Pier Paolo Pasolini

Mamma Roma

Mamma Roma

Anna Magnani is Mamma Roma, a middle-aged prostitute who attempts to extricate herself from her sordid past for the sake of her son. Highlighting director Pier Paolo Pasolini’s lifelong fascination with the marginalized and dispossessed, Mamma Roma offers an unflinching, neorealistic look at the struggle for survival in postwar Italy. Though initially banned in the country for obscenity, today the film remains a classic, featuring a powerhouse performance by one of cinema’s greatest actors and offering a glimpse at Pasolini in the process of finding his style.

Film Info

  • Italy
  • 1962
  • 106 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.85:1
  • Italian
  • Spine #236

Available In

Collector's Set

Pasolini 101

Pasolini 101

Blu-ray Box Set

9 Discs


Mamma Roma
Anna Magnani
Mamma Roma
Ettore Garofolo
Franco Citti
Silvana Corsini
Luisa Loiano
Paolo Volponi
The priest
Luciano Gonini
Vittorio La Paglia
Il signore Pellissier
Piero Morgia
Franco Ceccarelli
Marcello Sorrentino
Sandro Meschino
Franco Tovo
Pasquale Ferrarese
Leandro Santarelli
Emanuele Di Bari
Gennarino, the troubadour
Antonio Spoletini
A fireman
Nino Bionci
The painter
Nino Venzi
A client
Maria Bernardini
The bride
Santino Citti
The bride’s father
Renato Montalbano
Pier Paolo Pasolini
Written by
Pier Paolo Pasolini
Produced by
Alfredo Bini
Tonino Delli Colli
Edited by
Nino Baragli
Art director
Flavio Mogherini
Music coordinator
Carlo Rustichelli


The Elegiac Heart: Pier Paolo Pasolini, Filmmaker
The Elegiac Heart: Pier Paolo Pasolini, Filmmaker

With a divided self that reflected the fissures in his country in the wake of World War II, the most courageous and dangerous Italian artist of his generation transcended dogma and resisted affiliations.

By James Quandt

Michael Imperioli’s Top 10
Michael Imperioli’s Top 10

The Emmy-winning actor, best known for his work on The Sopranos, shares his list of Criterion favorites, lavishing special attention on three masterpieces by John Cassavetes.

From the Pasolini Archives
From the Pasolini Archives

On the anniversary of his birth, we look back on the films of Pier Paolo Pasolini, one of the most radical figures of Italian cinema.

Jonas Carpignano’s Top 10
Jonas Carpignano’s Top 10

Jonas Carpignano was born in 1984 and grew up in New York City and Rome. His first feature film, Mediterranea, debuted at the Cannes Film Festival.

Nathan Silver’s Top 10
Nathan Silver’s Top 10

Nathan Silver is the writer and director of four short films and eight features, including Uncertain Terms (2014), Stinking Heaven (2015), and Thirst Street (2017)

Pasolini in Berkeley

Repertory Picks

Pasolini in Berkeley
Since September, the Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive has been honoring the great Italian actor Anna Magnani with a career-spanning retrospective of her work. This Saturday, the series continues with Pier Paolo Pasolini’s 1962 sophomo…


Pier Paolo Pasolini

Writer, Director

Pier Paolo Pasolini
Pier Paolo Pasolini

Pier Paolo Pasolini’s ability to simultaneously embrace conflicting philosophies—he was both a Catholic and a Marxist; a modern-minded, openly gay man who looked to the distant past for inspiration and comfort; a staunch leftist who at one point in the late sixties infamously spoke out against left-wing student protests (sympathizing instead with the working-class police)—was matched by the multifariousness of his professional life, as a filmmaker, poet, journalist, novelist, playwright, painter, actor, and all-around intellectual public figure. What he is best known for, however, is undoubtedly his subversive body of film work. He was a student of the written word, and among his earliest movie jobs was writing additional dialogue for Federico Fellini’s Nights of Cabiria (1957). Soon he was directing his first film, Accattone (1961), a tale of street crime whose style and content greatly influenced the debut feature of his friend Bernardo Bertolucci, La commare secca (1962), for which Pasolini also supplied the original story. The outspoken and always political Pasolini’s films became increasingly scandalous—even, to some minds, blasphemous—from the gritty reimagining of the Christ story The Gospel According to St. Matthew (1964) to the bawdy medieval tales in his Trilogy of Life (1971–1974). Tragically, Pasolini was found brutally murdered weeks before the release of his final work, the grotesque, Marquis de Sade–derived Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975), still one of the world’s most controversial films.