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Criterion Collection: 8 1/2 [DVD] [1963] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

Marcello Mastroianni , Anouk Aimée , Federico Fellini    Universal, suitable for all   DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
Price: £19.79
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Frequently Bought Together

Criterion Collection: 8 1/2 [DVD] [1963] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] + La Dolce Vita [DVD] + Amarcord [DVD] (1973)
Price For All Three: £42.16

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  • La Dolce Vita [DVD] £16.96
  • Amarcord [DVD] (1973) £5.41

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Product details

  • Actors: Marcello Mastroianni, Anouk Aimée, Claudia Cardinale, Sandra Milo, Rossella Falk
  • Directors: Federico Fellini
  • Writers: Federico Fellini, Bernardino Zapponi, Brunello Rondi, Ennio Flaiano, Tullio Pinelli
  • Producers: Angelo Rizzoli, Karen Stetler
  • Format: Anamorphic, Black & White, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: 4 Dec 2001
  • Run Time: 138 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005QAPH
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 104,833 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Federico Fellini's 1963 semi-autobiographical story about a worshipped filmmaker who has lost his inspiration is still a mesmerising mystery tour that has been quoted (Woody Allen's Stardust Memories, Paul Mazursky's Alex in Wonderland) but never duplicated. Marcello Mastroianni plays Guido, a director trying to relax a bit in the wake of his latest hit. Besieged by people eager to work with him, however, he also struggles to find his next idea for a film. The combined pressures draw him within himself, where his recollections of significant events in his life and the many lovers he has left behind begin to haunt him. The marriage of Fellini's hyper-real imagery, dreamy sidebars and the gravity of Guido's increasing guilt and self-awareness make this as much a deeply moving, soulful film as it is an electrifying spectacle. Mastroianni is wonderful in the lead, his woozy sensitivity to Guido's freefall both touching and charming--all the more so as the character becomes increasingly divorced from the celebrity hype that ultimately outpaces him. --Tom Keogh,


8 1/2 is Fellini's real masterpiece --The Guardian

One of the most influential film directors of all time --Empire

Ranked the 10th Greatest Film of all time --BFI Poll 2012

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterwork - by a genius - about cinema as art 13 July 2001
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
8 ½ is often hailed as a masterpiece of cinema and in my opinion is THE best film ever made. In 1963 it was awarded an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. This mind-blowing and inspirational film is about a film director who doesn't know what to make a film about. It is partly an autobiographical film taken from his own experiences - he ran away with the circus for a week and it's easy to see this in his films - just look at La Strada! What is so encapsulating about this film is that you are never able to anticipate what will happen next. Right from the opening sequence I realised I was in for a surreal and haunting experience. It was a journey into the unknown where anything can happen. It is like being thrown into some unknown bizarre world. Some dream sequences are combined with eerie music that create atmosphere and make the whole experience of watching this film more involving.
Marcello Mastrioani (Guido) acts as Fellini who is uncaring and unsympathetic to the world that surrounds him. He does this with professional perfection, in my view better than in La Dolce Vita. Every muscle in his face works to add to his stunning performance.
It raises so many questions about artistic creativity and integrity. This leaves you able to watch it time and time again as new questions are raised in each viewing. I have seen it innumerable times and am glad I can now watch it as many times as I want. If you like cinema as art you will love this - pure cinema!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Criterion's 2-disc DVD is the one to get 23 Aug 2007
By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAME TOP 100 REVIEWER
There are several different issues of Fellini's 8½ available, but the quality varies wildly. As others have noted, Nouveaux's PAL disc has almost illegible subtitles and offers a poor presentation: on the other end of the scale, Criterion's remastered 2-disc NTSC edition is quite outstanding (though be careful not to confuse it with their earlier single-disc edition).

The film itself is not to all tastes, and sadly not quite to mine. For the most part 8½ left me cold, one of those films where you get what is being done but it's just not on your wavelength. It's pointless to complain about it being hit-and-miss or confused, since erratic confusion is the nature of the beast as Fellini becomes possibly the first man to film his own nervous breakdown (or at very least his crisis of creativity). In many ways the turning point in Fellini's career where fantasy and grotesquery would become an increasing part of increasingly disjointed phantasmagorias with a design style as cluttered as a tart's dressing table, there are moments that strike home and the latter scenes with his wife and with Claudia work because there's a sense of self-awareness of Fellini's limitations not just as an artist but as a human being. But overall I was just left with the feeling that I'd got on the wrong train by mistake.

(Incidentally, to strike a timely note, it's amusing to note that the producer's brainless bimbo girlfriend is the spitting image of Paris Hilton!)

