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The Name of the Rose (1986)

Der Name der Rose (original title)
An intellectually nonconformist friar investigates a series of mysterious deaths in an isolated abbey.

Writers:

Umberto Eco (novel), Andrew Birkin (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
2,648 ( 386)

On Disc

at Amazon

Won 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 15 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sean Connery ... William von Baskerville
Christian Slater ... Adso von Melk
Helmut Qualtinger ... Remigio de Varagine
Elya Baskin ... Severinus
Michael Lonsdale ... Der Abt
Volker Prechtel ... Malachia
Feodor Chaliapin Jr. ... Jorge de Burgos
William Hickey ... Ubertino de Casale
Michael Habeck ... Berengar
Urs Althaus ... Venantius
Valentina Vargas ... Das Mädchen
Ron Perlman ... Salvatore
Leopoldo Trieste ... Michele da Cesena
Franco Valobra Franco Valobra ... Jerome of Kaffa
Vernon Dobtcheff ... Hugh of Newcastle
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Storyline

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 <rick.munoz@his.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

They believed in God, but traded with the Devil. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy | France | West Germany

Language:

English | Latin

Release Date:

24 September 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Name of the Rose See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

ITL 30,000,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$494,571, 28 September 1986, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$7,153,487

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$77,200,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

William of Baskerville takes the philosophical position in the story of William of Ockham. (Ockham gives his name to the famous Ockham's Razor.) The two of them are both English monks involved in a dispute between pope and emperor about the roles of monasteries. See more »

Goofs

While William and Adso go to the library through the secret passageway at night, the establishing shot outside of the library shows the building in daylight. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
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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Crazy Credits

The opening credits read - A palimpsest of Umberto Eco's Novel The Name of the Rose See more »

Connections

Featured in 100 Greatest Sexy Moments (2003) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

One of the most underrated movies of the eighties
16 September 2004 | by edwardlambertiSee all my reviews

Umberto Eco's novel has something of a reputation as one of the great unread bestsellers. To have it on the shelf in the early eighties was a fashion statement as much as it was a literary necessity. And yet when the film was released, it was attacked for being an ineffective adaptation. Turning the 600-page novel, a detective mystery enriched by descriptions of medieval life and semiotic ruminations characteristic of Eco's academic writings, into a mainstream two-hour movie was, of course, ambitious. Four credited screenwriters and an international co-production gave off a sense of struggle and indecision. The movie was, and remains, easy to deride.

It's true that the film, directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud, has to skip, or skirt, much of Eco's detail - the famous pages-long description of the doorway, for example, is acknowledged by a few camera shots - but it takes the novel's literary strengths and offers a cinematic equivalent: a vivid depiction of monastic life which thrusts the viewer into the period of the story. In this respect, the production is exemplary: cinematographer Tonino Delli Colli, art director Dante Ferretti and composer James Horner were all operating at the top of their game.

And, as Renton in Trainspotting (1996) knows, Sean Connery proved a perfect choice as William of Baskerville, the 14th-century Sherlock Holmes figure investigating the deaths in an Italian monastery. It's one of Connery's best performances, a happy marriage of character acting and star casting: he suits the physical description of William and he properly conveys the character's wisdom, caution and sense of regret. Christian Slater's Adso, the narrator of the novel, is a surrogate for the viewer, expressing bafflement at the mystery story and awe at William's deductive powers; while F. Murray Abraham works wonders with the underwritten part of the inquisitor Bernardo Gui.

The Name of the Rose is one of the most underrated movies of the eighties. That it wasn't brilliant should not detract from the fact that it's as good as it is.


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