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8½ (1963)

Not Rated | | Drama | 25 June 1963 (USA)
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A harried movie director retreats into his memories and fantasies.

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Top Rated Movies #241 | Won 2 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Guido Anselmi
... Claudia
... Luisa Anselmi (as Anouk Aimee)
... Carla
... Rossella
... Gloria Morin
... Madeleine - l'attrice francese
... La signora misteriosa
... La Saraghina (as Edra Gale)
Guido Alberti ... Pace - il produttore
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 ... 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 film talks about you...about your life...about your family...about your work...about your doubts...about your dreams...You will see yourself in the leading role as though you were looking in a mirror...This is your film. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

| | |

Release Date:

25 June 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,947, 11 April 1999, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$50,690, 25 April 1999
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film is included on Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" list. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Guido: My Dears... Happiness consists of being able to tell the truth without hurting anyone.
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Connections

Referenced in A Hard Day's Night (1964) See more »

Soundtracks

Overture
From "The Barber of Seville"
Composed by Gioachino Rossini
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Perhaps, one of the greatest films ever made
9 November 2005 | by See 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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