It's a shame Criterion's otherwise excellent 2-disc DVD couldn't locate the deleted sequences, although they are well represented in the excellent stills galleries. Alongside the 50-minute 'Director's Notebook' documentary TV special by Fellini, the 45-minute German Nino Rota documentary is interesting and has a wonderful moment where the composer accepts a proffered cigarette only to turn down a light because he doesn't smoke!
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Marvellous film, terrible subtitling 29 Jan 2007
I love this film, but gave up watching this DVD 20 minutes in. The annoyingly large subtitles take up the bottom third of the screen at times blocking much of the picture. Worse, they are also frequently unreadable because of the white backgrounds in many scenes. Extremely frustrating.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars what film making is all about 1 July 2001
By A Customer
A wonderful montage of dream, memory and fantasy, Fellini's '8 1/2' is a cinephile's dream. As the troubled director 'Guido Anselmi' Mastroianni is again Fellini's screen persona and he turns in a performance worthy of the auteur himself. The film asks us to look in detail at the art of making a film. This self- reflexivity favours character emotion over narrative continuity. The film is the antithesis of contemporary Hollywood production values- if you have seen one explosion or heard one cheesy line too many- then watching this crisp DVD of Fellini's '8 1/2' will remind you what cinema should be about.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Bravo Guido! Welcome to the wacky world of 8 and a half! Fellini goes less overboard than in his stranger works (Satyricon) and yet harder to decrypt than the more famous La Dolve Vita. Guido, a loveless and forlorn, yet suave and sophisticated film maker, played with amiable genius by Marcello Mastroianni, is surrounded by adoring females, desperate for a word, a part in his movies, some acceptance or completion for their longing. He in turn is stuck with an unmakeable film, against a ravishing backdrop of 1960's health-spa Italia, his wife Luisa (Anouk Aimée) joining him half-way along to add yet more casual Italian high-chic and designer angst, and more jealousy and pathos. Is this great and memorable film really about making movies? Or something more profound? We are treated to ravishing entertainments, a bewildering montage of images, including the extraordinarily cynical and mournful demolition of the Catholic Clergy and their role - yet the movie remains for all that strangely elusive. Perhaps it's about Italy, about modernity and the struggle for meaning. Perhaps it's about childhood and it's effect on the adult. Guido is obsessed with memories of the kindness he had from the women who looked after him in a pre-war orphange - but then he's also obviously untroubled and cheerful. Every now and then, the characters break out of their misery and do a little dance to themselves - look out for one of the sexiest moments in cinema when Aimee does this - yet the music track, full of circus and decadence, suggests decay and despair more than light and lively. The real problem with this, as with other Fellini movies, is the lack of guidance. Guido cannot guide us as to meaning, because he does not know himself; and we are supposed to just sit back and absorb the cinematic experience. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This is Fellini's best film
Published 15 days ago by Sam Britton
4.0 out of 5 stars "8 ½" on BLU RAY - Playback And Subtitle Problems For UK Customers...
It always amazes me how a film ranked as the 10th best ever made (an acknowledged masterpiece) can be so royally screwed when it comes to a new format like BLU RAY. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Mark Barry
1.0 out of 5 stars Not possible to hide subtitles
I wanted to watch the film in Italian without English subtitles but this DVD does not offer the option to hide subtitles.
Really frustrating. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Giorgio Perconti
5.0 out of 5 stars A tonic for our time
Artifice explored. The psychology of the creative. Women revealed. A man alone.

All these descriptions apply to a wondrous movie of a movie. Read more
Published 7 months ago by W. Rodick
4.0 out of 5 stars Conceptually Innovative, But Emotionally Rather Detached
I have always found this 1963 work by Federico Fellini to be an endlessly fascinating 'conversation piece' (to borrow from Luchino Visconti, one of Fellini's great 'rivals') in its... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Keith M
5.0 out of 5 stars renewed acquaintance
Having recently watched the DVD of Bob Fosse's 'All that Jazz', and seen reviews likening it to the Fellini film which I know I saw when it first came out but had no real... Read more
Published 14 months ago by The Wychdoctor
5.0 out of 5 stars A fabulous blast from the past.
One of the best films I have ever seen. Time has not diminished the impact and I am looking forward to sharing it ith my family at Christmas.
Published 20 months ago by Mrs. D. J. Knight
4.0 out of 5 stars Seeing behind the mask of the glamorous director
We come into this world and are free to pick our moments for finally getting around to the great works of art and culture. When did you see Eight & A Half? Read more
Published 22 months ago by Philoctetes
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible, do not buy!
This is a cheap copy. Terrible and illegal. Don't buy!

Thanks to Amazon, I got my money back.

The description said that the french version is included. Read more
Published on 4 Jun 2012 by simonsings
5.0 out of 5 stars How to read the sub-titles
Like many other people, I found the sub-titles extremely difficult to read and had to give up watching the film after a while. Read more
Published on 7 Jan 2012 by R J Hemingway
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