The next film in my rewatching of classics is this famous film based on the famous book of Umberto Eco. I have no idea when I last saw this film, but it can never have been longer after it came out. I did not remember a whole lot of it for sure.
William of Baskerville (Sean Connery), a Fransican friar, together with his student Adso of Melk (Christian Slater) travel to a Benedectine abbey in Italy where a papal convent will take place during which will be decided if the Fransiscan order will be declared a heresy. William is obviously on good terms with the Benedictine abbot, because the latter not only asks William to investigate a mysterious death on his abbey, but also hides an outlawed Fransiscan monk.
But perhaps it is not the abbot who is tolerant towards William, but rather other monks of the abbey who, during the investigation of the murder, turn out to be not Benedictines, but Dulcinians, a branch of Christianity that has been declared heretical before. When the abbot announces the arrival of William’s foe, the inquisitor Bernardo Gui, William and Adso speed up their investigation, running into a massive labyrinth-like tower-library.
The 1980 book of Eco obviously foreshadows the popularity of the genre that was to rise with the books of Dan Brown with a few decades, but also popular-science works like that of Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh with a few years.
For quite a while during watching the film, I wondered why the film is so highly-regarded, but indeed, when the story starts to unfold, it becomes an enjoyable film.
Ron Perlman has a very amusing part that is heavily sampled by Kreuzweg Ost for the “Oh No Lo So, Magnifico” track on the 2000 album “Iron Avantgarde” by the way.