Overall: 14/20 – B
It’s been far too long since I’ve written an edition of Movie Reelz. In truth, RL destroyed much of my time and/or made me too tired to actually watch anything other than tv shows. (Though I did finally made it through all six seasons of Game of Thrones!). But like a lot of movies, The Princess Bride (1987) needs it’s day in the sun.
This movie is near and dear to my heart not only because it’s a movie I watched repeatedly with my best friend/roommate in college, but it’s one that I enjoy sharing with others. It’s a goldmine of quotable quotes and it’s just an honest feel-good, silly movie.
The Plot: A grandfather reads a story to his sick grandson; a classic fairy-tale of Buttercup and the farm-boy Westley, two people who fall deeply in love and then endure a cruel separation. Buttercup overcomes the loss of her true love to become a princess while her farm-boy must learn the art of piracy to survive, and then overcomes death in an effort to return to her. Along the way they must face a battle of wits against a Sicilian, Rodents of Unusual Size, the pit of despair, and most importantly, a murderous prince, intent on marrying Buttercup. All this must happen before they can live happily ever after. It’s a classic 80s movie with epic vocals, 8-bit video games, and an odd amount of Chicago Cubs paraphernalia.
To be perfectly honest, I have no idea what this movie has that others don’t. I can’t pin down what makes this movie such a classic. Maybe it’s the sheer scope of talent. After all, Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Shawn Wallace, and Billy Crystal were all well known actors and continued to have quite successful careers. And those weren’t even all the lead actors.
Perhaps it’s the story-telling. It truly is an epic story. There is romance, danger, sword fights, an almost Robin Hood type feel and of course, the classic damsel in distress. The different elements flow seamlessly together and the cast truly look like they are enjoying themselves throughout. The sword fight between Inigo and Westley still ranks as one of my top 5 sword fights of all time. And again, I can’t tell you why. They banter, they are silly, they joke with each other and yet the skill with which they (or their stunt doubles) exhibit is clearly unparalleled. There is skill everywhere you look in this movie from sword fighting, word play, evil genius, to vocal talents (Anybody else remember “twu wuv”?).
If none of those are enough to entice you to watch the movie, then perhaps you will once you realize that you’ve been quoting it all along. It has some of the most memorable lines ever found in a movie. Some of them have been repeated so much, I’m sure some of the actors regret ever saying them in the first place.
“Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father, prepare to die.”
“You keep saying that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
“Have fun storming the castle!”
And of course…”As you wish.”
I use these and many more in everyday conversation and I’d bet that if you ever watched the movie, you’d find a ton more you use without knowing it. I know my coworker did when I first took her to see it.
The beauty of Retro Movie Night at my hometown movie theater is not only that you get to relive your favorite movies, but that it’s the perfect opportunity to introduce someone else to your obsessions. When it’s a classic movie like The Princess Bride, everyone in theater can’t help but say the lines and it brings a whole group of nerds together. It’s a wonderful thing. If you have never done a flashback movie night type of event, I highly recommend you do so. As it was, when my coworker and I went, she spent a significant portion of the movie poking my arm as she recognized various phrases and events that she’d quoted unwittingly.
It is a thoroughly charming movie that is super kid-friendly and relatable to adults. It’s a movie that sticks with you and can actually be a good “make me laugh” kind of movie in a clean, funny, amazing way. Yes, the graphics are cheesy. Yes, the costumes are fairly simplistic, and the plot is not overly complicated. All of that lends to it’s charm. So if you haven’t seen it recently, dust off your copy and relive the magic.
Adults: A must-see. An integral part of your childhood/early adulthood. Full of feel-good moments.
Children: It’s an epic tale of true love, with pirates, sword fights, Rodents of Unusual Size, and funny guy named Miracle Max. You’ll love it!
A max of 5 stars for each category: Plot, Acting, Visuals, Music. Films will receive an overall score out of 20 and an equivalent letter grade.
A = 16-20 stars
B = 11-15 stars
C = 6-10 stars
D = 1-5 stars