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Juliet Of The Spirits (The Criterion Collection)

4.4 out of 5 stars 65 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Juliet lives in a beautiful house by the ocean. Her sisters, and especially her Mother overshadow her with their beauty. She is a spiritual, superstious and naive woman. She visits a psychic seer who tells her she must follow the sex trade in order to be happy. Not long after she meets her eccentric and sexy neighbour, Suzy, who, by all counts appears to be a high class prostitute and encourages Juilet into sexual acts which make her guilty and nervous. A rare night when her husband is at home she wakes up to catch him talking to another woman on the phone. He calls out the name "Gabriella" while sleeping, but when she questions him he lies his way out of it. She finds out who Gabriella is and fears her husband will leave her. Juliet begins having visions who accuse and terrorise her. The pinnacle of the visions comes at the end where it is implied she realises she would be better off without her husband and is ultimately emotionally emancipated.

Special Features

  • New digital transfer
  • New & improved English subtitle translation
  • Familiar Spirits, a 19-minute interview with Fellini by Ian Dallas

Product Details

  • Actors: Alba Cancellieri, Giulietta Masina
  • Directors: Federico Fellini
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: June 1, 2010
  • Run Time: 137 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005V6N6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,650 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Juliet Of The Spirits (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
Giulietta is a wealthy, mousey Roman housewife who lives on the margins of her own supposed milieu. Dominated by her beautiful, haughty mother (who can barely tolerate her) and her tall and glamorous sisters, patronized by her rich ding-a-ling friends mostly because of her sympathetic nature (but secretly held in contempt by them for her lack of beauty), Giulietta hides instead in her perfect house with her servants--the only people she can really call her friends--and in her fantasies of her marriage to her jetsetting husband, who seems never to be around. As Giulietta comes to suspect what everyone else has known for years--that he is cheating in her--she simultaneously begins to be visited by spirits who seem to have something to tell her. But as she learns more of her husband's infidelities, and comes to examine the emptiness of her own life, Giulietta's spirits seem less like actual supernatural presences and more like manifestations of a descent into madness.

This is by no means Fellini's "best" film, but it is the one most people think of when they use the adjective "Felliniesque." The fantasy sequences, the striking use of color (particularly orange--this was his first color film, and he really went to town), the decadent Sixties fashions, and the gorgeous stauesque women who seem to have invaded from outer space: they're all here, and many of the sequences in this film have been parodied again and again. Its imitations come for a good reason: the film is utterly absolutely unforgettable. There are sequences in it that are as fine or as memorable as anything Fellini has ever done--particularly the great lawn party sequence, where Giulietta finally breaks down.
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5 Comments 42 of 44 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
First let me say that I'm grateful to have a fairly decent rendition of one of my favorite films. This film epitomizes what came to be known as Felliniesque - a lavish subconscious "theme and varriations" on the subject of marriage, sensuality and guilt. It's also the film that makes the best use of color than any other I've seen. Because I've seen "Juliet" many times in theaters I can say with some authority that the DVD transfer lacks the sharpness and vivid color of the original. In general it's too dark and focus is soft. The biggest problem is the sound which is constantly out of sync by a quarter second (at least on my player). I know Fellini always post dubbed his voices but effects and music were always in sync. There is also a harshness to the sound and at times some distortion. On the plus side, the print had no scratches and with the exception of a few strange clipped transitions (noticible by the soundtrack) seems to be the complete film. I'd have to disagree with another reviewer here who says that much is missing. It's basically the same version remember seeing over the years. I live in the US though and perhaps there was a longer Europeon version. This is one of Fellini's most hallucinatory pictures. The combination of hyper-rich color and costume combined with Nino Rota's curious score make for a completely unique viewing experience.
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By A Customer on February 16, 2003
Format: DVD
Juliet of the Spirits, Fellini's first film in color, is one of his most surreal. Giulietta Masina plays Juliet, a meek bourgeois housewife haunted by various "spirits," each with its own psychological agenda. Ultimately the film is life affirming, presenting a longing but repressed sexuality and its crises with childhood memories and psychic yearnings.
This film is very special to me because it was my first encounter with Fellini's cinema. When I found out Criterion has released it, I had to buy it. The transfer is simply unbelievable! The film's restoration makes it look completely new. This is not the Juliet of the Spirits I watched on VHS.
There is only one extra feature accompanying this DVD--"Familiar Spirits," a 20-minute talk between Fellini and Ian Dallas, the Brit who played the magician/psychic in 8 1/2.
A great film in a great Criterion presentation.
Comment 19 of 20 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
Federico Fellini's films often reflected an enticing and disturbing dreamworld. "JULIET OF THE SPIRITS" is his first color film and it is a delight to see the bright, vivid colors again. All previous existing prints on tape were deplorable transfers.
Simply put, the story focuses on a wealthy Italian housewife in her 30s and the interior metamorphosis she undergoes as she experiences the passages, events and changes in her life, most notably her husband's unfaithfulness. A husband she loves. No words can do justice to the stunning visuals -- cinematography, costumes and production design.
Many film buffs consider this Fellini's best film -- even better than his autobiographical "81/2" -- a film that is in many ways the psychological flip side of "Juliet."
Fellini was one of only a handful of world class filmmakers that was fully actualized as an artist. He could not only break the rules, but make new ones. And no one excelled better than he in visualizing an elliptical, ephemeral dreamstate that still speaks to our deepest feelings in a unique and fresh style.
Nina Rota's fantastical score raises the intensity of the images and nuances the fleeting emotions. See this great movie for the first time and discover a genius and humanist who painted with light.
Thanks to Criterion for continuing the tradition of gathering the greatest films from the finest filmmakers around the world and publishing them in editions that offer the highest technical quality and award-winning, original supplements.
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Topic From this Discussion
English Language Version
I saw the English language version in the theatre several times. Unlike most "English-dubbed" foreign language films, which are typically pretty lame, Fellini's English version was masterfully done, rich and full, and I agree, much more easily enjoyed by an English-speaker. Since he... Read More
Mar 29, 2011 by bcl |  See all 2 posts
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Juliet Of The Spirits (The Criterion Collection)
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