The name of the rose (film)

The Name of the Rose is a Franco – Italian – German historical drama directed by Jean – Jacques Annaud , released in 1986 . Written by Andrew Birkin , Gerard Brach , Howard Franklin and Alain Godard, the film is the film adaptation of the eponymous novel by Umberto Eco . He starred Sean Connery as Guillaume de Baskerville , Christian Slater inAdso de Melk , F. Murray Abraham in Inquisitor Bernardo Gui , Michael Lonsdale , Valentina Vargas and William Hickey .

Distributed by AAA, this film was released in the United States on then on the French screens the . He has won numerous awards, including the César for Best Foreign Film at the 12 th César Ceremony in 1987 .


In the year 1327 , in a Benedictine abbey in northern Italy, monks were found dead in suspicious circumstances. This abbey gathered Franciscans and representatives of the pope – at that time, the popes of Avignon – for a confrontation on neutral ground. One of the most important Franciscans is Guillaume de Baskerville, accompanied by the young novice Adso de Melk entrusted by his father to the clergy. Both are investigating mysterious deaths.

Technical sheet

Unless otherwise stated, this information comes from the Internet Movie Database 1

  • Original French title: The name of the rose
  • German original title: Der Name der Rose
  • Original Italian title: Il nome della rosa
  • Original Spanish title: The number of the rosa
  • International title: The Name of the Rose
  • Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud
  • Script: Gérard Brach , Alain Godard , Andrew Birkin and Howard Franklin , based on the eponymous novel by Umberto Eco
  • Photography: Tonino Delli Colli
  • Music: James Horner
  • Sets: Dante Ferretti
  • Costumes: Gabriella Pescucci
  • Cast: Gianni Arduini , Dominique Besnehard , Celestia Fox , Sabine Schroth , Lynn Stalmaster and David Rubin
  • Editing: Jane Seitz
  • Production: Bernd Eichinger and Bernd Schaefers
    • Co-producers: Franco Cristaldi and Alexandre Mnouchkine
    • Delegate Producers: Jake Eberts , Thomas Schühly
    • Associate producer: Pierre Hébey and Herman Weigel
  • Production Companies: Ariane Films , FR3 Films Production , Cristaldifilm , Neue Constantin , in association with ZDF , Radiotelevisione Italiana (uncredited)
  • Distribution Companies: Actors Associated Authors , 20th Century Fox , Constantin Film
  • Budget: $ 20,000,000 2 (estimate)
  • Country of origin: Italy , France and West Germany
  • Original languages: English , Latin
  • Format: Color – 1.85: 1 – Dolby sound – 35 mm
  • Genre: historical drama
  • Duration: 131 minutes
  • Release dates 3 :
    • United States :
    • West Germany: 
    • Italy: 
    • La France : 


  • Sean Connery (VF: Claude Giraud ) : William of Baskerville (William of Baskerville in English )
  • Christian Slater (VF: Vincent Ropion ) : Adso Melk
  • Helmut Qualtinger (VF: Henry Djanik ) : Remigio of Varagine
  • Elya Baskin (VF: Patrick Prejean ) : Severin of Sant’Emmerano
  • Michael Lonsdale (VF: himself) : the abbot
  • Volker Prechtel (VF: Georges Aminel ) : Malachi from Hildesheim
  • Feodor Chaliapin Jr. (VF: Jean Davy ) : Jorge de Burgos, former librarian of the abbey
  • William Hickey (VF: Henry Virlogeux ) : Ubertin de Casale
  • Michael Habeck : Berenger of Arundel
  • Urs Althaus : Venantius of Salvemec
  • Valentina Vargas : the girl
  • Ron Perlman : Salvatore
  • Leopoldo Trieste (VF: Claude of Yd ) : Michel de Cesena
  • Franco Valobra : Jerome of Kaffa
  • Vernon Dobtcheff (VF: himself) : Hughes from Newcastle
  • Donald O’Brien : Pietro d’Assisi
  • Andrew Birkin : Cuthbert of Winchester
  • F. Murray Abraham ( François Chaumette ) : Bernardo Gui
  • Lucien Bodard (VF: Georges Atlas ) : Cardinal Bertrand du Pouget
  • Peter Berling : Jean of Rings
  • Pete Lancaster : Bishop of Alborea
  • Dwight Weist (VF: Claude Rich ) : Old Adso (The Narrator)
  • Gianni Rizzo : papal envoy.

Sources and legendFrench version (VF) on VoxoFilm 4


Genesis and development

“It was the kind of film that was missing from my kit. I was interested in satire ( Victory singing , Headbutt ) or lyricism with La Guerre du feu . I wanted to try my suspense. But in very specific conditions 5… ”

Jean-Jacques Annaud

The novel The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco appeared in Italy in 1980 . Jean-Jacques Annaud is immediately seduced by the work and convinces the author that he is the perfect man to make the film adaptation . It feels very attracted and intrigued by this project 6 .

