach) – See all my reviews

A master visual allegorist reaches farther and fails. But not for the reasons others claim here. Greenaway has never centered his films in the narrative -- we'd always be frustrated to look for satisfaction there. (`Drowning' which among his works most delivers a story does so incidentally.) And this is a film about women, not sex, which will frustrate others.

Here is his most character-driven film. At last, he works on closeups and some character definition. The primary ordering of the film is by basic archetypes of women, particularly archetypes drawn by men. This is supposed to be his most painterly film: the representative women are to be presented in scenes that reference famous paintings. Greenaway has stated that painting cuts to the basic drivers in cultural revolution, and the representations of women therein are tokens for everything conceived. Women thus are both humans and basic tokens in the redefinition of life.

Such a rich conception is thoroughly Greenawayan and might have formed the skeleton for another masterpiece. Along the way, we have by now familiar devices. Numbers: random as in pachinko rather than ordered. Contrasts between Eastern (here just Japanese) and Western management of concept and image. Some slight use of layered images, here in the self-reference of displaying the screenplay.

My complaints are two. I consider them fatal, but still celebrate Greenaway.

The notion of archetype depends on clarity, a natural orthogonality and completeness of classes. Here we have the nun, whore, Chinadoll, servant, cripple, childbearer, fetishist, butch, and spontaneous addict. Time is invested in defining these. A few are singled out to be something more than props for lush compositions: the geisha chinadoll, the lesbian accountant, the gambler and the opportunistic, openly enthusiastic whore. But in bringing them to life, they escape their categories: two of these are male impersonators, another two financial manipulators, another two vamps. Three are Japanese. Usually, Greenaway's combination of painting (erudite structure and framing of scenes) and film (narrative, development) reinforce one another. Here, they dissonate.

The second problem may be more fundamental. You really have to know your stuff to enjoy these films. My knowledge of The Tempest is rather deep, so I saw how rich was `Prospero's Books.' I read up on restoration comedy for `Draughtsman,' and discovered art in the viewing that I presume no one else in the theater saw. This film is supposed to reference the feminine archetype not as defined by popular culture, but by the history of painting. My knowledge of the art is poor, so I cannot attest to how deep the annotations are here. (Little use is made here of the layered image and narrative comment. Wonder why, since it would have been so natural.

But I do know Gauguin, who also was a visual allegorist, who also worked with feminine archetypes and also the fascination with Asian differences. His monumental canvas `Where are We Going?' does just what this film purports.

I wonder if there is little there in this film.

23 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
the 'half' pachos
My mistake nona_pinkfinger
crazy credit Musikdrama
Frustrated with Peter Greenaway svenrufus
Discuss 8 ½ Women (1999) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: