1327: after a mysterious death in a Benedictine Abbey, the monks are convinced that the apocalypse is coming. With the Abbey to play host to a council on the Franciscan's Order's belief that the Church should rid itself of wealth, William of Baskerville, a respected Franciscan friar, is asked to assist in determining the cause of the untimely death. Alas, more deaths occur as the investigation draws closer to uncovering the secret the Abbey wants hidden, and there is finally no stopping the Holy Inquisition from taking an active hand in the process. William and his young novice must race against time to prove the innocence of the unjustly accused and avoid the wrath of Holy Inquisitor Bernardo Gui. Written by
Rick Munoz <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Feodor Chaliapin Jr. (Jorge de Burgos) was the son of Russian opera legend Feodor Chaliapin Sr.. Jean-Jacques Annaud was constantly concerned for his well-being, considering the stress of wearing cataract contacts (which made Chaliapin's eyes tear continually), working in the cold, damp sets, and doing his own fire stunts. Chaliapin dismissed Annaud's concerns and performed beyond Annaud's expectations. See more »
At several points in the film, individuals enter another's cell (room) rather freely. In ancient religious rules, entering another monk's cell without permission was normally forbidden, even punishable by excommunication. See more »
Voice of Adso as an Old Man:
Having reached the end of my poor sinner's life, my hair now white, I prepare to leave on this parchment my testimony as to the wondrous and terrible events that I witnessed in my youth, towards the end of the year of our Lord 1327. May God grant me the wisdom and grace to be the faithful chronicler of the happenings that took place in a remote abbey in the dark north of Italy. An abbey whose name it seems, even now, pious and prudent to omit.
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The opening credits read - A palimpsest of Umberto Eco's Novel The Name of the Rose See more »
A number of people have commented on the similarity of this film, and the Novel by Umberto Eco, to the DaVinci Code. For those who were not born then, The Name of the Rose was published in 1980, thus predating DaVinci by about 20 or more years. I must admit that I found DaVinci to be a mass market popularization of Eco's theme, in short a "rip off". Still, it may be the popularity of Brown's novel which has resulted in Name of the Rose being brought back in a DVD version, and for that I am truly thankful.
For a film which was not favorably reviewed by the critics, it is surprising how many reviewers 20 years later are giving it a 10. Either the film wore well or tastes have changed. I loved the film first time around and was delighted to find it on DVD. Certainly the screenplay had to deviate from the philosophizing of the book. It would have been almost unwatchably "talkie" had it not, and those of us who want to read the sermons/discussions can read the book. The film stands on it's own.
The most ominous feeling for me, living in the religious and politically free thinking 21st century, was the realization that the church had such a grip on every aspect of life and thinking in the middle ages, and that any perceived repudiation of accepted Church dogma was deemed heresy and punishable by torture and a horrible death. That one group of people should wield such power, and the length they would go to to hold on to that power is truly frightening. The rigid class structure where the nobility and church owned the land which the peasants worked, and supported those above them while being kept down by those above, was very well conveyed in the film. Life was short and hard, health was poor and the plague could return at any time, carrying off those who had not been carried off by the incessant wars. Not a pleasant age to live. The period of the film is set just prior to the reformation. It is hardly surprising that the teachings of the various religious orders began to be questioned.
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