Jean-Jacques Annaud then asks the German producer Bernd Eichinger , who finances this expensive project. Several writers are working on a laborious transposition (the first being the scriptwriter of Jean-Jacques Annaud: Alain Godard ).

The chief Italian operator Tonino Delli Colli (who had worked with Pier Paolo Pasolini ) sign lights, and the Italian designer Dante Ferretti rebuilt the austere abbey in Abruzzo , near Rome 7 .


  • William of Baskerville: Jean-Jacques Annaud did not wish to play renowned actors in his film, but Sean Connery was able to convince him to accept this role for 8 . Jean-Jacques Annaud reports that the author Umberto Eco is initially “catastrophized” by this choice and that the distributors did not want to bet money on an actor whom they considered in decline 9 .
  • Salvatore, the hunchbacked simpleton: because of the international co-production, this role had to go back to an Italian (the contract gave right to only one actor Anglo-Saxon, which was Sean Connery). But the actor broke his contract, refusing to shave his hair and stick scabies on his head. Jean-Jacques Annaud appealed to Ron Perlman , who had played for him in Quest for Fire (1981) and knew at that time a difficult situation 7 .
  • Remigio de Varagine: the role was interpreted by Helmut Qualtinger , then seriously ill and who died a few months after the release of the film.


The Castel del Monte (left) in Apulia and the castle of Rocca Calascio (right) in Abruzzo inspired the decor, created from scratch near Rome.

The interiors were shot at Kloster Eberbach 10 , a former Cistercian monastery in Germany, near Eltville ( Hesse ) 8 . The exterior decoration of the abbey was created from scratch near Rome; this site does not exist. However, it is clearly inspired by the Italian castle of xiii th century Castel del Monte (town of Andria , 70 km west of Bari , in Puglia) which is the work of Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor .

Filming also takes place at Cinecittà Studios , L’Aquila , Eltville , Rheingau , Rome , Taunus , etc. 10

The portal of Moissac Abbey is reinterpreted in the decor 28 th minute.


The name of the rose
Soundtrack of James Horner
Exit 1986
Kind movie soundtrack
Composer James Horner
Label  Teldec 11 Virgin 11

Albums by James Horner

Captain EO
(1986)Miracle on th Street


The music of the film is composed by James Horner .

List of titles
  1. Main Titles – 3:01
  2. Beata Viscera – 2:19
  3. First Recognition – 2:28
  4. The Lesson – 4:18
  5. Kyrie – 2:22
  6. The Scriptorium – 3:52
  7. Veni Sancte Spiritus – 3:13
  8. The Confession – 3:10
  9. Flashbacks – 2:05
  10. The Discovery – 2:28
  11. Betrayed – 2:56
  12. Epilogue – 6:06
  13. End Titles – 3:12



In the opening credits, it is written in full words that the film is palimpsest of the novel, that is to say that it does not claim an exact fidelity but that it is a work of which it shares the same support [ref. necessary] . If the red thread of the story remains the same, many important elements of the novel have been discarded and make way for more spectacular scenes that do not appear in the novel. A wink is made to Umberto Eco , when Guillaume de Baskerville in the library is ecstatic about a work of “Umbertus of Bologna “, where Umberto Eco was a teacher.

The film is built like the illusion of the endless staircase of Roger Penrose (or Maurits Cornelis Escher ) [ref. necessary] , stairway where will take place besides the fight in the fire between the “good” Franciscan monk Guillaume de Baskerville, also former inquisitor, and one of the “bad guys”, former librarian of the abbey, Jorge from Burgos (another nod, from Umberto Eco this time, to Jorge Luis Borges and his new The Library of Babel ).

As in the novel Notre-Dame de Paris by Victor Hugo , the medieval world is illustrated with the deformed (hunchbacked), the lascivious girl, religiosity, rustic peasants, and copyists for a pagan book.

