Adapted from the William Goldman novel of the same name, The Princess Bride was as much a childhood movie staple for me as The Goonies, Ghostbusters or Back To The Future. It had it all, swashbuckling adventure, romance, very clever and slyly delivered humour and an excellent cast. I have probably watched The Princess Bride as much as those afore mentioned films and I have watched them many, many times. So what is it that draws children & adults alike to this film?
One of its prime benefits was that it was directed by Rob Reiner, hot off the success of such films as This Is Spinal Tap & Stand By Me, Reiner trying his hand at what was essentially a children’s film was an interesting prospect and one that paid off in abundance. With a diverse yet wonderfully complementary ensemble cast that grouped together the likes of Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, Mandy Patinkin, Christopher Guest, Wallace Shawn and one André Roussimoff, more commonly know as WWF wrestler André The Giant, Princess Bride got so many things right from its beautiful locales, predominantly filmed around Great Britain, it’s wickedly quirky & subversive sense of humour. It was a major Hollywood picture that in the grand scheme of things took some pretty big risks.
Like previous Reiner film This Is Spinal Tap, The Princess Bride is a film that was massively quotable, quotes that still drop today from the mouths of fanboys. How many of us have drunkenly yelled “My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die”? Or uttered “INCONCEIVABLE!” at moments of incredulity? I’m sure it is not just me. Author William Goldman took control of the film’s screenplay so can be thanked for giving a slew of generations some top notch movie quotes, coupled with the fact that it’s is just an incredibly well crafted and engaging story in the first place, to have its author work on the film’s screenplay certainly helped in The Princess Brides success.
Upon its release, The Princess Bride was a reasonable box office success but was always destined to become a cult classic, a film destined to be rewatched, discussed and passed on as one of those “you have to have watched..” films and almost certainly a film to one day introduce to your own offspring pretty much in the same way as those other aforementioned childhood cinematic staples.