Today we present The Ultimate Guide to the Princess Bride.
And this year, director Rob Reiner’s comic fantasy love story is celebrating its 30th anniversary.
When I shared with my readers that I would be dedicating a blog to this modern classic, their responses were effusive:
It’s utter and complete innocence. Make some popcorn, shut off your phone, and give it your full attention.
It’s one of the greatest love/action/revenge stories ever.
It’s the only movie where I loved the movie more than the book!
My favorite movie of all time!!! I love everything that is “inconceivable”….too funny.
It’s the most quotable movie, and each scene is quite memorable. My boys first watched it when they were young, and when they watched it again in their teens, they couldn’t believe how funny it is. Best. Movie. Ever.
I have a confession to make. Before preparing this blog, I had never seen THE PRINCESS BRIDE. I’m not proud of this fact, and many people made it known that this omission in my life was pretty much unforgivable.
I wasn’t avoiding it for any particular reason. It just never struck me as a film I “needed” to see. Of course, everyone made me realize I was completely wrong in this assessment.
I will give you my thoughts below, but first, here’s ten fun facts about the movie you may not have been aware of.
10 Fun Facts about The Princess Bride
- The author of the source material, William Goldman, had been trying to make a film of his book since the 1970s, and Arnold Schwarzenegger expressed interest in playing the role of Fezzik, which of course eventually went to that master thespian Andre the Giant.
- It’s been documented that director Rob Reiner had to leave the set during Billy Crystal’s scenes because he laughed so hard he kept ruining take after take.
- Characters Max and Valerie were named after author William Goldman’s parents.
- Award winning actor Mandy Patinkin has said that the role of Inigo Montoya was the favorite of his career.
- Uma Thurman, Meg Ryan and Courtney Cox all auditioned for the role of Buttercup. Goldman once said that his ideal choice for the role would have been Princess Leia herself, Carrie Fisher.
- Liam Neeson auditioned for the role of Fezzik but was considered too short.
- The shrieking eels in the movie were not part of the original book.
- When Count Rugen hits Westley over the head, Christopher Guest hit Cary Elwes so hard he had to go to the hospital and production was shut down for a day.
- The giant rodents were actually small actors in rat suits.
- The Dread Pirate Roberts costume was modeled after Zorro.
And just for funsies, here’s a reunion of THE PRINCESS BRIDE cast that took place back in 2011.
Gifts for the Princess Bride Obsessed
If you are one of the people who is obsessed with The Princess Bride (or you love someone who is), consider one of these items for the next birthday or under the tree this year.
Jeff’s Movie Review
As I mentioned previously, I watched THE PRINCESS BRIDE for the very first time recently as a 44 year old. In fact, I did it specifically for the sake of this blog.
My thoughts? Well, it was cute, it was beguiling, I can see why audiences were enchanted by it.
But the most “rewatchable” movie of all time? Sorry, that’s INCONCEIVABLE to me (pun intended).
In discussing my reaction to the film with friends, a very good point was presented. This is a movie, not unlike THE WIZARD OF OZ or ET THE EXTRA TERRESTRIAL, that probably can only be truly appreciated at a certain time in life. You can admire it, respect it, even love it, but it will always have a special relationship with the viewer who watches it at that special moment.
And it’s undefinable – kind of like the “x-factor”. You can’t say exactly what it is – you just know it.
While I don’t consider it in the same league as WIZARD or ET, there’s certainly lots to admire here. I loved the deliberate artifice of the art direction and set decoration. I thought they did a brilliant job of creating their own world in this movie. And it’s certainly refreshing to watch a family movie that is truly suitable for the whole family. I can understand this being popular with many different demographics.
There were also moments that I found absolutely lovely and others completely disturbing. The shrieking eels and the quicksand scene were particularly memorable. Robin Wright and Cary Elwes certainly make a gorgeous looking couple, but I do wish their story line had been fleshed out a bit. It’s a bit shocking to realize how little screen time they actually share.
I found the film a bit long. I would have thrown out the whole framing device of the grandfather reading the story to his sick grandson. I think the story was strong enough to stand on its own, and this would have made the film a bit more lean and economical.
All this being said, I would certainly be willing to give it a second viewing, and I’d be particularly interested in watching it with someone younger whose enthusiasm might be contagious. When watching a film I plan to review, I prefer to watch it alone and without any phones or computers or anything around to distract.
I must admit, I do regret not watching it when I was younger; however, this film came out when I was 14. The idea of a young me at that age watching a movie with a character called Princess Buttercup, well, I don’t think it would have gone over well. Even us movie nerds have our limits.
I certainly hope you’ve enjoyed this look back at THE PRINCESS BRIDE. Although my viewing experience wasn’t a total success, I sincerely enjoyed taking a look back at a film that has meant so much to so many.
Do you love The Princess Bride or are you less than impressed?
Is there a movie you’d like us to honor with a fond reminiscence? Share in the comments.
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