8.0/10
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8½ (1963)

Not Rated | | Drama | 24 June 1963 (USA)
Trailer
1:57 | Trailer
A harried movie director retreats into his memories and fantasies.

Director:

Federico Fellini

Writers:

Federico Fellini (story), Ennio Flaiano (story) | 4 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
2,862 ( 319)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Marcello Mastroianni ... Guido Anselmi
Claudia Cardinale ... Claudia
Anouk Aimée ... Luisa Anselmi (as Anouk Aimee)
Sandra Milo ... Carla
Rossella Falk ... Rossella
Barbara Steele ... Gloria Morin
Madeleine Lebeau ... Madeleine - l'attrice francese
Caterina Boratto ... La signora misteriosa
Eddra Gale ... La Saraghina (as Edra Gale)
Guido Alberti Guido Alberti ... Pace - il produttore
Mario Conocchia Mario Conocchia ... Conocchia - il direttore di produzione
Bruno Agostini Bruno Agostini ... Bruno - il secondo segretario di produzione
Cesarino Miceli Picardi Cesarino Miceli Picardi ... Cesarino - l'ispettore di produzione
Jean Rougeul ... Carini - il critico cinematografico
Mario Pisu Mario Pisu ... Mario Mezzabotta
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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 is the story of Guido and his wife and his mistress and the innocent beckoning young girl and all the women in his life, past and present, and how they became a living part of his erotic fantasies. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Italian censorship visa # 39461 delivered on 6-2-1963. 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

[first lines]
man with kite: [during the opening dream sequence while Guido floats high in the air like a kite over the beach] Counselor, I've got him.
cardinal on horse: Down. Come down.
[the man tugs at the tethered rope]
cardinal on horse: Down for good.
[Guido plunges down toward the sea and the scene cuts to him waking up from this dream]
See more »

Alternate Versions

In the American theatrical release version, Rodgers & Hart's "Blue Moon" can be heard twice: the first time, when it's played by strolling strings near the shopping plaza where Guido meets up with his wife, Luisa; the second time, when Guido goes out for a drive with the "real" Claudia. However, in the original Italian release, the song played in both scenes is "Sheik of Araby." The Criterion laserdisc features "Blue Moon," but it's "Sheik of Araby" on the DVD, possibly due to the use of different source materials. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Portlandia: Lance Is Smart (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Overture
From "The Barber of Seville"
Composed by Gioachino Rossini
See more »

User Reviews

 
Perhaps, one of the greatest films ever made
9 November 2005 | by Galina_movie_fanSee all my reviews

First time I saw 8 1/2 over twenty years ago; I did not like it then and I did not care much for a confused director who did not know how to make his next movie or how to deal with all women in his life. This time it was different. I knew it from the opening scene, from the first sounds of Nino Rota's music. I wanted to know how Guido would balance the demands of his producers and the insecurities of his love life. I sometimes barely could tell the difference between the reality and Guido's surfing the waves of his memory or building the Utopias in his mind where things were exactly the way he wanted them to be – and I really did not want to tell the difference. I just was there, following Guido on his journey where Fellini sent us. Then, that scene came, "La Saraghina's" lurid dance on the beach. There was something in that scene that made me return to it over and over again. What was it? The dancing woman was not young, pretty or graceful. On the contrary, she was fat and ugly but there was something about her – that smile, resilience, the promise of joy that attracted eager schoolboys. It was a last time the young Guido felt happy without guilt and shame that inevitably came after the encounter and stayed with him forever; he learned that joy and punishment are inseparable…

There have been fewer than a handful of films that affected me as profoundly as 8 ½ did:

Tarkovsky's "Zerkalo" – when the master holds the mirror in front of you that reflects his soul and mind, open you eyes and heart, don't say a word, just watch closely.

Tarkovsky's "Andrey Rublev" – What is talent? Is it a God's gift or Devil's curse? Is an Artist free in choosing what to do with that gift?

Bergman's "Persona" – How far can one individual go in opening his soul to the other without losing identity and sanity?

Fellini's –"Nights of Cabiria" – "Dum Spiro – Spero" - While there's life there's hope.

In 8 ½, Fellini explored all these subjects and in the final he took the idea of life and hope ever further: after all the characters in his film disappear from the screen, all what left behind is "a little orchestra of Hope with Love as its conductor". The last that we hear is the magic music of Rota, bringing affirmation, hope and love.

Simply wonderful. Perhaps, one of five greatest films ever made.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

Italy | France

Language:

Italian | French | English | German

Release Date:

24 June 1963 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Federico Fellini's 8½ See more »

Filming Locations:

Rome, Lazio, Italy See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,947, 11 April 1999

Gross USA:

$98,760

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$133,551
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Cineriz, Francinex See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.72 : 1
See full technical specs »

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