7.9/10
6,961
30 user 34 critic

Mamma Roma (1962)

Not Rated | | Drama | 18 January 1965 (USA)
After many years working in the streets of Roma, the middle-age whore Mamma Roma (Anna Magnani) saves money to buy an upper class apartment, a fruit stand and retires from the prostitution.... See full summary »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Accattone (1961)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A pimp with no other means to provide for himself finds his life spiraling out of control when his prostitute is sent to prison.

Director: Pier Paolo Pasolini
Stars: Franco Citti, Franca Pasut, Silvana Corsini
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The life of Jesus Christ according to the Gospel of Matthew. Pasolini shows Christ as a Marxist avant-la-lettre and therefore uses half of the text of Matthew.

Director: Pier Paolo Pasolini
Stars: Enrique Irazoqui, Margherita Caruso, Susanna Pasolini
Oedipus Rex (1967)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In pre-war Italy, a young couple have a baby boy. The father, however, is jealous of his son - and the scene moves to antiquity, where the baby is taken into the desert to be killed. He is ... See full summary »

Director: Pier Paolo Pasolini
Stars: Silvana Mangano, Franco Citti, Alida Valli
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Innocenti Totò and his son Innocenti Ninetto are drifting on a road in Italy, when they meet a Marxist speaking crow. The trio travels together in a long journey as their hunger increases.

Director: Pier Paolo Pasolini
Stars: Totò, Ninetto Davoli, Femi Benussi
Medea (1969)
Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

On a quest to retrieve the Golden Fleece, Jason returns to Greece with the powerful sorceress, Medea. But when the King banishes her, Medea will plot her furious revenge.

Director: Pier Paolo Pasolini
Stars: Maria Callas, Massimo Girotti, Laurent Terzieff
Teorema (1968)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A mysterious young man seduces each member of a bourgeois family. When he suddenly leaves, how will their lives change?

Director: Pier Paolo Pasolini
Stars: Silvana Mangano, Terence Stamp, Massimo Girotti
Porcile (1969)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Two dramatic stories. In an undetermined past, a young cannibal (who killed his own father) is condemned to be torn to pieces by some wild beasts. In the second story, Julian, the young son... See full summary »

Director: Pier Paolo Pasolini
Stars: Pierre Clémenti, Jean-Pierre Léaud, Alberto Lionello
The Decameron (1971)
Comedy | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An adaptation of nine stories from Boccaccio's "Decameron".

Director: Pier Paolo Pasolini
Stars: Franco Citti, Ninetto Davoli, Jovan Jovanovic
La rabbia (1963)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

"La Rabbia" employs documentary footage (from the 1950s) and accompanying commentary to attempt to answer the existential question, Why are our lives characterized by discontent, anguish, ... See full summary »

Directors: Giovanni Guareschi, Pier Paolo Pasolini
Stars: Giorgio Bassani, Renato Guttuso, Gigi Artuso
Comedy | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Pasolini's artistic, sometimes violent, always vividly cinematic retelling of some of Chaucer's most erotic tales.

Director: Pier Paolo Pasolini
Stars: Hugh Griffith, Laura Betti, Ninetto Davoli
Ro.Go.Pa.G. (1963)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

This consists of four short films by different directors. Rosselini's 'Chastity' ('Illibatezza') deals with an attractive air hostess who receives the unwelcome attentions of a middle aged ... See full summary »

Directors: Jean-Luc Godard, Ugo Gregoretti, and 2 more credits »
Stars: Rosanna Schiaffino, Bruce Balaban, Maria Pia Schiaffino
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In this film inspired by the ancient erotic and mysterious tales of Mid-West Asia, the main story concerns an innocent young man who comes to fall in love with a slave who selected him as ... See full summary »

Director: Pier Paolo Pasolini
Stars: Ninetto Davoli, Franco Citti, Franco Merli
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anna Magnani ... Mamma Roma
Ettore Garofolo Ettore Garofolo ... Ettore
Franco Citti ... Carmine
Silvana Corsini Silvana Corsini ... Bruna
Luisa Loiano Luisa Loiano ... Biancofiore
Paolo Volponi ... Il Prete (Priest)
Luciano Gonini Luciano Gonini ... Zacaria
Vittorio La Paglia Vittorio La Paglia ... Il sig. Pellissier
Piero Morgia Piero Morgia ... Piero
Franco Ceccarelli Franco Ceccarelli ... Carletto
Marcello Sorrentino Marcello Sorrentino ... Tonino
Sandro Meschino Sandro Meschino ... Pasquale
Franco Tovo Franco Tovo ... Augusto
Pasquale Ferrarese Pasquale Ferrarese ... Lino
Leandro Santarelli Leandro Santarelli ... Begalo
Edit

