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The Princess Bride. [DVD]
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Comical fantasy tale of beautiful princesses, foul villains and dashing heroes from director Rob Reiner. The Princess Buttercup (Robin Wright Penn) is saddened by the disappearance of her true-love Westley (Cary Elwes), and finds that she now has no choice but to become engaged to the evil Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon). But Westley soon arrives back on the scene and, along with his mismatched band of adventurers, sets off on a daring mission to rescue his beloved. The film also stars Mandy Patinkin as a Spanish cavalier and Billy Crystal as a crazy magician.
Screenwriter William Goldman's novel The Princess Bride earned its own loyal audience on the strength of its narrative voice and its gently satirical, hyperbolic spin on swashbuckled adventure that seemed almost purely literary. For all its derring-do and vivid over-the-top characters, the book's joy was dictated as much by the deadpan tone of its narrator and a winking acknowledgement of the clichés being sent up. Miraculously, director Rob Reiner and Goldman himself managed to visualize this romantic fable while keeping that external voice largely intact: using a storytelling framework, avuncular Grandpa (Peter Falk) gradually seduces his sceptical grandson (Fred Savage) into the absurd, irresistible melodrama of the title story. And what a story: a lowly stable boy, Westley (Cary Elwes), pledges his love to the beautiful Buttercup (Robin Wright), only to be abducted and reportedly killed by pirates while Buttercup is betrothed to the evil Prince Humperdinck. Even as Buttercup herself is kidnapped by a giant, a scheming criminal mastermind, and a master Spanish swordsman, a mysterious masked pirate (could it be Westley?) follows in pursuit. As they sail toward the Cliffs of Insanity... The wild and woolly arcs of the story, the sudden twists of fate, and, above all, the cartoon-scaled characters all work because of Goldman's very funny script, Reiner's confident direction, and a terrific cast. Elwes and Wright, both sporting their best English accents, juggle romantic fervor and physical slapstick effortlessly, while supporting roles boast Mandy Patinkin (the swordsman Inigo Montoya), Wallace Shawn (the incredulous schemer Vizzini), and Christopher Guest (evil Count Rugen) with brief but funny cameos from Billy Crystal, Carol Kane, and Peter Cook. --Sam SutherlandSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
A bored little boy (Fred Savage) is sick in bed, is told a story by his quirky grandfather (Peter Falk). In it, young lovers Buttercup (Robin Wright) and Westley (Carey Elwes) are separated when Westley is apparently killed. A few years later, the heartbroken Buttercup is unwillingly affianced to the slimy Prince Humperdinck. As if that weren't enough, she's kidnapped by a trio of mercenaries.
But things go wrong for the mercenaries -- a mysterious masked man is following them, and he defeats each of the mercenaries with his swordplay, strength and wits. He also knows quite a bit about Westley's fate -- and Buttercup soon finds that he IS Westley after all. But Buttercup is only a cog in Humperdinck's evil plot, and now it's up to Westley, gentle giant Fezzik (Andre) and vengeance-seeking Spaniard Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin) to save her.
If "Princess Bride" had been done in a halfway serious manner, it wouldn't have been even remotely interesting. It would have been just another kids' film. But with William Goldman's tongue-in-cheek script and entertaining characters (Miracle Max, anyone?), it becomes something a lot sweeter and funnier.
Rob Reiner has a deft, wry touch that matches Goldman's story, and he does a superb job of keeping the grim moments lighter than they would have been otherwise ("We'll never make it through!" "Nonsense, you're only saying that because no one ever has").Read more ›
Part of the success is a superb cast. Carey Elwes is underrated - he is a great comedic actor and also a very versatile character actor. He is sharp and on the ball in this movie - his delivery spot on.
BUT - even so, Mandy Patinkin steals the shows with his wonderful performance.
This movie has such a huge personality and you can tell everyone had great fun making it. They don't make them like this any more, sadly.
Do yourself a favour - buy a copy of this absolute honey of a movie. It has everything to offer and won't fail to charm and cheer.
The sword fight is amazing, the lines are funny and delivered perfectly, as well as the acting...Go on try this film, and if you are luckily enough, you will become part of it's cult following..
Like many others, I watched the film knowing very little about it other than it is a fairytale but by the end realised I had just watched genius at work. Peter Falk and his knowing narration toys with us (and his sickly grandson) so effectively that all thoughts of reality are happily cast away after the first 5 minutes and rightly so.
I don't want to list the quotable lines nor list the goodies and baddies; discover them and everything else that is great about this film for yourself.
PS Ever wondered what became of sections of Goldman's script and his band of characters? See Shrek II...
Then when I was twenty one and a too cool for school student I watched it again. My God. Its a gem. Peter Cook! Cary Elwes! Rob Reiner! Mark Knopfler! Mel Smith! Andre the Giant! Christopher Guest! Billy Crystal! Peter Falk! This list of participants should make you rush out and buy this film. Go run. Then we can sit and talk about how cool and reconstructivist it is (or not whatever). Go get it and watch it with your eighty year old Mary Whitehouse esque granny, your Manhunt 2 obsessed nephew and especially your cynical too cool for school student nephew. This film combines so many themes, genres and nods and is still emotionally effective and accessible to the widest range of viewers this side of the Simpsons . Amazing.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great DVD for all the family, watched so many times yet still gives lots of pleasure and leaves you feeling uplifted.Published 18 days ago by MRS D
Bought this for my brother as he loves princess's and unicorns. He also likes like Andre the giant so he will be happy.Published 1 month ago by David Mac Dougall