Rome 11 o'clock or Roma, ore 11 (1952) is an Italian film directed by Giuseppe De Santis and one of the best examples of Neorealist filmmaking. The dramatic plot is based on the real story of an accident that happened on 15 January 1951 on Via Savoia in Rome[1] when a staircase collapsed because of the weight of two hundred women waiting for a job interview.[2] One woman was killed and 76 were injured.[3]

Roma, ore 11
Rome 11 00-384807191-large.jpg
Directed byGiuseppe De Santis
Written byCesare Zavattini
Basilio Franchina
Giuseppe De Santis
Rodolfo Sonego
Gianni Puccini
StarringCarla Del Poggio
Lucia Bosé
Raf Vallone
CinematographyOtello Martelli
Edited byGabriele Varriale
Music byMario Nascimbene
Release date
  • 1952 (1952)
Running time
105 minutes

Augusto Genina made the film Tre storie proibite, based on the same tragic event.


In the early 1950s, Italy was suffering from serious unemployment[1] and it was especially difficult for women to get jobs. In response to a newspaper ad seeking a secretary for an accountant's office, the two hundred women crowded the small building's staircase, hoping for an interview. They came from diverse backgrounds: fallen nobles, prostitutes seeking to change their lives, wives with unemployed husbands, and affluent daughters with not enough pension to survive.

Waiting on the stairs, the women exchange impressions and discuss their lives of misery and their tricks for making a living. Gianna, played by Eva Vanicek is first in line, the pawn of a strong-willed mother, while Caterina, played by Lea Padovani, is a prostitute hoping for a new life. Angelina, played by Delia Scala is a servant, also hoping to escape her situation.[2] Other characters include a pregnant unwed mother (Elena Varzi), a young woman who wants to be a singer (Irène Galter), and an artist's mistress (Lucia Bosè).[2]

When a poor workman's wife, Luciana Renzoni, played by Carla Del Poggio, tries to move ahead in the line, the resulting scuffle among the women causes the staircase to collapse.[2]

The injured are taken to a hospital, but to be treated, the hospital is demanding a payment of 2,300 Lire per day. Many of them are unable to pay and are forced to go home.


still-shot from Rome 11:00



New York Times film critic, Bosley Crowther called Rome 11:00 a "vivid, raw-boned movie" and "a film of absorbing interest and persistent emotional power." He also praised Carla Del Poggio for her sensitive portrayal of the anguish felt by her character, Luciana Renzoni, after precipitating the tragedy.[2]


In 1956, filmmaker Elio Petri published Roma ore 11, a collection of his interviews with people involved in the tragedy. The documentation originally served as a basis for the film.[1][3] The work was republished in 2004.


  1. ^ a b c Petri, Elio (2004) [1956]. Roma ore 11. Palermo: Sellerio Editore. ISBN 9788838919275.
  2. ^ a b c d e Crowther, Bosley (30 April 1953). "Movie Review: Roma Ore 11 (1952)". New York Times. Retrieved 27 March 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Rome 11 hours". Sellerio Editore. Retrieved 27 March 2016.

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