Storyline

After many years working in the streets of Roma, the middle-age whore Mamma Roma (Anna Magnani) saves money to buy an upper class apartment, a fruit stand and retires from the prostitution. She brings her teenage son Ettore (Ettore Garofolo), who was raised alone in the country, to live with her, and Ettore becomes her pride and joy. However, the boy that does not want to study or work, joins to idle friends, has a crush on a bitch, and Mamma Roma uses her best but limited efforts to straight Ettore and make him an honest man. However, her past haunts her with tragic consequences. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

Italy

Language:

Italian

Release Date:

18 January 1965 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Мама Рома See more »

Filming Locations:

Rome, Lazio, Italy

Company Credits

Production Co:

Arco Film See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

At the films premiere in the Quattro Fontane Cinema (Rome, 22nd September 1962), Mr. Pier Paolo Pasolini was attacked by fascists who protested against the film. See more »

Goofs

When Mamma Roma removes Clementina's veil and puts it on her own head, the camera cuts to Carmine's reaction. Next to him, we can see the sides of the veil still on Clementina's head. See more »

Quotes

Mamma Roma: There was a neighbor of ours, a rich old man with loads of money. He dressed like Robespierre. He had a mustache and cane, like he was a king. You know how he made his money? Under fascism. Mussolini told him, "Build a district for the working class."
See more »

Connections

Featured in Cinema forever - Capolavori salvati (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Violino tzigano
(uncredited)
Music by Cesare A. Bixio (as Bixio)
Lyrics by Bruno Cherubini (as Cherubini)
Performed by Anna Magnani
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
often intense, in big and subtle ways, and filled with a technical prowess specific to Pasolini and Delli-Colli
11 July 2007 | by MisterWhiplashSee all my reviews

Mamma Roma, not released in the US until over thirty years after its original release in Italy, has the ingredients of melodrama but is not filmed exactly in the way that should conjure the usual aesthetic. It's filmed like in a trance much of the time, as its characters move along like they know what self-made hell they're in, and while it's not done in a semi-documentary way it doesn't exactly have the heightened sense of true urgency that a Rossellini film had either. The location sort of makes it in part a psychological crutch to live in; the buildings and even the rural decay as being symbolic (arguably) of Roma and Ettore's rock and a hard place situation as well as their torn relationship. But what's captured best is the passion of the characters- even if it's not exactly always well performed passion or expression- and the hardened melancholy directed by the musical score.

One of the best things Pasolini has going for him with his production is Anna Magnani as the title role. She's the kind of warm-hearted prostitute that's become a cliché in some films, but she passes cliché to make Mamma Roma a sublime array of what a hard-bitten woman of 43, who's been working the streets her whole life since hitting pubescence, and while she can have moments of tenderness and happiness and real abandon with odd hilarity (i.e. that wedding scene at the beginning), it's all very brief as if on a leash via pimp Carmine (Citti). Magnani is, to use a cliché, the heart and soul of the picture, or at least the best kind, as her intent for being compassionate for her son is undying, even when she scorns him for doing nothing with his life. There's a great scene where she and Biancofiore, a fellow prostitute, watch Ettore at a waiter job, and she breaks into tears for seemingly no reason, but there is a reason for how simple but effectively Pasolini shows Ettore being really innocent and pure at work, even child-like in his demeanor.

And if Ettore- played by an actor with the same name in his first movie role (not to be cruel but you can tell)- is sort of two-dimensional as an angry and dysfunctional and aimless youth, after women and money but with no direction at all- is an intriguing weak link, Pasolini and DP Tonino Delli-Colli's skills at filming everything is top-notch. In fact, I'd say even having only seen a few of Pasolini's movies to be a very important film for him as director. He has a care in filming what are conventional scenes like a wedding (via close-ups, naturally), and in church scenes, and even with a specific shot of Rome used more than once to establish, and with a beautiful ease in tracking shots along the streets and empty fields that is in fact poetic in tone. Best of all, as other critics have noted, are the night-time walking scenes, where Magnani walks along in front of the camera, the lights behind making it sort of ominous and evocative at once, with one man coming into talk and then leaving and then another woman or man coming in, as Magnani walks and talks like it's the most natural thing in the world. Simply put, they're some of the most beautiful moments in 60's Italian film.

As the film rolls along to the extraordinarily depressing ending, leading to a scene in a solitary prison cell with a character tied down to a bed with a horrible fever, the music also becomes a fascinating asset. It's hit and miss with how Pasolini utilizes Vivaldi in the film, sometimes with the soft and super sad notes being played in moments that aren't quite necessary (i.e. Ettore just idly strolling along by himself, it might be more effective without), while other times with a very cool power (i.e. the pimp walking down the road, almost in a Morricone mood). But in these final scenes the music splendidly complements the doomed nature of the mother and son, as whatever momentary hope is moot for what the environment has to offer, which is all the same over and over. It's a very good film, if not a great one, about characters unable to surpass the dregs and just annoyances of the society (for Roma the customers and pimp, for Ettore his gang of "friends"), and it should be considered a must-see for fans of Italian film. 8.5/10


6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 30 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed