8 1/2 (1963) - Rotten Tomatoes

8 1/2 (1963)



Critic Consensus: Inventive, thought-provoking, and funny, 8 1/2 represents the arguable peak of Federico Fellini's many towering feats of cinema.

Movie Info

Fresh off of the international success of La Dolce Vita, master director Federico Fellini moved into the realm of self-reflexive autobiography with what is widely believed to be his finest and most personal work. Marcello Mastroianni delivers a brilliant performance as Fellini's alter ego Guido Anselmi, a film director overwhelmed by the large-scale production he has undertaken. He finds himself harangued by producers, his wife, and his mistress while he struggles to find the inspiration to finish his film. The stress plunges Guido into an interior world where fantasy and memory impinge on reality. Fellini jumbles narrative logic by freely cutting from flashbacks to dream sequences to the present until it becomes impossible to pry them apart, creating both a psychological portrait of Guido's interior world and the surrealistic, circus-like exterior world that came to be known as "Felliniesque." 8 1/2 won an Academy Award for Best Foreign-Language Film, as well as the grand prize at the Moscow Film Festival, and was one of the most influential and commercially successful European art movies of the 1960s, inspiring such later films as Bob Fosse's All That Jazz (1979), Woody Allen's Stardust Memories (1980), and even Lucio Fulci's Italian splatter film Un Gatto nel Cervello (1990).more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Art House & International, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Brunello Rondi, Tullio Pinelli, Tullio Pinelli, Ennio Flaiano, Federico Fellini
In Theaters:
On DVD: Dec 4, 2001


Marcello Mastroianni
as Guido Anselmi
Anouk Aimée
as Luisa Anselmi
Rossella Falk
as Rossella
Barbara Steele
as Gloria Morin
Mario Pisu
as Mezzabotta
Guido Alberti
as Pace, the Producer
Madeleine LeBeau
as French Actress
Madeleine Le Beau
as French Actress
Jean Rougeul
as Daumier, the Writer...
Caterina Boratto
as Fashionable Unidenti...
Annibale Ninchi
as Anselmi's Father
Giuditta Rissone
as Anselmi's Mother
Ian Dallas
as Mindreader
Eddra Gale
as La Saraghina
Yvonne Casadei
as Aging Dancer
Annie Gorassini
as Producer's Girl Frie...
Tito Masini
as the Cardinal
Eugene Walter
as the American Journal...
Gilda Dahlberg
as American Journalist'...
Nadine Sanders
as Airline Hostess
Georgia Simmons
as Anselmi's grandmothe...
Hazel Rogers
as Negro Dancer
Riccardo Guglielmi
as Guido as a Farm Boy
Marco Gemini
as Guido as a Schoolboy
Neil Robinson
as Agent for French act...
Mino Doro
as Claudia's agent
Mario Tarchetti
as Claudia's Press Agen...
Mary Indovino
as Maurice's Partner, ...
Cesarino Miceli Pica...
as Production Inspector
Bruno Agostini
as Production Secretary
Alberto Conocchia
as Production Manager
John Stacy
as Accountant
Mark Herron
as Enrico, Luisa's Adm...
Elisabeta Catalano
as Luisa's Sister
Matilda Calnan
as Older Journalist
Alfredo de Lafeld
as Cardinal's Secretary
Sebastiano De Leandr...
as Cardinal's Secretary
Frazier Rippy
as Lay Secretary for th...
Maria Tedeschi
as College Dean
Tito Massini
as The Cardinal
Maria Raimondi
as Guido Anselmi's Aunt
Marisa Colomber
as Guido Anselmi's Aunt
Roberto Nicolisi
as Doctor at the Spa
Palma Mangini
as Aging Relative from ...
Roberta Valli
as Annoying Little Niec...
Eva Gioia
as Two Young Girls in B...
Dina DeSantis
as Two Young Girls in B...
Olimpia Cavalli
as Miss Olympia
Maria Antonietta Bel...
as Screen-Test Candidat...
Jérôme Polidor
as Clown in the Parade
Dina De Santis
as Two Young Girls in B...
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for 8 1/2

Critic Reviews for 8 1/2

All Critics (45) | Top Critics (11)

In terms of execution I cannot remember a more brilliant film.

Full Review… | January 6, 2014
The New Republic
Top Critic

Unless Fellini's problem has been preying on the mind of the viewer, he may not care to take on the director's doubts and confusions.

Full Review… | April 27, 2009
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

It's Fellini's last black-and-white picture and conceivably the most gorgeous and inventive thing he ever did.

Full Review… | July 9, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Here is the author-director picture par excellence, an exciting, stimulating, monumental creation.

Full Review… | July 9, 2007
Top Critic

Amiably spiking all criticism through a gloomy scriptwriter mouthpiece, Fellini pulls a multitude of rabbits out of the showman's hat.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

8 1/2 is one of the great films about filmmaking.

Full Review… | December 12, 2015
The Big Issue

Audience Reviews for 8 1/2


Fellini takes his existential musings from La Dolce Vita to a radical level with this fascinatingly intimate and gorgeous exercise in self-reflection (the title couldn't be more perfect), shaping it as a stylish anti-comedy and building it upon a surprising anti-structural narrative skeleton.

Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


Finely executed picture 8 1/2 is a splendid film experience that boasts a great cast, brilliant direction and a wonderful story. Shot in gorgeous Black &White, I felt that it added so much atmosphere to the film and in retrospect gave a much more in depth atmosphere that elevated the simple story quite well. This is a great film, one that should be seen by cinema fans, and if you enjoy classic, foreign dramas, then you're in for a real treat. I really enjoyed the film, and its premise, for what it is it's definitely of the top films that has ever been committed to film, and it's well worth your time. The story is simple, yet engaging, and it's a smartly crafted picture that delivers something truly special. 8 1/2 is a fine picture that manages to be captivating and enthralling from the first frame right up to the final shot due to the simplest of plots. Under the direction of Frederico Fellini, it is a standout feature, a film that is near perfect, and like I said, is well worth your time if you enjoy the genre. 8 1/2 works very well due to powerful performances, effective storytelling and great direction, and for what it is, it's a finely executed drama that does something quite wonderful with its story. This is a stunning picture that is enthralling from start to finish, and is one of cinemas finest films. Although at times a little long, you end up not caring because the story and performances are so rich in character that the make the weaker moments seem insignificant compared to the entire film. 8 1/2 is a stunning piece of filmmaking that will delight anyone looking for powerful, engaging storytelling, and it's a movie that is accomplished in the way it handles its subject.

Alex roy

Super Reviewer

An author trying to find his story. I saw this movie in an art house when I was a kid and didn't get it. I didn't understand the imagery. I certainly didn't understand his problem. Now I do.

Bathsheba Monk
Bathsheba Monk

Super Reviewer

8 1/2 Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss 8 1/2 on our Movie forum!