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The Princess Bride
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The Princess Bride More at IMDbPro »

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337 out of 394 people found the following review useful:

A transcendent, nostalgic, pervasively hilarious experience

Author: razwee (razwee@yahoo.com)
10 May 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I have been waiting for the right time to review this film. I did not feel until today that I was truly ready to say all I had to say about director Rob Reiner's unforgettable staple of 1980s pop culture. When I first saw The Princess Bride, I was only 7 years old, and hardly cognizant of film as anything but a pastime. While I remember the movie as being enjoyable, I did not have anywhere near as strong a liking or appreciation for it as I do now. I certainly did not remember the film as a theater-going experience, and recently, I got the chance to view it, on the big screen, with at least fifty others in attendance at a midnight screening.

Personally, I am one of those people who, by nature, absorbs memorable quotes, and by that token, the entirety of The Princess Bride is fair game. As I sat there watching, I could always hear somebody, if not more than one person, at least whispering along with the movie under his or her breath. Meanwhile, I noticed that there was a wide disparity of age groups. There were pre-teens, teens, people in their twenties, thirties, and some that looked well past forty. If the showing had not been at midnight, I do not doubt that there would have been pre-pre-teens as well.

With a screenplay written by William Goldman (based on his book), The Princess Bride is a classic, familiar story of a princess, her true love, and the forces that come between them. As is evidenced by those in attendance, this is a story for all ages. The manner in which this fairytale part of the story is executed by Goldman and Reiner is memorable enough to make this a great film. As any fan of the movie will tell you, however, it is the film's whimsical, irreverent, pervasive tongue-in-cheek antics that make it an unqualified masterpiece.

If you hang around people who love this film, do not be surprised if they react to unbelievable situations with the exclamation, "Inconceivable!" Likewise, if you tell them to just wait a minute, don't be thrown aback when they suddenly sport a Spanish accent in saying, "I hate waiting." And if you suddenly, from out of nowhere, hear, "Hello.my name is Inigo Montoya.you killed my father.prepare to die," don't worry. It's not your fault, and you're not going to die.

While The Princess Bride has the sort of satirical edge more geared towards adults, the film is equally effective as a pure fairytale, and for this reason, there is a little something for everyone. In addition, the film enacts a self-referential tribute to the power and beauty of fairytale stories, even in the current age in which many consider them archaic and obsolete.

A sick grandson (Fred Savage), who is spending his time mindlessly playing video games (of the nostalgic Atari 8-bit type), gets a visit from his grandfather (portrayed through a wonderful performance from Peter Falk). To the grandson's dismay, his elder has brought a book to read to him. When he expresses disapproval at his grandfather's old-fashioned ways, the grandfather's response is, "When I was your age, television was called books." Even this quote stands out as resonant and memorable.

The grandson starts out expressing skepticism and boredom, but of course, as the reading of the story progresses, this gradually gives way to captivation and praise. Buttercup (Robin Wright, in her breakthrough role) is a fair-haired, stunningly gorgeous maiden who has been engaged to the smug, cowardly Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon), the prince who rules over the land of Florin. She of course does not love him, and she has been without joy since her true love, a farm boy named Wesley (Cary Elwes), was reportedly murdered on the seas.

Of course, without Wesley, there is no story of true love, and we know that he must miraculously return to her someday. This happens through an extraordinary, and increasingly hilarious, set of circumstances. A group of three bandits kidnap Buttercup with the intent of killing her to precipitate a war between Florin and its enemy, Guilder. These three are (in order of increasing stature) the intellectually pompous Vizzini (Wallace Shawn), the Spanish swordsman Inigo (Mandy Patinkin), and the big-hearted slow-witted giant Fezzik (the late Andre the Giant, in one of the most no-brainer casting decisions in all of film history).

During the kidnapping, however, a mysterious man in black closes in on the trail of the three abductors, and it is this man who takes on each of the three one by one in battles of skill, strength, smarts, and of course, deliciously witty repartee. There is something unusually extraordinary about these battles, however.

With the exception of Vezzini, the abductors are not villains as we might initially perceive them to be. The marvelously choreographed swordplay between the man in black and Inigo, and the hilarious absurdity of the handfight with Fezzik, are not at all about winning or losing. They embody a sense of honor, sportsmanship, and nobility that is rarely exemplified in competition (both fictional and real).

