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4.6 out of 5 stars59
4.6 out of 5 stars
Format: DVDChange
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 18, 2009
Over 20 years ago, director Jean-Jacques Annaud created a set that transports the viewer back in time and over space. Notice the small touches, such as the Benedictine monk sweeping dead leaves from crooked stone steps of grand width, leading to humble shelter in a faraway abbey in the Italian Alps, 14th. c. (this near the very start, shortly after Sean Connery's William of Baskerville arrives, sidekick Adso-- inspirationally played by a callow Christian Slater-- by his side).

Adapted from Umberto Eco's treatise-cum-novel of the same name, there is NO WAY that the film could ever match the book's complexities or informational thoroughness (would in fact have been awful if it had dared to try!). It goes without saying then that the film should not be compared to the novel, except in passing (and VERY passingly) only. And then there's the casting of Bond, James Bond (the original)... What we get from Connery is a performance that features his usual twinkle-eyed charm and Scottish gravitas, but these skills are exploited to perfection by great editing and, it would seem, the actor himself doing more than his conditioned 'shtick'. See him throwing his salt-and-pepper head back, feel his glee shortly after he has penetrated into and ascended labyrinthine staircases to a secret library: his euphoria strikes out from the screen and spreads contagiously over viewers (I show parts of this film to students of an introductory philosophy course to showcase the importance of Christian-canon-expansion in the very early days of the Renaissance, and they positively giggle in visceral support of their hero's "kid in a candy store" portrayal!)

The sub-plot that could be mistaken as the main plot arc dealing with Adso/Slater's abrupt and unlikely de-flowering-- erotic as it is-- sets up some of the film's thinnest and more awkard (borderline maudlin at the end) scenes. Still, repeated viewings make clear that the villagers-- in particular Adso's savage-girl's-- presence in the abbey is both necessary to the plot-line, as well as symbolic of the underlying and historically significant tension brought on by the Church-as-institution attempting to control every social fibre of the still wild, and pagan, hinterlands of post-Rome Europe.

F. Murray Abraham plays a too-obviously "evil" Inquisitor. Not his fault; history has robbed the dimension out of what was obviously a very complicated point in time with regard to the Church's role in the evolution of European culture...the Dark Ages were, for the most part, the years of Christendom. It's easy to blame the Church for these philosophically stagnant centuries; then again, given so many extraneous circumstances contributing to these same eons, the Church might take some credit for having kept a Europe in flux, in control...for better or worse...

On the surface, THE NAME OF THE ROSE is a very well crafted, well-told mystery, and definitely better-than-average period piece. Dig a little deeper and get to know the broad bands of history being commented on in the screenplay, and the film succeeds for being both edifying and entertaining. In a Canadian classroom, 2009, two sets of 16 - 18 year old students of philosophy came in one day after seeing the first part of the film and whisperingly exclaimed, "This is an awesome film!" Considering it is a story set BACK in time (set in a world so very far away from the virtual reality our youth today mostly live in), the film's ability to stimulate OVER time-- right up to today in all its secularity-- is no small achievement!
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on April 12, 2004
This movie is a dark, forboding look into life in a corrupt Italian monastery, the spanish inquisition, and the catholic church in the middle ages. For those of you who like mysteries, spooky locals, superb plots, and fiendish villains, this movie is for you! It has remained one of my all time favorites throughout the years, and I'm both glad it is finally coming out on DVD, and furious it has taken so long to get there! Worth buying.
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on November 24, 2014
Finally for the first time in french !!! I have seen this movie on VHS tape and it had the french version. For other movies too that are older, I would like the french version like The Three Musketeers and the Four Musketeers by Richard Lester with Michael York, Oliver Reed, etc....
Excellent service and fast delivery !!! Thank you very much. I recommend this seller.

Pierre Germain,
Québec, QC, Canada.
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on September 24, 2015
This is a wonderful film made all the better in Blue-Ray which I normally ignore. Sean Connery is never better and I was surprised by how good Christian Slater turned out to be. It has been awhile since I had seen this movie in the theatre and I would highly recommend it for fans of the novel as well as anyone interested in medieval history or just a great mystery.
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on April 23, 2004
I have waited so long for this movie to be on DVD and when it finally comes it's a Standard version, why is the general public being robbed of widescreen for this movie or any movie? Every movie that is a "standard" is robbing 40% of the screen from the paying audience. The pan and scan doesn't work any more. I hope to buy this movie soon in Widescreen! PLEASE!
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon March 22, 2015
Sean Connery stars has a 14th century monk with his pupil in tow played by a young Christian Slater. They are sent to investigate a series of murders in a monastery. The series of bizarre deaths has the superstitious monks believing it is murders committed by the devil. But Connery believes otherwise. A great thriller and mystery with some nice spooky moments.
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on April 10, 2015
Amazon's service was great! No need to review the movie as there are many other sites that do this. Problem was it was a region 2 DVD not suitable for North American DVD players. I didn't catch that in the listing. Returned it no problem. Unfortunately, could not find a suitable replacement that isn't Blu-ray or a reasonable cost.
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on May 14, 2004
Other then a profit motive it's inconceivable why DVD's are released several times in various formats and special editions. Here's another example of a movie that I would like to purchase being released in a made for TV screen format rather then the widescreen version. Guess that I'll have to wait(again) before buying this DVD.
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on October 5, 2015
Crikey! Thought this would be awesome because Sean Connery is awesome but not even he could save this movie and I'm quite surprised he even took the role. A 17 year old Christian Slater was fine as was Sean Connery but the script, writing and premiss of the movie was awful, unnecessarily hideously gory and very slow moving. I'm still not sure what actually happened besides the fact that arm Connery was a monk sleuth with his young sidekick Mr Slater. Also bear in mind that this is an R18 which I missed when buying it but hey if you want mine, just pay postage from Calgary and it's yours!
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on July 8, 2004
Everyone moaning on and on (and on and on) about the 'incorrect aspect ratio' have got the facts wrong.
The facts are that the film was shot in 1.85:1. The dvd's ratio is (you guessed it) 1:85:1. Therefore the dvd (as it states on the box!!!!) is the correct ratio. And it's a great film. BUY.
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