Fantasy fairy tale: ‘audacious, silly, heart-warming’ │Glenn Cutforth

The Princess Bride (1987)
Director: Rob Reiner
Writers: William Goldman (book), William Goldman (screenplay)
Stars: Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Robin Wright

The Princess Bride is a fantasy fairy
tale novel written by William Goldman
in the early 1970s. My well-worn
paperback edition was published in 1973 and is one of my favorite novels of all time. The sheer audacity of Goldman’s story is that it is so outrageously silly and heart-warming, it has become a modern classic beloved by people all over the world.

The effort to bring this story to film is a
legend in Hollywood. The novel remained on
the “best script not filmed” list for more than
15 years until Rob Reiner (All In the Family,
This Is Spinal Tap) finally decided to take up
the script and make the film.

When the film was released in 1987, it was
only moderately successful. However, by then
we had VHS video, and when it was released
in this format, it became a major hit among
fans who finally discovered its emotional
charm, adventure, and comic genius.

Briefly, the story starts when a kindly
grandfather (Peter Falk) sits down with
his ill grandson (Fred Savage) and reads
him a story was written by the legendary S.
Morgenstern which had been passed down
from father to son for generations.

The story is about Fencing, Fighting,
Strong Hate, Harsh Revenge, Giants, Lots
of Bad Men, Lots of Good Men, a Beautiful
Woman, Monsters, A Great Escape and
Capture, Death, Lies, Truth, Miracles, and…
True Love.

As the grandfather reads the story, the
the action comes alive.

Our heroine, the beautiful Buttercup
(Robin Wright), engaged to the loathsome
Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon), is

kidnapped and held against her will in order
to start a war and it’s up to Wesley (her
childhood beau, who is now the Dread Pirate
Roberts) (Cary Elwes) to save her. On the
the way he meets a thief (Wallace Shawn)
and his hired helpers, an accomplished
swordsman (Mandy Patinkin) and a huge,
super strong giant, (André the Giant) both
of whom become Westley’s companions in
his quest.

Talk about perfect casting, this is about as
good as it gets. Cary Elwes plays the perfect,
dashing Douglas Fairbanks swashbuckler
to perfection and Robin Wright is sweet and beautiful and the villains are comically
villainous in their incompetent determination
to win the day.

Talk about perfect casting, this is about as
good as it gets. Cary Elwes plays the perfect,
dashing Douglas Fairbanks swashbuckler
to perfection and Robin Wright is sweet and beautiful and the villains are comically
villainous in their incompetent determination
to win the day.

This film has so many great scenes, opening
with the budding romance between Buttercup
and her stable boy Westley. “As You Wish”

The Princess Bride | Official Trailer | Disney+
The Princess Bride (1987)

becomes his response to whatever Buttercup
asks him to do, the first of many iconic catch
phrases throughout the book and film.
When Westley disappears for a few years
and becomes the Dread Pirate Robert, he
returns dressed in black with a black mask so
no one, including Buttercup, recognizes him,
at first.

When Buttercup is kidnapped by
Humperdinck’s minions, the Dread Pirate
Roberts chases them up the Cliff of Insanity
where he is met by Inigo Montoya (Mandy
Patinkin), and a sword fight ensues that
is funny and serious as Westley bests the
Spaniard before taking on Fezzik the Giant and
cleverly beating him as well.
Eventually, Westley saves Buttercup from
the remaining kidnapper, and after some
harrowing adventures, they are recaptured by
the Prince who sends Westley to his devious
torture chamber run by his sidekick, Count
Rugen (Christopher Guest).

Of course, Westley dies…but wait a minute,
not so fast. Inigo and Fezzik, who are now on
Westley’s side, rescue him and in desperation,
take his body to Miracle Mike (Billy Crystal)
and his wife Valerie (Carol Kane).
What follows is one of the funniest scenes
in the history of comedy films, Miracle
Mike declares that Westley isn’t “all dead”,
but “mostly dead” and proceeds to perform
an actual miracle in restoring Westley to life,
except his body is like a jellyfish and he is
unable to walk or stand up.
So Inigo and Fezzik have to carry him around
until his body is fully restored, with hilarious
results, as they move to the palace to rescue
Buttercup,

Mandy Patinkin is outstanding as Inigo,
especially when he later confronts Count Rugen
with another iconic statement, “My name is

Inigo Montoya, you killed my father. Prepare to
die.” Rugen immediately turns and runs.
At this point, I’ve barely covered all the
great scenes that make The Princess Bride
such a popular film with those who believe in
True Love. And True Love wins at the end, of
course.

Credit goes to director Rob Reiner for
bringing together such a perfect cast to tell
a story that needed to be told. And credit
must go to the imagination of writer William
Goldman created something very unique
and special.
Finally, I would give the book a rating of
10/10 and the film 9/10, only because the book
has many more details that were impossible
to include in the film.

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Glenn Cutforth

Glenn Cutforth is a London freelance writer, author, and movie buff. He can be reached at gcutforth@teksavvy.com

http://www.videogamersoasis.com

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