Inigo, Fezzik, and the man in black do not display their skills pretentiously or flauntingly. Instead, they take a strong sense of inner pride in the subtle mastery of their arts. As a result, when we see them engage in competition, there is not a sense of enmity, but a wonderful air of camaraderie.

Also included in the mix are a sadistic count (Christopher Guest) with an odd physical characteristic and a penchant for pain, an albino (Mel Smith) with a stuffy throat, the deadly wrath of an R.O.U.S., and a clergyman (Peter Cook) who makes Elmer Fudd seem eloquently spoken. Most memorable, perhaps, is the appearance of Billy Crystal and Carol Kane as the miracle-man Max and his wife. It has been reported that in the middle of filming this scene, Reiner was forced to leave the set, because Crystal's improvisations were causing him to laugh to the point of being sick.

Regarding the film's casting, every single choice, without exception, is absolute perfection. Cary Elwes not only easily looks the part of a daring, ingenious hero, but as an actor, he has an incredible gift for a subtle mixture of drama and comedy, one that easily coincides with the film's sensibilities. Robin Wright easily essays the role of the headstrong princess, endlessly devoted to her love (with a convincing British accent, despite her American origins).

For the scene of swordplay, Elwes and Patinkin had to study fencing for months, which is impressive, but on-screen, I had no trouble believing that they were characters who had studied for at least several years. Despite his limited acting ability, wrestler Andre the Giant is perfect for the role of Fezzik, and something would be lost with any other actor in his place. And of course, Wallace Shawn is endlessly amusing to watch as the diminutive, perpetually exasperated Vezzini.

We also don't have to hear Christopher Guest and Chris Sarandon speak any lines to know they are portraying villains. The arrogance, callousness, and sliminess are readily apparent in their facial and bodily expressions.

When all is said and done, we have witnessed a wide variety of hilarity, captivating acts of love and heroism, and of course, one of the most satisfying acts of retribution ever put on film (one that immortalizes the film's most famous quote and chooses just the right time and placement for the film's sole swear word).

For someone who watches this film for the first time, and quickly catches on to the film's capricious mix of reverence and satire, the film is a marvel to watch simply for the knowledge that you do not know what will come next. Will there be a touching moment? A reflective one? An act of bravado? Or will our expectations be subverted in an act of comical subterfuge? The answer: any of them will do, as the film has a delectable variety of all of them.

From start to finish, The Princess Bride is a transcendent, magical experience that constantly elicits uproarious laughter and simultaneously immerses the audience in a rich, magnificent, and almost nostalgic world of folklore that, after the end credits roll, seems timeless and undying. In the years since its release in 1987, it has grown into a cult film of legendary status, and judging by the wide variety of ages I witnessed at the screening (as well as the endless barrage of quoting), it seems perfectly reasonable to assume that the film will endure for many years to come.

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211 out of 254 people found the following review useful:

I love it.

10/10
Author: Little Raven from TO, Canada
10 January 2001

There's enough reviews here to show how enjoyable and entertaining this movie is, but I had to put my own word in...

I simply love this movie. I watched it with my parents when I was very young, and have been watching it constantly ever since. It's a movie that I just can't seem to grow tired of. For one, I absolutely love the medieval fantasy genre, both in books and movies. From a small child I've loved knights, castles, dragons. the whole sort. This movie, quite simply, puts the viewer into an imaginative world where everything seems real. Second, the characters are so enjoyable to watch, you really begin to feel for them - all of them. Even humperdink, whose name does him justice, gets pity at the end. Lastly, the grandfather's list of the qualities of the book at the very beginning are all true... this story has everything. That is why it is such a classic, when everything comes down to it. From the moving love story between Wesly and Buttercup, to the dynamic and brilliantly scripted duel between the Man in Black and Indigo, to even the hilarious bickering from Vezinni to his lovable giant, Fezzik... This movie finds a place to include EVERYTHING one can imagine. The story moves along at a great pace, and you feel as though the whole land has been covered when the book is closed. Furthermore, the whole conception of using the "telling a story" approach doesn't taken away from the realism of the story, but raises it even more by showing how mesmerized the boy is, listening to the tale - just as we are, in front of the screen.

