At the wedding of her pimp, Carmine (Franco Citti), ‘Mamma Ro’ (Anna Magnani) announces her retirement from prostitution. She first returns to her poverty-stricken native village to reclaim her estranged son Ettore (Ettore Garofalo) and then moves into a newly constructed apartment complex in Rome. Mamma’s tragicomic attempts to create a new life for herself meet with a variety of obstacles: her struggle to pay her bills, the return of Carmine into her life, Ettore’s listlessness and his friendship with lowlifes and vagabonds. Set among Rome’s borgate, a counter-culture of Rome’s lower depths, Mamma Roma depicts the social impact of emerging middle-class values in its ironic story of a mother’s love for her child.
Pier Paolo Pasolini’s iconoclastic vision renders the world of the borgate - a world of criminals, prostitutes and pimps - with the sacred elegance of religious paintings by Renaissance masters. This seeming lack of judgment towards society’s reprobates made his work deeply controversial. Equally subversive is the casting of Oscar winning actress Anna Magnani. An Italian national treasure, her brilliant performance endows her character with the mythic dimension inherent in the name Mamma Roma.
"Forget Black Swan's smothering mother and the helmet-haired harridan of The Fighter; when it comes to maternal messiness currently at a theater near you, these women can' t hold an altar candle to Anna Magnani's Mamma Roma" -- Time Out
"Compared to Anna Magnani, most film actresses look half-dead. Erupting with lust, laughter and carnivorous pleasure, the great Italian star had a diva's hauteur, a peasant bawd's temperament and a knack for obliterating any actor who dared to share the screen with her" -- San Francisco Chronicle
"Hell hath no fury like Mamma Roma, the virago played so stormily by Anna Magnani ... seethes with the sensuality and dark iconoclasm" -- New York Times
"A work of shattering beauty" -- Time Out
Cast & Credits:
Anna Magnani / Ettore Garofolo / Franco Citti / Silvana Corsini / Luisa Loiano / Paolo Volponi
Luciano Gonini / Directed - Pier Paolo Pasolini
- Venice Film Festival (1962), Won, Italian Cinema Clubs Award,
Pier Paolo Pasolini
Venice Film Festival (1962), Won, Best Actress,
enice Film Festival (1962), Nominated, Golden Lion,
Pier Paolo Pasolini
1962 / 102 minutes / Italian with English subtitles / Mono audio / 1.33 : 1 Black & White / DVD PAL Multi Region / Rating 15 / MRBDVD038