Around the film

  • Unlike the book, Frère Bérenger of Arundel ( Michael Habeck ) does not have a single replica of the entire film.
  • The Russian actor Feodor Chaliapin Jr. knew how to speak French but, not being able to impose his Russian accent on a Spanish character, was finally dubbed into French by the actor Jean Davy .
  • The works used for the purposes of the film were so remarkably imitated, by the quality of the illuminations and bindings , that some of them were stolen during filming, forcing the team to put the books in the trunk at the end of each day. working.
  • The statue of the Virgin and Child , in front of which young Adso de Melk comes to pray, is an anachronism since his style is close to the middle of the Renaissance . The director noticed it during the filming, but, the reproduction of the statue having been expensive, the production persuaded him to turn with. This is a detail that was long reproached to Jean-Jacques Annaud. As he likes to tell it himself, this is one of the first remarks made to him during the first screening of the film in Marseille.
  • In the film, the library consists of rooms located at the corner of the building and connected by large stairs. Because of the limited budget, Annaud has built only three rooms and was content to create the illusion by arranging books differently. The staircase, meanwhile, was built in a huge multi-storey silo.
  • In the scene between Guillaume and Jorge de Burgos, during the debate on laughter, Guillaume uses this sentence as an argument: “Laughter is man’s own”. The precise wording is actually due to Rabelais , who lived in the xvi th century, although the idea that man is the only animal that can laugh already expressed by Aristotle ( De partibus animalium III, 10). This slight anachronism – the scene is set in 1327 – is already in the novel. [ref.necessary]
  • The medieval historian Michel Pastoureau tells in an interview 12 that in the Middle Ages the pigs were not pink but black and as it was very difficult to find this color for filming, we used “pink” pigs that we had painted. They rubbed against each other and the paint was difficult to hold.
  • During the final scene, the seven-storey abbey decor is completely destroyed for the purposes of the scenario: the fire is filmed by seven cameras but only three have worked. Annaud then has the idea to “flop” (reverse) and magnify the images of the remaining cameras to diversify the shots of the fire 7 .



At its release, the film receives overall good reviews in France . The film thus totals an average of 4.8 / 5 for 5 notes 13 . In Le Monde , Michel Braudeau explains that it is “a world success, a heroic, impossible and beautifully won bet” 13 . Gérard Legrand writes in the magazine Positif that it is a film “intelligent and sumptuous” 13 . In Télérama , Jean-Luc Douin emphasizes that “Annaud confirms above all his rejection of seriousness, his attraction to gay, his passion for laughter” 13 . In January 1987, Thierry Cazalsof Cahiers du Cinema remark that “the fourth feature by Jean-Jacques Annaud will remains a rather successful extravaganza fresco” 13 .

On the American aggregator Rotten Tomatoes , the film collects 76% favorable opinions for 21 critics identified 14 .

Box office

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The film grossed more than $ 77 million in box office receipts worldwide. In France , he realized 4,955,664 inputs 15 .


Source: Internet Movie Database 16


  • César 1987 : best foreign film
  • David di Donatello 1987: best artistic direction, best costumes, best photography
  • Deutscher Filmpreis 1987: Best Actor ( Sean Connery ), Best Art Direction
  • Silver Ribbons 1987: Best Photography, Best Costumes and Better Artistic Direction
  • BAFTA Awards 1988 : Best Actor (Sean Connery), Best Makeup and Hairstyles


  • David di Donatello 1987: best editing
  • Deutscher Filmpreis 1987: best film
  • Edgar-Allan-Poe Award 1987: best film

Notes and references

  1. ↑ (in) Fulls cast & crew [ archive ] on the Internet Movie Database
  2. ↑ The Name of the Rose [ archive ] on Allociné
  3. ↑ (en) Release dates [ archive ] on the Internet Movie Database
  4. ↑ “VF dubbing sheet of the film”  [ archive ] on Voxofilm , accessed November 26, 2014
  5. ↑ ” Jean-Jacques Annaud – The Name of the Rose – Meeting with Sean Connery ”  [ archive ] , on the official website of Jean-Jacques Annaud – note: click on interview director
  6. ↑ Audio comment included in the DVD
  7. ↑ a , b and c Interview of Jean-Jacques Annaud by Bruno Cras in the program “Secrets de tournage” on Europe 1, August 10, 2014
  8. ↑ a and b Secrets of filming  [ archive ] – Screenrush
  9. ↑ Reference error: <ref>Incorrect tag ; no text was provided for named referencesconnery
  10. ↑ a and b (en) Filming locations [ archive ] on the Internet Movie Database
  11. ↑ a and b (in) James Horner – Der Name der Rose Soundtrack  [ Archive ] – Discogs .com
  12. ↑ Interview on France Inter in the emission The interview of Thursday, January 27, 2011 17 h 10 to 17 h 45
  13. ↑ a , b , c , d and e Press Reviews  [ archive ] – Screenrush .com
  14. ↑ (in) The Name of the Rose ( Der Name der Rose ) (1986) ”  [ archive ] on Rotten Tomatoes .com (accessed on9 December 2014 )
  15. ↑ ” The Name of the Rose ”  [ archive ] , JP’s Box Office (accessed July 25, 2012 ) .
  16. ↑ (in) Distinctions [ archive ] on the Internet Movie Database

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