A review of The Princess Bride

Posted: October 5, 2013 in Archive posts, Journalism, Reviews

A DVD review from Death Ray 16.

1987/98mins/12

Film: FIVE STARS Extras: FOUR STARS

Director: Rob Reiner

Writer: William Goldman

Starring: Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, Mandy Patinkin, Andre the Giant, Chris Sarandon, Wallace Shawn, Christopher Guest, Fred Savage, Peter Falk

One of the best fantasy films ever made gets a new edition.

The charm of The Princess Bride is almost overwhelming. Very rarely has a movie been made that is as funny, exciting and heartwarming.

At its big pink heart, it is a story about true love. It sounds nauseatingly sweet, and had it been adapted by any other than Goldman, the book’s author, it might well have been so. It is instead a superior fairytale, though getting young boys to see past the girly title can be a trial.

Farmboy Westley goes missing on an errand, leaving his sweetheart Buttercup to grieve. Years later, she is betrothed to the local Prince, who has no regard for her and has instead set her at the centre of his plans to provoke a war with the neighbouring kingdom. Want wisecracking, amazing swordplay and large rodents? As you wish. Top flight family entertainment.

DVD Extras: There’s a fair number on this re-release: four documentaries of varying vintage reveal plenty, including the fact that Cary Elwes now has a slight mid-Atlantic burr. Two audio commentaries from Reiner and Goldman provide the most interest, and there are the usual smatterings of photos, trailers and TV spots. Loads more than earlier releases, but the new transfer is not that much superior. If you don’t have this film already, now is the time to buy it.

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Comments
  1. redfox4242 says:

    I love that movie. It is one of my favorites.

  2. Never got the love for that movie. It was alright. Quite funny. Nothing special.

  3. tsuhelm says:

    Great movie, and the scene that sticks is the duel:
    Inigo Montoya: You are wonderful.
    Man in Black: Thank you; I’ve worked hard to become so.
    Inigo Montoya: I admit it, you are better than I am.
    Man in Black: Then why are you smiling?
    Inigo Montoya: Because I know something you don’t know.
    Man in Black: And what is that?
    Inigo Montoya: I… am not left-handed.
    [Moves his sword to his right hand and gains an advantage]
    Man in Black: You are amazing.
    Inigo Montoya: I ought to be, after 20 years.
    Man in Black: Oh, there’s something I ought to tell you.
    Inigo Montoya: Tell me.
    Man in Black: I’m not left-handed either.
    [Moves his sword to his right hand and regains his advantage]

    But found this blog post on the real fencing moves quoted in film which also indicates the quality of writing: http://combativecorner.wordpress.com/2010/11/11/fencing-language-in-the-princess-bride/

    • guyhaley says:

      I love that scene. I used to fence myself, for three years. Sadly, having a small child and a wife who works ridiculous hours rather put paid to my own swordplay ambitions, at least for the time being.

      • tsuhelm says:

        I didn’t realise but it looks like you can actually read about fencing instead! Oh…time to do that…?

        Did think once of studying up on Korean Baseball just to amuse oneself…decided there is not enough time in the day…wifey, 2 kids, work, LOTRO and er….I get to read on the commute and blog at work (Sh!)

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