Your favorite movie and what it’s about.
Well this one is about a sick kid who hallucinates a story while his grandfather sits at his bedside. Kind of.
I speak, of course, about the Princess Bride. It is bookended by a grandfather reading a book to his sick grandson (played by Peter Falk and Fred Savage) and has a running commentary from them about how sports are great and kissing is yucky. To “sum up” the story is about a girl (Robin Wright) who falls in love with the farmhand (Cary Elwes) after he’s been doing all the work for who knows how long. He goes off to try to earn his fortune so they can marry. His ship is attacked by pirates, and he is presumed dead. The girl is so beautiful, even in her grief, that she catches the eye of the prince (Chris Sarandon), who decides he must marry her.
The prince secretly hires a bald “genius” to assassinate the princess and pin the crime on another country, thereby starting a war. The genius hires a swordsman (Mandy Patinkin) and a giant (Andre the Giant) to do all the work. They kidnap the girl and head for this rival country. They soon discover that they’re being followed by a man in black.
The man in black fights each of these three conspirators in turn. The swordsman confesses that someone with six fingers on his right hand killed his father and that he wants revenge. The giant is used to fighting multiple people at once and is using all the wrong moves. The genius is outsmarted rather spectacularly. The girl is furious to find that she has been rescued by
the man who murdered her love. The reunited lovers flee, but the prince eventually catches up with the six fingered man (Christopher Guest) in tow. The girl makes the prince promise to spare the man who saved her (he doesn’t, of course).
So the girl doesn’t want to marry the prince but he’s going to get his way of course. Unbeknownst to the girl, the six fingered man has been torturing the farm boy/man in black, and the prince kills farm boy in a fit of rage. Nearby, the giant finds the swordsman drunk, waterboards him to get rid of the hangover, and they decide to try to find the man in black, which they do easily despite the fact that he’s in a hidden dungeon. They take him to a miracle man (Billy Crystal) to bring back to life, and his wife (Carol Kane) convinces him to do the job. Eventually, after much yelling and ridiculousnous and chocolate, the man in black revived, they head off to storm the castle.
The prince is planning to marry the girl and assassinate her on their wedding night, once again blaming it on this rival country. The prince rightly assumes that the commoners will riot because they adore his princess. I mean, they have to, she’s a commoner famous for being beautiful, why not go to war? During the sham of a wedding, Trio 2.0 scares away and defeats numerous guards, makes their way into the castle, et cetera. The swordsman duels with the man who has the six fingers on his right hand…but apparently not on his left hand (see illustration at right). The man in black points out that the girl didn’t say “I do” so the wedding was a sham and threatens the prince, who turns out to be a right coward and very easy to tie up. The victorious foursome ride away on white horses, the grandfather and grandson bond, the audience is forever changed…
Let me just start out by saying this is the only film that i know of where the book isn’t better than the movie. I’ve read it once, and it is satirical about its own existence in that this is a story based off a book that the author was read when he was a kid and his narrator (father, as i recall) edited certain things out in the reading and now the “author” is editing the book himself and republishing it as his own. I don’t remember a lot of the book and where it differs but in one instance, the dungeon/Pit of Despair/Zoo of Death has multiple levels, each filled with its own horrors, but the author skips over that portion of the story because it’s “boring.” It seems like that would be the part of the story that most boys would want to hear about. It’s slightly unbelievable that the heroes could make it through those levels unless we see how it happened. Anyways, i tend to dislike authors skipping scenes or entire chapters worth of material like this because i want to have details. The more pages and chapters in a book, usually the better. Not always, but usually.
This movie is ridiculous and brilliant, with action, comedy, and a romance that i shouldn’t like as much as i do. Buttercup (the girl) does not in any way deserve her sweet Westley (a.k.a. Farm Boy, the Man in Black, the Dread Pirate Roberts), but for Westley’s sake i am glad things worked out. There are a multitude of one-liners to quote and meme and if you haven’t seen this move then you really should. It is mandatory viewing. Don’t get distracted by the continuity “errors”, they add to the movie’s humor and charm. Some of the dialogue shaped my childhood and i’ve come to realize that one line in particular is just really appropriate for my life.