‘The Name of the Rose’ (1986) – Movie Review

Jean Jacques Annaud directs Sean Conney in The Name of The rose (Der Name Der Rose), film version of the novel by Umberto Eco

The Name of the Rose is a great adaptation of Umberto Eco’s most important work. A thriller set in an age of superstitions (14th century) with the Inquisition at its centre.

Orson Welles said that one should adapt minor works of literature (otherwise one ran the risk of being ridiculed in comparison with literary masterpieces). This time, the director and the whole team do a great job focusing on the detective part of the literary work.


Brother William of Baskerville (Sean Connery) and his disciple Adso de Melk (Christian Slater) arrive at an abbey where one of the monks has recently died, where the abbot hopes Brother William can solve the crimes.

Our learned friend is a man far from superstition and tries to find a logical explanation for everything that goes against the firm beliefs of some monks.

If we’ve read Aristotle or know he wasn’t a footballer, so much the better.

The Name of the Rose (1986)
The Name of the Rose (1986)

The film

For starters: This is a great literary adaptation, I’ve seen few better ones. Those who love the novel definitely didn’t feel disappointed when they saw it (well, yes, they did, we’ll explain now). However, Eco’s novel is much more, and the historical theme of the Franciscans, heresy and other matters is barely touched upon. In his time, people had a lot to say about it.

Our humble opinion: this is a film, not a documentary and the film is well paced and manages to bring us to the main theme of the novel (the detective part) effectively. You can’t summarize a 700-page book in two hours because you would be making a serious mistake and, always, you have to summarize and… this is an adaptation.

The actors. Sean Connery was at his best and there was no better actor for the role of the Franciscan friar. There are other actors who would become famous like Ron Pelman and an Oscar winner like F. Murray Abraham (who won the award for Amadeus). So awesome.

The plot. What we will say about this will not surprise anyone. This novel changed the course of modern publishing at a time when historical novels were out of fashion. Eco plays a Sherlock Holmes and Watson plot (for more information on his passion for the character you can take a look at his essay Apocalitticos e Integrados) and it works great, Jean-Jacques Annaud also does a great job in this film.

The Name of the Rose (1986)
The Name of the Rose (1986)

Our opinion

If you haven’t seen the movie or read the book, I envy you that you have a great cult piece to discover.

We give this fantastic film four stars.

And, by the way, let’s add: Umberto Eco deserved the Nobel Prize only with this work that changed literature.


Jean Jacques Annaud

Jean Jacques Annaud


Elya Baskin
Michael Lonsdale
Volker Prechtel
Fedor Chaliapin Jr.
William Hickey
Michael Habeck

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The Name of the Rose (1986)

The Name of The rose

Movie Title: The Name of The rose

Movie description: 14th-century Franciscan monk William of Baskerville and his young novice arrive at a conference to find that several monks have been murdered under mysterious circumstances. To solve the crimes, William must rise up against the authority of the Church and fight the dark conspiracy of the monks of the monastery using only his intelligence, which is considerable.

Publication date: January 10, 2022

Village: West Germany

Duration: 131 mins

Author: Martin Cid

directors): Jean Jacques Annaud

Writer(s): Andrew Birkin, Gérard Brach, Howard Franklin, Alain Godard

Cinematography: Tonino Delli Colli

Music: James Horner

Actor(s): Sean Connery, Christian Slater, F. Murray Abraham, Michael Lonsdale, Valentina Vargas, Ron Perlman, Feodor Chaliapin Jr., William Hickey

Gender: Mystery

Companies: Constantin Film, ZDF, Cristaldifilm, Italian Radiotelevision (RAI), Les Films Ariane, France 3 Cinéma

Our opinion

We give this fantastic film four stars.

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