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Ginger and Fred

4.3 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The legendary Federico Fellini, Oscar®-nominated 12 times for such films as "La Dolce Vita" and "8-1/2," skewers society in general and TV in particular with this nostalgic tribute to the past that won a Golden Globe® as Best Foreign Language Film. Starring Giulietta Masina (Mrs. Fellini) and frequent Fellini leading man Marcello Mastroianni, the film tells the story of two retired performers, Amelia and Pippo, who once wowed crowds with their dance recreations of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers and are now reuniting for a nationwide TV special. The New York Times' Vincent Canby said the movie "ranks with the best work Mr. Fellini has ever done." In Italian with English subtitles.

In 1986, Federico Fellini's satiric take on television vulgarianism might have been considered, well, Fellini-esque. Today, the grotesque commercials and insipid game shows he depicts pale next to reality. Billed in their heyday as Ginger & Fred, Ameilia (Giulietta Masina) and Pippo (Marcello Mastroianni) are reunited after 30 years to perform their Rogers-Astaire ballroom dance tribute act on We Are Proud to Present, a television variety show. Amelia is now a widowed grandmother. Pippo has gone somewhat to seed. Can they recapture the magic amidst this surreal circus of transvestites, midgets, and a Ronald Reagan impersonator? Ginger & Fred works best when Amelia and Pippo's bittersweet reunion is center stage, thanks to the impeccable charm and grace of Masina (La Strada) and the incomparable Mastroianni (La Dolce Vita), two actors most closely associated with the director. Ginger & Fred is as much a tribute to artists ("benefactors of humanity," someone notes at one point) as it is to the ephemeral state of cinema itself. "We are phantoms," Pippo tells his partner. "We arise from the darkness and disappear again." Like Pippo, Fellini makes a few missteps, but Ginger & Fred is ultimately quite moving ("Bravo," a fan congratulates Amelia. "You made me cry."), with an unforgettable train station finale. Fellini made only two more films, but Ginger & Fred would have made a fitting swan song. --Donald Liebenson

Special Features

  • Theatrical trailer

Product Details

  • Actors: Marcello Mastroianni, Giulietta Masina, Franco Fabrizi, Friedrich von Ledebur, Augusto Poderosi
  • Directors: Federico Fellini
  • Writers: Federico Fellini, Tonino Guerra, Tullio Pinelli
  • Producers: Alberto Grimaldi, Heinz Bibo
  • Format: Color, Closed-captioned, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Italian (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: February 13, 2007
  • Run Time: 125 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000JYW5AU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,233 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Ginger and Fred" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
Memories are time capsules kept within every one of us, stored in the mind, but activated by the heart; the indelible images and sensations that make up an individual's life. A heartbeat away, they can be opened at any time, but let the bearer beware, for often they are bittersweet at best. "Ginger and Fred," directed by Federico Fellini, and starring Giulietta Masina and Marcello Mastroianni, brings two people back together after nearly thirty years apart, a reunion of the professional dance team who for fifteen years prior to their retirement imitated Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire to the delight of audiences all over Europe. Now, all these years later, they are to dance together again; this time on the popular television show, "We Are Proud To Present," a "tabloid" type show which presents a variety of acts and guests weekly for the perusal of their curious audience. And so, amid a circus atmosphere of acts comprised of a troop of midgets, an Admiral, a number of celebrity impersonators and those whose personal lives have attracted media attention, Amelia Bonetti/"Ginger" (Masina) and Pippo Botticella/"Fred" (Mastroianni), come together again for one magical night during which they hope to recapture that spark of life they had embraced those many years ago. At it's core, Fellini's film is heart-felt and poignant. On one hand, it's a satire of popular television; on the other, it's an examination of the very real ramifications of those so-called "sentimental journeys" that those of a certain age are wont to take, and during which it is often discovered that it is, indeed, impossible to go home again. What really makes this film work is the stoic attitudes of the principal characters, especially Ginger, who though she is happy to see Pippo again refuses to allow sentiment to engulf her.Read more ›
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Format: VHS Tape
It's been said that it was part of Fellini's own decay. That is a sad feeling, and the bottom line is that, "Ginger and Fred" is an anti-decay film because it refuses to show an artist's anihilation. Decay? Fellini was always interested in it. He depicted the decay of the roman society in such acclaimed films as "La dolce vita" and "Satyricon". Now, maybe a bit of old age, maybe a touch of bitterness (confirmed with his last film, "The voice of the moon", showed in 1990's Cannes Film Festival) towards noise and the nonsense of television. It's common knowledge that TV is the new oracle (along with the device that's allowing you to read this right now, the Internet), which, added to the lost of past innocence, when dancing and music were enough to satisfy a night's seek of emotions, were elements that mixed in the confusion that "Ginger and Fred" were samples of decay. "Ginger and Fred" was the first Fellini movie I saw at age 10, and I was inmediatly captured by the direct sense of humor, capacity of observation and freshness of a film director's name that sounded pretty strong to me ("Amarcord", especially). There's a camaraderie in the scenes with Marcello that could only come from a true artist love for actors and performers, which is the real subject of this movie. It's a real feast just to catch Fellini's cleverness when dealing with little people, priests, a transexual, a cow with twenty teats, imitators, an almirant, and a couple of Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers veteran personification dancers, all rolled up in a christmas television marathon. Along with Fellini's most obvious resources (actors of strange characteristics; bittersweet situations that deal with the unexpected and the surreal, the vulgar and the humor towards everything) there's a subtle suspense feeling that culminates with the tender dance in the film's ending, before the aged dancers' last good-bye.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I loved this movie --- it ranks with Fellini's best as far as I'm concerned. But the caveat here is that most movie viewers probably don't have the patience for Fellini's vision in this film or most of the body of his work. The story here is simple enough. It's a sweet story that could have been done by any other straight-forward director as a serious drama, a comedy, or even a musical. But why do it that way when you can make it a wacked out surrealistic dream vision of a film complete with midgets, transvestites, beautiful people, and the whole gamut of individuals that make the world the wonderfully various place it is. The vision concerns the decay of the modern world and the modern mind, alienation as brought to you by television, and the wistful longing for a past that is gone and perhaps was really never how we envision it now. The layers of the film's cinematography, dialogue as pertains to the story, absurdist antidialogue, sets and costuming, and every other aspect makes the film call for repeated watching. The acting is superb. The music is typically whimsical and lovely as any Fellini film.
"Fred and Ginger" will rank high on my list of favorite films. But as I have warned, if your movies have to have action and traditional storylines then you may not appreciate this one, especially since it's in Italian with subtitles. But if you think you would enjoy watching a story presented in a manner akin to watching a dream (not a nightmare)full of strange visuals and off the wall ideas and dialogue then I would encourage you to give this a chance. I would compare Fellini's film to those of David Lynch except without the perversion, violence, and darkness. Fellini is more like Lynch at the circus. Before there was David Lynch, there was Fellini.
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