The Princess Bride
Runtime: 98 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85 : 1
Director: Rob Reiner
Release Date: 09/25/87
Cast: Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, Chris Sarandon, Mandy Patinkin, Christopher Guest
The Princess Bride is a cult classic. The film, which was only moderately popular at the time of its release in 1987, has grown to be something of a legend. Children and adults alike share a love for the The Princess Bride’s unique mix of fantasy, humor and wit. It is a film that is watched again and again, quoted and talked about by moviegoers from all walks of life.
The film opens with a grandfather reading a book to his grandson. However, this book is more than just an innocent bedtime story and as he reads the story comes alive in the boy’s mind and on our screens. The Princess Bride tells the tale of Buttercup, the most beautiful princess in the world. Buttercup is in love with a farm boy, Westley, but evil forces prevent the two from living happily ever after. Westley is taken by pirates and Buttercup, believing Westley to be as good as dead, agrees to marry an evil prince named Prince Humperdinck though she does not really love him.
On the eve of Buttercup’s wedding to the Prince, she is kidnapped. However, a mysterious masked man saves her from her captors. To Buttercup’s surprise the masked man is Westley, alive and well. The pair flees and a wild adventure ensues. A number of crazy obstacles stand in their way, including oversized rodents, lightening quicksand, jets of flame shooting from the ground and screaming eels. The film also introduces us to a variety of characters that are just as bizarre as these crazy obstacles including swashbuckling pirates, dastardly villains, wizards, giants and more.
The Princess Bride features an all-star cast, including Christopher Guest, Andre the Giant, Fred Savage and Mandy Patinkin in his infamous role of Inigo Montoya, a Spanish warrior out to avenge his father’s death. Carol Kane and Billy Crystal also make unforgettable appearances.
The film was directed by Rob Reiner and the tone resembles many of his other works. Just as Reiner’s This is Spinal Tap was an ironic take on rock documentary, The Princess Bride is an ironic take on the heroic fantasy epic. While the look and feel of the film is pure fantasy, in the vein of films like Legend or the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, The Princess Bride doesn’t take itself seriously at all. The off the wall characters and constant barrage of puns and witticisms keep a smile on your face from start to finish.
However, The Princess Bride isn’t for everyone. Though it has become a hugely popular film over the years not everyone “gets it.” The movie is designed for viewers with imaginations that are willing to run wild. Moviegoers who aren’t willing to believe the nonstop absurdities and ridiculous characters and situations may not find anything worthwhile about the film. Other critics of The Princess Bride feel that Reiner simply stretched the fantasy genre too far into the absurd. Many of the absurdities in the film seem forced and obvious to the stubborn viewer. However, for viewers who are young at heart, imaginative and ready to laugh out loud, The Princess Bride will remain a classic for years to come.