Maybe it was how I was captivated to the screen, watching it as a child... Maybe it was how I'd pop the movie in and turn a boring Sunday afternoon an exciting adventure as I grew up... Or maybe it's how I can sit down with friends and all enjoy the movie together, laughing at its funny parts, and cheering at it's exciting moments. The movie has a place in my heart, and that will never go away. A "10" on the scale, and even these words, can't begin to tell how much I love this movie.

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204 out of 248 people found the following review useful:

The Perfect Movie

10/10
Author: robbijean from Dallas Texas
8 December 1999

This is one of those rare films that gets better each time you watch it. With something for everyone, The Princess Bride combines romance, action, adventure and parody to create the perfect movie.

Cary Elwes and Robin Wright are beautiful to watch and the story of their love is a wonderful backdrop to the adventure and intrigue played out in this story. Mandy Patinkin is wonderful as Inigo and gets to deliver some of the best lines in the film. Chris Sarandon is perfect in his role as the bad guy prince.

The plot is rich, with adult innuendos the kids will miss all together and levels of wit to entertain the whole family. The dialogue is full of very funny catch phrases- many of which are still part of my repertoire more than a decade after I first saw the movie. If you like dry humor and fast wit, The Princess Bride will make your day.

I have owned this video since 1988 and still watch it regularly - it has become my 'sick day' movie because it is such a joy.

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115 out of 145 people found the following review useful:

A great adventure film in somewhat the same style as other great fantasy adventures like The Neverending Story, The Princess Bride takes us on a wonderful trip along with fascinating and enormously amusing c

10/10
Author: Michael DeZubiria (wppispam2013@gmail.com) from Luoyang, China
6 August 2002

I'm not exactly sure what exactly it is that makes The Princess Bride such a spectacular film. Or, at the very least, I just can't pinpoint a single characteristic about it that really rises above all others as the main reason that no one should miss it. Indeed, it has a title that should prove to be remarkably uninteresting to the typical action adventure fan (okay, MALE action adventure fan), but even the most die-hard Die Hard fan would love this film. It is extremely important not to judge this film just because it has such a flowery and dangerously (at the risk of sounding shallow) girly name, because it is full of wonderful adventure and even some good killing and violence. Does this belong in this kind of romantic comedy? Absolutely! The cover box of the film looks like that of a cheesy romance novel, but the film is truly great from start to finish. And, indeed, the film is very aware of the superficial impression that it leaves, and it even presents it directly through Fred Savage's initial response to his grandfather reading him the story. But as the film goes on, we begin to have the same reaction that Fred has. We can't get enough.

Cary Elwes delivers by far the most outstanding performance of his career as Westley, the love-struck servant to Buttercup, a beautiful blonde woman living in a misty romantic fantasy world. Sadly, Elwes' later career has been punctuated by roles that do not serve him well, especially after such a stunning performance in this role. Liar Liar and Twister come immediately to mind. Robin Wright also gives one of the best performances of her career in her film debut here as Princess Buttercup, but the real quality of the performances that makes the movie so great is the fact that they were able to pack the film full of comic relief (it was nearly nonstop from start to finish) without taking anything away from the tension or the overall respectability of the film. It is interesting to consider the polar opposite effect of the comic relief on the vast majority of the James Bond films. Wallace Shawn is absolutely hilarious as Vizzini, the bonehead villain who is completely convinced that he has the whole world figured out, Andre the Giant delivers a lumbering but highly impressive performance as Vizzini's enormous, idiot sidekick, and by far my favorite of all, Mandy Patinkin creates one of the most entertaining and likeable characters created in a film in the entire decade of the 1980s (`My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die!').

This is great stuff. Told as a story read from a book, just like The Neverending Story, The Princess Bride provides a magical mix of romance and fantasy and action and comedy to provide an enormously entertaining film for moviegoers of all ages. The Princess Bride is an absolutely wonderful film that is truly not to be missed.

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107 out of 138 people found the following review useful:

Possibly one of the most enjoyable films ever made...

10/10
Author: Sagitta86 from UK
2 March 2004

"As you wish..." "Inconceivable!" "My name is Inigo Montoya..."

I love this film so much.

