The Name of the Rose (1986)

Genres - Mystery  |   Sub-Genres - Period Film, Detective Film, Gothic Film, Whodunit  |   Release Date - Sep 24, 1986 (USA)  |   Run Time - 130 min.  |   Countries - Germany , France , Italy   |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Dan Friedman

Many forget that in-between his years as James Bond and his reclamation by Hollywood in The Untouchables, Sean Connery made several fine films which are just as entertaining today as they were upon release. The mainstay of these films is The Name of the Rose, based on Umberto Eco's novel of violent murders in a 14th century Italian abbey. As the English monk William of Baskerville, Connery struggles to solve the murders against a backdrop of medieval religious fervor, playing it as if Sherlock Holmes had found religion. Obviously, religion is a big theme in this film, thrown up as it is against the notions of truth and justice and the philosophical differences these concepts sometimes find with each other. Connery is utterly believable and his characterization appears effortless. Fine support is provided by F. Murray Abraham, and Christian Slater in one of his first roles. The film can be exhausting at times, just as it can also be extremely dark, but it's definitely a thought-provoker and worth it for both the acting and the period setting.