Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Princess Bride (1989)

"The Princess Bride" won the poll this week, "What movie should I show my film class on Valentine's Day?" over the movies "Annie Hall" and "Harold and Maude." I guess the other two movies, though perhaps more brilliant, are arguably more of a downer and definitely lesser well known.

"The Princess Bride" is a great example of framed narration, a movie told with two stories, the frame story (in this case the story of the grandfather and his grandson) and the embedded story (here, the story of Wesley and Buttercup).

"The Princess Bride" was directed by Rob Reiner  (his third movie after "Spinal Tap" and "The Sure Thing") and written by William Goldman based on the book he wrote in 1973, sixteen years before the movie came out in 1989!!! Needless to say, the project changed studio hands and directors a few times.

In the commentary, Reiner explains that the movie was hard to market from the beginning because it was kind of an "oddball" movie. It doesn't fit into any one genre.

However, over time, the movie became popular due to its great performances and one liners that made their way into pop culture, lines like "As you wish," and "My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

This movie also had the incredible low low budget of 16 million dollars. It was filmed on location and on sound studios in Sheffield, England.

 Wesley and Buttercup

Robin Wright who plays Princess Buttercup was only 19 coming fresh off the soap opera "Santa Barbara" (which I used to watch religiously)!

Cary Elwes and Mandy Patinkin (now popular on the tv show "Homeland") practiced sword fighting endlessly for five months so that's them doing all the sword fighting in the movie (except for the flips).

Other great performances in this movie include Billy Crystal, Carol Kane, Wallace Shawn, Peter Cook, Christopher Guest, Chris Sarandon, Fred Savage, Peter Falk, and Andre the Giant.

"Marriage is what brings us together today."

Every time I watch this movie, I wonder how the stunt doubles for the main characters don't break their necks rolling down a really steep hill.

I am also grateful that the princess is a pretty strong and brave character, never whimpering around giant eels and very large rodents.

This movie is definitely a classic that can be enjoyed both by parents and their children. Definitely watch it if you haven't already no matter what age you are.

1 comment:

Brooke Donaldson said...

I love this movie! It is my favorite romance movie and I have re-watched this ! I grew up with with the Princess Bride. I liked your review and how you referenced other works that people did that worked on the movie.