From its opening scenes of the young boy being read a story by his kindly Grandfather to the romance, action, adventure and fun of the fairy tale. The Princess bride tells the tale of the beautiful Buttercup (Robin Wright) and her true love Westley (Elwes)who become separated through the course of an unfortunate event involving some pirates. Westley's destiny is to rescue Buttercup from the clutches of an evil Prince so that they might be together again. Yet he's not bargained on some of the wonderful characters that he will meet (and befriend) along the way...

This film is so deliciously acted, made and written that it is a treat to watch.I've lost count of how many times I've seen it now. But every time I still gain the same enormous amount of pleasure from watching it. A movie that is a delight for the young and just as much fun for everyone else.

The actors are all superb in their roles ('perfect casting' does not come close to describing it!) A young Cary Elwes is suitably dashing as our cocky hero (check out the sword fighting!)and Robin Wright is good as the beautiful Buttercup. Mandy Patinkin is great as the vengeful Inigo Montoya who utters that famous "you killed my father. prepare to die" line. Everyone else gives there all, including Christoper Guest, Chris Sarandon (as the main villian), Wallace Shawn, the late Andre The Giant,Mel Smith, and Billy Crystal.

Even though it is about 18 years old, the humour and sly jokes are still as sharp today as they were back in 1987.You know you are watching a great movie when you here Elwes' "To the pain..." speech near the end. You've probably seen The Princess Bride. If so...go and watch it again. Right now, and remind yourself how good it is! And if you haven't- what are you waiting for? Go and check it out now! It's worth it! Hands up who can quote this entire film off by heart! ;)

Watch out for:

The R.O.U.S's Elwes' and Patinkin's Sword/word fight The Miracle Max scene When our heroes storm the castle (Go Inigo! Go Inigo!) Elwes' "To the pain..." speech. (Superb. Shows what a great (and unfortunately underused) actor he is)

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114 out of 157 people found the following review useful:

A classic fantasy for all to enjoy.

10/10
Author: Autumn-Lynn Schuster
12 March 2001

The Princess Bride is a wonderful family film about a maiden named Buttercup and her "farmboy" Wesley. When Wesley goes away to seek his fortune, he is reported to be killed by the Dread Pirate Roberts. Hearing this really gets Buttercup down, and it only gets worse when Prince Humperdink chooses her to be his bride.( Hence the title) To make a long story short and not give away the ending, Buttercup's kidnapped for suspicious reasons and rescued by someone familiar. She's in love and nothing can stop true love! A couple of deaths, a would be wedding, revenge fulfilled, and a couple reunited end this gala of a film. But this doesn't even sum it up, I promise! I love this film because it does not take itself too seriously and flows well across the screen. The main characters and their supporting cast are quirky and memorable. You will be repeating classic lines like, "My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die!" over and over again. Through the adventures of Wesley and Buttercup you feel drawn to the characters and fall in love with their ability to amuse you. Do you want to be entertained with a light hearted fantasy/comedy? Then head on over to your local video store and pick up a copy. Ready to enjoy? "As you wish."

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90 out of 122 people found the following review useful:

A satiric comedy with humor and sadness, dark with the light.

9/10
Author: Robert Reynolds (minniemato@hotmail.com) from Tucson AZ
28 September 2003

This film is an intelligent, sardonic send up of several genres that pokes fun (affectionately) at fairy tales, swashbucklers, love stories and basic conventions of film. One of my favorite scenes is where Inigo Montoya first confronts his quarry after years of searching. His adversary does the unexpected-and what most villains in real life WOULD do under the same circumstances, with hilarious results in the scene. Basil Rathbone probably whirled in his grave!

Not by any means Citizen Kane (we already have one of those, anyway) but a champ in its weight class, with a perfect score, a fine script and good performances. Far more true to the flavor of the original fairy tales that it spoofs than even the best of Disney's takes. I loved it the first time I saw it and love it more now. Well worth watching. Recommended.

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66 out of 93 people found the following review useful:

True Love Conquers All

Author: aerator from Red Bud, IL
19 April 2004

Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, and Robin Wright Penn star in this classic fairy tale entitled The Princess Bride. It is based on a novel by William Goldman, who also wrote the screenplay. Director Rob Reiner brings life to this story and effectively evokes the enchanting spirit of the witty 1973 novel.

