Thursday, 31 January 2013

Film Review: The Princess Bride (1987)

In spite of its age (over 25 years old, seriously? Where's the Blu-Ray box set with extra unusually sized rodent?) The Princess Bride remains iconic among Fantasy fans and is still unrivalled in the affections of its fans.

Blatantly but fondly mocking the fantasy adventure genre, The Princess Bride boasts a princess, an evil prince, treachery, sword-fights, pirates, mountain-climbing, giant rats, flaming swamps, near total death, a medicine man, and much more. Including a bit of kissing.



Set to the back drop of the fabulous Peter Falk reading a story to Fred Savage ("in my day TV was called books"), the story revolves around the love of farm boy Westley (Cary Elwes) for a girl with the silly name Buttercup (Robin Wright) and a whole thing about marrying a Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon) that we all hate. Boo. Hiss.

This film has spawned almost as many over used and still not tired quotes as the Monty Python films thanks to utterly brilliant and witty scripting by William Goldman, who adapted from his own novel. It also managed fantastic things without much budget. By simply running around on mountains and hills a lot we never really question that this is a fantasy film, it must be, nothing else has so many trees.

"They're kissing again. Do we have to read the kissing parts?"


Other casting highlights include Andre the Giant as pretty much himself in period costume, but technically Fezzik, Christopher Guest as Count Rugen, Peter Cook as a clergyman, Billy Crystal as Miracle Max, Mel Smith as an albino, Mandy Patinkin as Inigo Montoya... heck, there are no casting lowlights.

The film succeeds in being hugely entertaining as a fantasy adventure, hugely successful as a parody of fantasy adventure and one of the most re-watched, quoted, memorable and well-loved movies of fantasy fans everywhere. It's the other reason people of a certain age wanted to learn to fence (Star Wars' glowing swords up against fighting left-handed). It's why the recent remake of Three Musketeers is actually much funnier than you think ("Apologise to my horse, Buttercup" / "As you wish").

As far as I am concerned there is no competitor to its crown.

Adele Wearing

1 comment:

  1. Great review Adele. I sat and watched it with Matthew (aged 7) at the weekend and each of us was equally delighted - it must be the first time I've seen it in probably 20 years.