Saturday, April 28, 2012

#621. The Princess Bride (1987)

Directed By: Rob Reiner

Starring: Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Robin Wright

Tag line: "Heroes, giants, villains, wizards, true love"

Trivia:  Cary Elwes and Mandy Patinkin performed all of their own sword-fighting after many hours of training

A grandfather (Peter Falk) sits down to read his sickly grandson (Fred Savage) a bedtime story titled The Princess Bride, an epic tale of high adventure and love everlasting. In it, a beautiful young maiden named Buttercup (Robin Wright) falls in love with her servant, Westley (Cary Elwes). But instead of living happily ever after, Westley sets out to seek his fortune, only to be captured and killed by a bloodthirsty pirate. At first devastated by the loss of her true love, Buttercup eventually agrees to marry the evil Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon).  Yet shortly before the wedding is to take place, Buttercup is kidnapped, then saved by a mysterious stranger in a mask, who bears a striking resemblance to the deceased Westley. With the help of swordsman Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin) and a gentle giant named Fezzik (Andre the Giant), this stranger hopes to prevent Buttercup from marrying the deceitful Prince, thus giving this tale the "happily ever after" ending it so richly deserves.

The Princess Bride is both funny and exciting, but above all, it's a film about love.  Cary Elwes and Robin Wright are a winning pair; sure, they look great together, but the two also convey a tenderness that's downright essential to the movie's central theme. Right from the get-go, when Westley is working as Buttercup’s farmhand, you feel the warmth and affection flowing between them, and I bought their relationship hook, line and sinker. The action is thrilling (especially the sword fight between Westley and Inigo Montoya, a sequence as wonderfully staged as any you'd find in an Errol Flynn spectacle), and the humor is spot-on (Wallace Shawn , who plays the criminal mastermind, Vizzini, is hilariously full of himself), yet it’s the romance that ultimately makes The Princess Bride such an uplifting motion picture.

The Princess Bride continues to impress audiences to this day, and is one of those rare films the entire family can enjoy. I’m sure it will prove as timeless as the fairy tales that inspired its creation, and will pass from generation to generation, guiding both children and parents to a place where, once upon a time, love was all that really mattered.


Robert M. Lindsey said...

I bet I've seen The Princess Bride 200 times.

Dave B. said...

Robert: It was a movie that, at first, I wasn't all that motivated to see. I ended up loving it so much that I bought the poster and hung it in my room next to the one for STAND BY ME!

Thanks for the comment!

fred said...

My name Inigo Montoya, now prepare to die!

My boys and I have started to watch this together now (ages 9 + 7). The Andre the Giant mystique is lost on them a bit but we stll love it!

Dave B. said...

Fred: How are you, sir? Good to hear from you.

I watch this with my sons as well, and they also have a blast with it. And I think I've quoted that "prepare to die" line about 100x since I first saw it nearly 25 years ago!

Thanks again, sir, and all the best

Angelo Bell said...

"I'll most likely kill you in the morning."

Best deadpan line ever.

Laura Belleau said...

Anytime I hear "As You Wish" I think of this one and "Inconceivable"