Brynna Stephen

Written by Brynna Stephen

Modified & Updated: 04 Mar 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


The Name of the Rose is a mesmerizing film that combines elements of mystery, historical fiction, and drama. Directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud and based on the acclaimed novel by Umberto Eco, this movie takes viewers on a captivating journey through a medieval monastery beset by a series of perplexing murders.

With its intricate plot, unforgettable characters, and thought-provoking themes, The Name of the Rose has become a beloved cult classic since its release in 1986. In this article, we will delve into the fascinating world of this film and discover 39 intriguing facts that will enhance your appreciation for its brilliance.

Key Takeaways:

  • “The Name of the Rose” is a captivating mystery movie set in a medieval monastery, featuring Sean Connery and Christian Slater. It explores historical, religious, and intellectual themes, making it a thought-provoking and visually stunning film.
  • Director Jean-Jacques Annaud’s adaptation of Umberto Eco’s novel successfully brings the complex narrative to life, immersing viewers in a world of secrets, deception, and moral dilemmas. The movie’s authenticity and timeless appeal continue to captivate audiences worldwide.
Table of Contents

The Name of the Rose:

The Name of the Rose” is a 1986 film directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud, based on the novel of the same name by Umberto Eco.


The movie is an adaptation of Umberto Eco’s best-selling novel, which was published in 1980.

Historical Setting:

The story is set in the year 1327 in a medieval Italian monastery.

Mystery Thriller:

“The Name of the Rose” is primarily a mystery thriller that combines elements of historical fiction and religious intrigue.

Star-Studded Cast:

The film features an ensemble cast, including Sean Connery, F. Murray Abraham, Christian Slater, and Ron Perlman.

A Cloistered World:

The movie explores the enclosed and secretive world of a medieval monastery, delving into the lives of monks and their religious practices.

Murder Mystery:

The central plot revolves around a series of mysterious deaths within the monastery, which Brother William of Baskerville, played by Sean Connery, is tasked with investigating.

The Franciscan Order:

Brother William is a Franciscan friar, known for his keen intellect and deductive reasoning skills.

A Young Christian Slater:

Christian Slater, in one of his early roles, plays the character of Adso of Melk, a young novice who becomes Brother William’s assistant and provides a fresh perspective on the events.

Forbidden Library:

The monastery possesses a vast and forbidden library that holds rare books and ancient knowledge.

Religious Conflict:

The movie explores the conflicts between different religious sects within the monastery, as well as the tension between the Church and the radical Franciscan order.

Latin Dialogues:

The characters in the movie, including Brother William, converse primarily in Latin, adding an authentic touch to the medieval ambiance.

Gothic Atmosphere:

The film creates a dark and atmospheric setting, with its Gothic architecture, candlelit interiors, and mysterious corridors.

Academy Award Winner:

The movie won the Academy Award for Best Makeup, showcasing the impressive visual transformations of the characters.

Historical Accuracy:

The movie pays careful attention to historical accuracy, depicting the medieval period with meticulous detail.

Intellectual Themes:

The film delves into intellectual themes such as reason versus superstition, knowledge versus ignorance, and the power dynamics within religious institutions.


“The Name of the Rose” makes use of symbolism throughout, particularly in the form of the labyrinthine library, representing the mystery of knowledge.

Cinematic Adaptation:

Director Jean-Jacques Annaud successfully translates the complex narrative of the novel into a visually captivating film.

Authentic Costumes:

The costumes worn by the characters are meticulously designed to reflect the clothing styles of the medieval period.

Historical Context:

The movie incorporates events of the time, such as the emergence of the Inquisition and the conflict between the Pope and the Holy Roman Emperor.

Unraveling the Mystery:

As Brother William investigates the deaths, he unravels a web of deception, hidden agendas, and dark secrets.

Cinematic Brilliance:

The movie showcases the brilliance of Sean Connery’s performance as the intellectual detective, delivering a charismatic and nuanced portrayal.

Atmospheric Soundtrack:

The film’s soundtrack, composed by James Horner, enhances the overall eerie and suspenseful ambiance.

