Juliet of the Spirits

Juliet of the Spirits (Italian: Giulietta degli spiriti) is a 1965 Italian-French fantasy comedy-drama film directed by Federico Fellini and starring Giulietta Masina, Sandra Milo, Mario Pisu, Valentina Cortese, and Valeska Gert. The film is about the visions, memories, and mysticism that help a middle-aged woman find the strength to leave her philandering husband.[2] The film uses "caricatural types and dream situations to represent a psychic landscape."[3] It was Fellini's first feature-length color film, but followed his use of color in The Temptation of Doctor Antonio episode in the portmanteau film Boccaccio '70 (1962). Juliet of the Spirits won the 1966 Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

Juliet of the Spirits
Theatrical release poster
Directed byFederico Fellini
Produced byAngelo Rizzoli
Screenplay byFederico Fellini
Tullio Pinelli
Ennio Flaiano
Brunello Rondi
Story byFederico Fellini
Tullio Pinelli
StarringGiulietta Masina
Sandra Milo
Mario Pisu
Valentina Cortese
Valeska Gert
Music byNino Rota
Eugene Walter
CinematographyGianni Di Venanzo
Edited byRuggero Mastroianni
Release date
  • 22 October 1965 (1965-10-22) (France)
  • 23 October 1965 (1965-10-23) (Italy)
Running time
144 minutes[1] (Original Italian release)
137 minutes


Giulietta explores her subconscious and the odd lifestyle of her sexy neighbour, Suzy, as she attempts to deal with her mundane life and her philandering oppressive husband, Giorgio. As she increasingly taps into her desires (and her demons) she slowly gains greater self-awareness, leading to independence, although, according to Masina (Fellini's wife), the ending's meaning is debatable.[4]



Juliet of the Spirits was shot in Fregene, Italy; Safa-Palatino, Italy (studio); and at Cinecittà Studios in Rome.[6]

Fellini's longtime musical collaborator Nino Rota composed the soundtrack. Until his death in 1979, Rota wrote the music for every Fellini film except his directorial debut, Variety Lights. The music in Juliet of the Spirits contains circus themes, as in Fellini's , and also uses organ, cocktail piano, guitar, saxophones, and voices without words to convey Juliet's shifts in feeling.[7] The soundtrack was mentioned in a profile of the actor Steve Buscemi, which notes that "a Victrola sits in [Buscemi's] dining room, with the theme music for 'Juliet of the Spirits' permanently on its turntable."[8]

Awards and nominations


On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 79% based on 28 reviews, with an average rating of 7.2/10.[10] On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating to reviews, the film's rerelease has a weighted average score of 81 out of 100, based on 9 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".[11]

In The New York Times, Stephen Holden wrote of a revival in 2001: "Fellini went deliriously and brilliantly bananas with the color to create a rollicking through-the-looking-glass series of tableaus evoking a woman's troubled psyche."[12]


  1. "JULIET OF THE SPIRITS (15)". British Board of Film Classification. 26 January 1966. Retrieved 26 January 2013.
  2. "Juliet of the Spirits". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 29 April 2012.
  3. Constantini, 188
  4. Ebert, Roger (5 August 2001). "Reviews - Great Movie - Juliet of the Spirits (1965)". RogerEbert.com. Retrieved 4 July 2014.
  5. "Full cast and crew for Juliet of the Spirits". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 29 April 2012.
  6. "Locations for Juliet of the Spirits". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 29 April 2012.
  7. Cook, Stephen. "Nino Rota: Guilletta degli Spiriti [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] - Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 17 December 2017.
  8. Lahr, John (14 November 2005). "The Thin Man - Profile of Steve Buscemi". The New Yorker. 14 November 2005: 80.
  9. "Awards for Juliet of the Spirits". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 29 April 2012.
  10. "Juliet of the Spirits (Giulietta degli Spiriti) (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  11. "Juliet of the Spirits Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  12. Holden, Stephen (18 May 2001). "Rediscovering Color In a Fellini Fantasy". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 October 2016.


  • Fellini, Federico, and Costanzo Costantini, ed. Fellini on Fellini. London: Faber and Faber, 1995. ISBN 0-571-17543-0
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