Mamma Roma (1962)

Mamma Roma


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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

In this film, rural Italian hooker Mamma Roma tries to create a new life for herself. This proves impossible when the past keeps rearing its ugly head in the form of her previous "johns." She returns to her old profession, whereupon her son becomes a thief and is killed.

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Art House & International, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Pier Paolo Pasolini
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 22, 2004
Criterion Collection



as Mamma Roma

as Carmine

as Biancofiore

as Biancoflore

as Signor Pellissier
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Critic Reviews for Mamma Roma

All Critics (19) | Top Critics (5)

A key transitional work for the cinematic subversive, a seriously damning portrait of maternal martyrdom and, in a killer final shot, upward mobility.

Full Review… | January 19, 2011
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 15, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

A world at once mundane and monumental for Pier Paolo Pasolini

Full Review… | September 2, 2013

Audience Reviews for Mamma Roma


I think this is the earliest Pasolini film I've seen, and it's really pretty good, it has a good story, although it's sort of predictable, the end is good.

Aj V

Super Reviewer

The Italian auteurs? cinematic roots were in neo-realism, yet diverged as their respective styles developed. Aside from Pasolini's political leanings, it is easy to forget he is part of the tradition. This early film is representative of the genre with its trademark usage of natural settings, unknown actors, and class exploration. Yet, it also diverges by casting a well-known actress and idiosyncratic camerawork. Pasolini?s incorporation of the marginalized and psycho-sexual themes (think Oedipal) are his own unique signature. What ultimately sticks with me in this film is the priest?s statement to Mamma Roma regarding Ettore: 'You can't make something from nothing.' Yet, this is precisely what Mamma Roma is attempting to do with her son and herself. This is a damning declaration against petit bourgeois values and attempts to move above your class. Anna Magnani as Mamma Roma is larger than life, high spirited, hard working, but is an unredeemed character. This is a visionary indictment of the human spirit ~ an implied consequence of Italy?s political inheritance.

Stefanie C

Super Reviewer


Pasolini's greatest, and most heartfelt work.

Michael S

Super Reviewer

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