8 ½ Women (1999)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  10 December 1999 (UK)
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 3,296 users   Metascore: 36/100
Reviews: 44 user | 36 critic | 25 from Metacritic.com

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



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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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


If every man thinks of sex once every nine minutes, what does he think of the other eight? See more »


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:




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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?


Storey Emmenthal: I'm thinking of making a film... about all this: our experiences.
Philip Emmenthal: Why make a film when you can live it? Most films are about people longing for something that they haven't got, and what they haven't got is sex and happiness... and we've got both. Or at least... I have.
See more »


Features  (1963) See more »


On a Slow Boat to China
Written by Frank Loesser
Performed by John Standing, Matthew Delamere
See more »

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User Reviews

a strange but compelling movie about our confused sexual morals
10 January 2000 | by (North Sea coastal area, Europe) – See all my reviews

I went to see it because I am fascinated with Japanese culture. Furthermore, I admire mr. Greenaway for the typical British way in which he exposes hypocrisy, yet in a very tasteful manner, and combines this with baroque visuals. I was warned however that it had nothing resembling a coherent story. It might even be boring.

Call me a twisted European, but I actually like "8.5 women", more than "Eyes wide shut"! The characters are indeed to unnatural to empathize with, and the movie will certainly stimulate your mind more than it will entertain you.....or arouse you sexually. The characters find themselves in a loosely connected stream of little scenes. Rather than making normal conversation, everyone seems to say what they think in this stream of sub-consciousness.

Mr. Greenaway plays with all aspects of sex and connects these, often in a disturbing manner, with death, religion, procreation and age and gender roles. He jumps across the cultures and taboos of this globe. Of course you might be offended by the candid way in which these ideas are treated. However, explicit scenes aren't shown. It doesn't need this effect to create a strange but compelling movie about our confused sexual morals on the threshold of a new millennium.

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