International Success:

“The Name of the Rose” achieved international success, winning critical acclaim and garnering a loyal fanbase.

Scholarly Themes:

The movie explores academic and scholarly themes, such as the conflict between theology and philosophy, and the pursuit of knowledge.

Moral Dilemmas:

The characters in the film are faced with moral dilemmas that challenge their faith, beliefs, and loyalty.

Visual Splendor:

The cinematography captures the beauty of the medieval setting, immersing the audience in a world of rich colors and visual splendor.

Thought-Provoking Dialogues:

The screenplay includes thought-provoking dialogues that discuss deep philosophical concepts, morality, and the nature of truth.

Engrossing Plot:

The movie keeps viewers engaged with its intricate plot twists, suspenseful moments, and intellectual challenges.

Cultural Impact:

“The Name of the Rose” left a lasting cultural impact, influencing other movies and inspiring academic discussions on its themes and historical accuracy.

Multilingual Production:

The film was shot in multiple languages, including English, Latin, Italian, and German, adding to its authenticity.

Book Adaptation Success:

The movie successfully captures the essence of Umberto Eco’s complex novel, satisfying both fans of the book and newcomers to the story.

Cinematic Interpretation:

Director Jean-Jacques Annaud brought his unique vision to the screen, giving the story a visual flair that complements the dense narrative.

Critical Acclaim:

“The Name of the Rose” received widespread critical acclaim, praised for its adaptation, performances, and its exploration of historical and intellectual themes.

Intellectual Entertainment:

The movie offers intellectual entertainment, challenging viewers to think critically, question authority, and ponder the nature of truth.

Scenic Locations:

The film was shot in various locations, including Italy and Germany, showcasing stunning landscapes that further enhance the medieval atmosphere.

Timeless Appeal:

The Name of the Rose” continues to captivate audiences with its timeless appeal, as it combines elements of history, mystery, and philosophy.

Preservation of Medieval Culture:

The movie serves as a preservation of medieval culture, shedding light on the way of life, beliefs, and struggles of people in that era.

Enduring Significance:

“The Name of the Rose” remains a significant and influential film that continues to be studied and appreciated by cinephiles, historians, and literature enthusiasts.


In conclusion, “The Name of the Rose” is a fascinating movie that combines elements of mystery, historical drama, and religious intrigue. With its intricate plot, mesmerizing performances, and stunning cinematography, it captivates audiences and keeps them on the edge of their seats. The movie’s attention to detail and historical accuracy make it a standout in the genre, while also offering thought-provoking themes and commentary on power, religion, and knowledge.

Whether you’re a fan of medieval history, crime-solving mysteries, or simply enjoy a well-crafted film, “The Name of the Rose” is a must-watch. Its timeless story, memorable characters, and thrilling twists will leave you both entertained and pondering the deeper meanings long after the credits roll.


1. Who directed “The Name of the Rose”?

The movie was directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud, known for his work in historical and adventure films.

2. Is “The Name of the Rose” based on a book?

Yes, the movie is based on the novel of the same name written by Umberto Eco. The book was first published in 1980.

3. Can you provide a brief synopsis of the movie?

“The Name of the Rose” tells the story of a Franciscan friar, William of Baskerville, who is sent to investigate a series of mysterious deaths in an Italian monastery during the 14th century. As he delves deeper into the case, he uncovers a web of secrets, political intrigue, and religious conflicts.

4. What is the significance of the title?

The title refers to a book mentioned in the movie, which is believed to contain a dangerous secret. It symbolizes the search for truth and the complexities of knowledge.

5. Are there any notable performances in the movie?

Sean Connery delivers a standout performance as William of Baskerville, bringing depth and charisma to the character. Other notable performances include F. Murray Abraham as Bernardo Gui and Christian Slater as Adso of Melk.

6. Is “The Name of the Rose” a historically accurate movie?

While the movie takes some creative liberties, it is known for its attention to historical detail. The costumes, set design, and portrayal of medieval life are highly praised for their accuracy.

7. What are the main themes explored in the movie?

The movie delves into themes such as the pursuit of knowledge, the power of religion, the dangers of fanaticism, and the complex relationship between faith and reason.

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