Mothers and sons -- Italy -- Drama, Prostitutes -- Italy -- Drama

Mamma Roma

Imported 35mm Print 


Anna Magnani, Ettore Garofolo, Franco Citti, Silvana Corsini,

Mamma Roma captures the dispirited world of a spirited prostitute and her efforts to rise above her trade toward a petit bourgeois life for herself and her grown son. In stone ruins and suburban housing projects, Pasolini finds a combination of the seamy and the lyric, the ugly and the classical, rough trade tempered by raw beauty. His dreamlike edits open neorealism to a transcendent modernity, though the film sears with reality. Pasolini, who rarely used professional actors (“I choose actors for what they are and not for what they pretend to be”), questioned using Anna Magnani. Nevertheless, as Mamma Roma walks the streets giving young johns what they want—her stories—or her pimp ex-husband (Franco Citti) his due in ribald song, and as she dances a tango with her soon-to-be martyred son, it’s hard to picture anyone but Magnani in the role.

Judy Bloch
  • Pier Paolo Pasolini
  • Tonino Delli Colli
  • Italian
  • with English subtitles
Print Info
  • B&W
  • 35mm
  • 111 mins
  • Cinecittà
  • Janus Films

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View Mamma Roma documents  

Chantal Akerman: the pajama interview (interview), LOLA Press, Nicole Brenez, 2012

Pasolini's second coming (review), Reader (Chicago, Ill.), Jonathan Rosenbaum, 1995

Mamma Roma (distributor materials), Milestone Film & Video, 1995

Alma mater (review), SF Weekly, Daniel Mangin, 1995

Mamma Roma (distributor materials), Milestone Film & Video, 1995

Mamma Roma (review), Film Journal International, Cole Gagne, 1995

I remember Mamma (review), Pulse!, Tom Lanham, 1995

Beautiful losers (review), East Bay Express, Michael Covino, 1995

Pier Paolo Pasolini: the eyes of a poet (booklet), UCLA Film & Television Archive, 1991

Pier Paolo Pasolini (program note), Art Gallery of Ontario, James Quandt, 1990

Displaying 10 of 22 publicly available documents.

View all Mamma Roma documentation on CineFiles.