OK, so I’ve lost count of the number of people who have told me The Princess Bride is their favourite movie in the whole wide world. It’s certainly one of mine… and this short tribute is in honour of its 25th birthday — which I understand was last week.
The Princess Bride is one of those iconic movies that does everything right — and has everything in it. A fantastical fairytale with memorable characters, beautiful scenery, clever humour… and the most quotable dialogue you will EVER come across.
As you wish… My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father, prepare to die… Inconceivable!… You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means… I know something you don’t know: I’m not left-handed… I think these are among the most often quoted! And then there’s Peter Cook’s impressive clergyman — there are just so many iconic moments.
The sword fight between ‘the man in black’ and Inigo is one of the most famous on-screen sword fights of all time. When I dabbled in fencing during my university years, it was a fun passtime to act it out, dialogue and all. I still cannot watch the movie without reciting every single line of that scene.
Oh, who am I kidding? I can recite just about the entire movie as I watch it. Yes, I’ve seen it an uncountable number of times, but the dialogue is just that good. (At least I’m refraining from embedding the entire movie in this post!)
It’s a movie that has left millions wishing there were such things as iocane powder, holocaust cloaks, and miracle pills. And sexy men in black.
To conclude, I’m going to ask three questions of readers (and provide my answers as well):
1. Do you remember your first experience of The Princess Bride?
Yes — I saw it as a teen with my grandmother and sisters at the cinema when it first came out in 1987. I thought Carey Elwes as Westley was hot hot hot. That blond hair, those blue eyes… mmm. I promptly went and saw it again!
2. What’s your favourite scene?
Ooooh, too many to choose from ! Aside from the wonderful swordfight scene, I’m going to highlight the scene where Buttercup pushes ‘The Dread Pirate Roberts’ down the hill; he calls out ‘as you wish’ as he’s tumbling down; she realises it’s Westley and throws herself down the hill to punctuations of ‘ooh… ah… oh… ow’. Too funny!
3. Have you read the book?
Yes! I read it years and years ago — 1988 I think. A friend gave a dilapidated old paperback to me. It’s an early edition that uses the red type for all the ‘narrator’ sections, and black type for the story of Buttercup and Westley. I remember the narrator kept talking about all the parts that were skipped over, because they got in the way of the main story.
So how about you guys? Please share with me your love of The Princess Bride (because I know you do!).
BTW fans might also be interested in this 25th birthday commemorative post from Tor.com (Little known facts about TPB).
And here’s a tribute site I just found.