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The Name of the Rose

Urs Althaus, Sean Connery


An intellectually nonconformist monk investigates a series of mysterious deaths in an isolated abbey.

Release Year: 1986

Rating: 7.8/10 (41,407 voted)

Jean-Jacques Annaud

Stars: Sean Connery, Christian Slater, Helmut Qualtinger

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 monk, 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.

Writers: Umberto Eco, Andrew Birkin


Sean Connery

William of Baskerville

Christian Slater

Adso of Melk

Helmut Qualtinger

Remigio da Varagine

Elya Baskin


Michael Lonsdale

The Abbot

Volker Prechtel


Feodor Chaliapin Jr.

Jorge de Burgos

William Hickey

Ubertino da Casale

Michael Habeck


Urs Althaus


Valentina Vargas

The Girl

Ron Perlman


Leopoldo Trieste

Michele da Cesena

Franco Valobra

Jerome of Kaffa

Vernon Dobtcheff

Hugh of Newcastle

Sie glaubten an Gott und waren des Teufels.

Release Date: 24 September 1986

Filming Locations: Abruzzo, Italy

Box Office Details

Budget: $17,000,000


Opening Weekend: $494,571
(28 September 1986)
(42 Screens)

Gross: $77,200,000

Technical Specs


Did You Know?


One of the actors considered for the role of Salvatore was Franco Franchi, popular low-budget slapstick comedian in Italy, notorious for his rubber-face expressions. He refused the role, in spite of the international acknowledgment it brought, because he wanted to stay faithful to his image as a comedian.


Audio/visual unsynchronized:
When the monks proceed towards the final burning of their prisoners at the stake, they chant. You can see a few monks moving their lips totally unsynchronized.


[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.

User Review

Criminally underrated by some, hailed as a masterwork by others. Who's right? The "masterwork" campaigners, of course!

Rating: 9/10

'Variety' got it completely wrong when they called this film
"sorrowfully mediocre" and "sluggishly staged". For in all honesty The
Name of the Rose is one of the greatest films of the '80s, and a film
that grows in greatness every time you revisit it. Based on a major
bestselling novel by Umberto Eco, the film is an excellent murder
mystery further heightened by its authentic period trappings and a
clutch of tremendous performances.

Brother William of Baskerville (Sean Connery) and his young apprentice
Adso (Christian Slater) are monks who arrive in a 14th Century
monastery having been summoned for a religious conference. Soon after
their arrival, a series of bloodthirsty murders take place and the
friars still alive begin to fear that either the Apocalypse is upon
them, or a highly disturbed individual is out to bump them off. Brother
William has a penchant for sleuthing, so he probes into the mysterious
deaths and discovers that each victim had laid his eyes upon a Greek
manuscript hidden deep within the interior of the monastery. He
gradually realises that the killer must be targeting those who know of
the book's existence, but just as he is about to solve the killings an
inquisitor (F. Murray Abraham) arrives and tries to discredit Brother
William's theories, preferring to blame the crimes on non-existent
heretics and satanists.

The film is very realistic in every way – the cold, uncomfortable
monastery; the graphic murders; grotesque and disfigured characters; a
startlingly explicit sex scene; authentic-sounding dialogue; excellent
indoor and outdoor locations; and well-researched costume designs.
Furthermore, it is a superbly paced film, never in too great a hurry to
unravel but never so slow that it becomes a plod. Connery is great as
the hero, surpassed only by Abraham in a breathtaking role as Bernardo
Gui the inquisitor, and Slater does well considering his tender age as
the loyal apprentice. Both Roy Scheider and Michael Caine were
short-listed for the Connery role, but I don't see how either actor
could've done better with the character. Jean Jacques Annaud directs
outstandingly, capturing every shadow, every expression and every plot
piece with the eye that only a director obsessed with his material
possibly can. The Name of the Rose makes the top #50 of the 1980s
without question.