Score : 100/100
Watchable Minutes: 93 / 93
Trailer Comparison : The trailer for The Princess Bride shows the humor and the romance as well as the action all at once without any of those pieces overshadowing the rest. With that said, it is pretty confusing as to what is actually going on inside the movie.
Movie or Film : The Princess Bride is the perfect blend of adventure, comedy, and romance and all of these things make a wonderful movie. It’s strictly for entertainment and story telling but not much else which is what keeps this in the movie category.
A young, sick child is visited by his grandfather, who reads him a story of love, action and adventure to make him feel better. The story follows Buttercup and Wesley, who grew up together in the Florian countryside and have fallen in love. Wesley leaves his true love’s side to go make his fortune in order to provide for their life together and is subsequently killed by the Dread Pirate Roberts. Five years later, Buttercup is to be married against her will to the despised Prince Humperdinck. Soon after their betrothal is announced, she is kidnapped by three goofy bandits. Hot on their trail is the Dread Pirate Roberts, who seeks to capture the princess for his own, but all is not as it seems.
The Princess Bride, much like Seven Samurai, is daunting to write about (That’s not a comparison I thought I’d ever make). It is the perfect storm of everything that makes a good movie, a lightning in a bottle scenario for sure. It’s got humor, action, love, and adventure mixed together in such a way that you can’t help but enjoy it.
The Princess Bride takes place in the fictional countryside of Florian. The land is ruled by a king and queen, with an eligible Prince Humperdinck ready to assume the throne. There is a small sea that separates Florian from their enemies in the country of Guilder. That’s about as complex as the setting gets, which is a huge plus for the overall story. Most fantasy movies make the mistake of assuming that complex lore and worldbuilding is required and adds to the audience’s enjoyment. While this is true for things like Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones, it’s definitely not needed for The Princess Bride. The story has enough jokes and physical comedy to say this is a funny movie, but not enough to say it’s a straight up comedy movie. The same goes for the action. The Princess Bride features sword fighting, mind games, daring rescues, and plenty more spaced throughout its 93 minute run time. There’s enough time to stop and catch your breathe between each of the action spikes, which lets the comedy I mentioned earlier flow naturally into these lulls in action. If the action and comedy are the walls and roof of this house that Rob Reiner built, then the romance between Princess Buttercup and Westley is the foundation. Without their love for each other, the movie could stand on its own for a time, but it would eventually collapse. The romantic angle between Buttercup and Westley feels so genuine that I can’t help but be enamored by it and I don’t care who knows it.
Putting the story aside, I have to give major points to the casting department. Robin Wright had great chemistry with Cary Elwes and they both were able to deliver their lines with heart. Andre the Giant was the ideal choice for Fezzic. If you believe everything you read on Wikipedia, then I think that out of the choices of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Lou Ferrigno would have been fine attempts, but Andre was the only one who could really portray an honest giant. Wallace Shawn, Mandy Patinkin, and Billy Crystal were all marvelous additions to the cast as well. Each one of them delivers their iconic lines to perfection. Shawn with “Inconceivable!”, Patinkin with “You killed my father. Prepare to die”, and Crystal with “Have fun storming the castle!” are all permanently engrained in my mind and are used at the drop of a hat when the situation arises.
Most of the winning aspects come from the writing and acting. The set design is a little on the cheesy side and some of the effects are a little obvious. I’m talking “substituting Andre with a mannequin that was lit on fire” obvious. There were some instances of cheese making its way into the films sets for the castle and the boat scenes. It also suffers from the dreaded rubbery audio that seems to pervade movies from this era. I just can’t get over it. I was doing some research about the movie and learned that Rob Reiner rented houses for the entire cast to hangout in during the shooting and it fostered a sort of closeness with the cast and crew that lead to all the authenticity we see on screen. That is a great example of being an actors director and that little bit of extra effort paid dividends on this movies popularity.
I love this movie and will defend it forever. That isn’t exactly a hot take, because it is frequently cited as one of the most perfect movies ever made. I must admit that for the longest time I refused to watch it because it was so popular – I gave it the Christmas Story treatment. At the behest of my girlfriend and one of my best friends, I caved in and watched it. I’m glad I did, because I became a changed movie boi. I think this is the movie that really opened me up to being more accepting of romance in my movies. After watching The Princess Bride, I took a chance on several other movies that featured similar aspects. I think if I had skipped out on The Princess Bride, I wouldn’t have watched La La Land, or Her, or Moulin Rouge!, which are some of my favorite movies to this day. With all that said, and because of how this movie lives rent free in my head, I have awarded it the classic pass. That will grant an instant +15 points, making it the second perfect movie I’ve seen thus far.
If you like this, check out :
- La La Land
- Moulin Rouge!