The movie opens with a sick boy (Fred Savage) who receives a visit from his grandfather (Peter Falk) who intends to read to him from his favorite book. The boy is not exactly pleased to be distracted from his world of video games. However, his mood quickly changes as he and the viewer are transported to a place out of time. We are taken to Florin, a kingdom in an imaginary land, complete with dashing heroes, cowardly princes, rhyming giants, rodents of unusual size, fancy swordfights, and yes . . . even some kissing.

This fairy tale begins on a farm in the countryside. There lives a beautiful, young woman named Buttercup (Robin Wright Penn) who learns that "as you wish" really means "I love you" when she falls for her farmhand Westley (Cary Elwes). While trying to seek his fortune, Westley disappears at sea and becomes an apparent victim of the Dread Pirate Roberts. A few years later, Buttercup, who is now engaged to Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon), is kidnapped by a trio of misfits, which includes brains--Vizzini (Wallace Shawn); brawn--Fezzik (André the Giant); and sword--Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin). As they sail away toward the Cliffs of Insanity, they notice the pursuit of a man in black. Now begins the adventure . . . .

The central idea of The Princess Bride is that true love can conquer all. Throughout the movie, there are many hardships and trials that true love must endure. The movie keeps the viewer guessing until the very end whether or not there will be the classic fairy tale ending.

This movie is appealing to me because of the classic fairy tale style combined with the witty humor, well choreographed action sequences, and intense instances of suspense. The characters are well developed and all the actors give an amazing performance which adds to the overall appeal of the movie. The Princess Bride is easily one of my all time favorite movies.

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56 out of 76 people found the following review useful:

This movie will charm it's way into your heart

10/10
Author: Kristine (kristinedrama14@msn.com) from Chicago, Illinois
18 November 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Princess Bride is one of those rare, but very perfect films that everyone once in their life time has seen. Just because it is such a loved film, how could you not love it? It has action, romance, revenge, sword fights, true love, humor, friendship, etc. I was only 2 when this film was released, but I still remember how much I was in love with this film at 4. I would rewind the tape and watch it over and over again, the funny thing was my parents wouldn't mind watching it with me, it appeals to children as well as adults. I think the reason why this was such a fantastic film was due to the fact that it was the perfect mixture of a fairy tale with humor, action, and romance. Rob Reiner really knew what he was doing when he made this movie; and it all starts with a grandfather simply reading his favorite childhood story to his sick grandson.

Buttercup and Wesley are two farm people who eventually fall deeply in love, but in order to get money to get married, Wesley goes off to find a job and start a life for them. But when Buttercup hears of Wesley's death by pirates, she is taken away by Prince Humperdinck who is about to make her his bride. She is then kidnapped by three rebels who wish to start a war with the prince, Vizzini, Fezzik, and Indigo Montoya(who is on a revenge streak to kill the six fingered man who killed his father). But she is saved by an unknown pirate who later reveals himself as Wesley who escaped death, but Buttercup is taken once again right as she and Wesley are reunited by Prince Humperdinck. The prince orders to torture Wesley and kill him to keep him away from Buttercup, but Wesley ends up being saved by Fezzik and Indigo who will help him save Buttercup.

The Princess Bride is a classic film that will never be forgotten. It has classic lines like: Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father prepare to die. And of course INCONCEIVABLE repeated constantly by Vizzini. The acting is perfect and the sets are just amazing. Of course who could forget Billy Cristal and Carol Cane's great performance of the miracle worker and his wife? They were just priceless. Please watch this movie, it's one of those movies that's just impossible not to like, why not to like it would be inconceivable.

10/10

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61 out of 86 people found the following review useful:

Fantastic and funny fairy tale

8/10
Author: Jennifer Craft from Seattle
3 July 2003

I love this movie! It's sweet, but with satirical humor. The dialogue is great and the adventure scenes are fun. Rob Reiner shows an excellent touch once again with comedy and a childlike point of view. It manages to be whimsical romantic while laughing at the conventions of the fairy tale genre. I would recommend it to just about anyone. I've seen it several times, and I'm always happy to see it again whenever I have a friend who hasn't seen it yet. I haven't watched it with any kids, but I think it has lots for them too. There are wonderful quotes throughout. I think Mandy Patinkin absolutely steals the scenes he is in as the Spaniard Inigo Montoya, bent on avenging his father's death. I gave it 8 out of 10 mainly because it feels very light, but I may go back and change to 9 thinking of how happy this movie makes me and it's rewatchability.

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