Celebrating 25 years of The Princess Bride

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.

14 comments

  1. Truly one of the greatest classics. I tried showing it to all my friends in Britain, though…they didn’t see the charm.

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  2. You seem a decent fellow, I’d hate to kill you./You seem a decent fellow, I’d hate to die.

    I do not think he is using the same wind we are using.

    The King’s stinking son fired me!

    Oh oh oh! The Pit of Despair! The Fire Swamp.

    Bwa-ha-ha! Genius!

    I would love to buy the 25th anniversary edition DVD. Surely I can convince DH the regular DVD has long worn out from repeated watching.

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    1. Yes yes yes! (oops, wrong movie!) seriously so many awesome quotes. If I see the 25th anniversary DVD I may not be able to stop myself…

      I am the Dread Pirate Roberts! There will be no survivors!

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  3. “As you wish” and “My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die” are the two lines that have always stuck with me. LOVE this movie. I also love the name for the rodents in the Fire Swamp – the ROUS’s, Rodent of Unusual Size. That always cracks me up! So many good moments. Must watch it again and soon!

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  4. This has to be the most-quoted movie in our house (my husband loves it!).

    My answers:

    1. Yes! My dorm social events coordinator-type person put together a movie marathon that ran around the clock for a day or two. One of the movies was The Princess Bride. I woke up early (for me) on a Saturday morning to watch it. I think I was in my PJs, with a shawl wrapped around me. 😀

    2. I like scenes with Inigo in them. The scene with Wesley, Buttercup, Vizzini and the poisoned cups is AWESOME, though.

    3. Yes, I have. It’s good, in a different way from the movie.

    You forgot to ask what our favorite quote from the movie is, but I’ll answer it anyway. 😉 Hard to pick just ONE, but the one that gets most widely used these days is the “Yes, you’re very smart. Now…” (We don’t say the “shut up”–setting a good example for our children!–but we let the quote trail off into a significant pause).

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    1. Sounds like a great way to experience the movie for the first time!
      I was going to ask about favourite quotes, but figured you’d all tell me anyway. I LOVE that quote too… Although I think I finish it off 🙂

      Here’s another of my favourites: “murdered by pirates is good…”

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  5. I think I’ve seen it twice. Oh God do I feel like a loser admitting that in this group. I can’t recite the dialogue and couldn’t tell you which is my favorite scene.
    Sigh…
    Now, if you want to talk about the Lord of the Rings…

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    1. INCONCEIVABLE!
      Oh well, you know how to rectify that, don’t you?!
      Of course LOTR movies are truly brilliant, but they’re not so quotable…
      Every so often I get inspired to write an ode to them as well LOL.
      We have a lot to fit in when you come visit me… (one of my local cinemas is soon running a LOTR marathon of the extended editions!!!)

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  6. You’re right, who doesn’t love this movie. I can’t remember when I first saw it, a long time ago. I watched it often at Christmas time with my daughters. Love Peter Falk. Love em all.

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