Ostensibly a children's fairy tale about a farmer's daughter (Robin Wright), her poor lover Westley (Cary Elwes), the prince (Chris Sarandon) who catches her eye, and the battle that develops among them all. Filled with memorable supporting characters -- Wallace Shawn's Vizzini ("Inconceivable!!!"), Mandy Patinkin's Inigo, Andre the Giant's Fezzik, and Christopher Guest's six-fingered man, The Princess Bride is as much fun as you can have in a film. Even the fringe characters (Peter Cook's priest, Carol Kane's nagging wife, Mel Smith's albino torturer) are hilarious and unforgettable. And director Rob Reiner has imbued this film with so much pure joy that you can't help but want to watch it over and over.
And sure enough, it's a film that improves with repeated viewings. Based on a novel William Goldman wrote for his kids, it's one of those movies you can watch with your children and not want to gouge out your eyes 20 minutes into it. Imbued with a sophisticated plot about love, revenge, dedication, commitment, and more love, it's a classic fable given a post-modern spin. I don't know how else to describe it except to urge you to see it if you never have, and to see it again if you already have. (And of course, you have.)
The new Special Edition DVD at long last gives the film the extras it deserves. The centerpiece is Rob Reiner's commentary track, wherein he gushes about the making of the film -- though it's hardly enlightening, and if you're in a rush, you can find most of the bits among the numerous making-of documentaries included on the disc. William Goldman also has his own commentary track, which is a bit of a snoozer -- partially because Goldman doesn't have much to say, but mostly because he's a bit irascible even when he does speak.
No matter, any movie that can convince you that Andre the Giant should have been an actor instead of a wrestler is an "A" in my book.
Run time: 98 mins
In Theaters: Friday 9th October 1987
Box Office Worldwide: $30.9M
Distributed by: 20th Century Fox
Production compaines: 20th Century Fox, Act III Communications, Buttercup Films, Nelson Entertainment
Contactmusic.com: 4.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 97%
Fresh: 60 Rotten: 2
IMDB: 8.2 / 10
Director: Rob Reiner
Screenwriter: William Goldman
Starring: Cary Elwes as Westley, Robin Wright as Buttercup, Mandy Patinkin as Inigo Montoya, André the Giant as Fezzik, Chris Sarandon as Prince Humperdinck, Christopher Guest as Count Tyrone Rugen, Wallace Shawn as Vizzini, Peter Falk as Grandfather, Billy Crystal as Miracle Max, Fred Savage as Grandson, Carol Kane as Valerie, Mel Smith as The Albino, Peter Cook as The Impressive Clergyman