It is hard to believe that it has been twenty-two years since I first saw the film, The Princess Bride. The film took my breath away with its romance, its humor, and its action. This was and still is a wonderful film to discover. William Goldman, author of the novel and the screenplay, subverts the cliches of the fairly tale without mocking them. He takes a fairly standard plot-line and set of baseline characters and weaves something truly original. The novel is well worth the time to read, even if you have seen the movie. People interested in adaptation of novels to screenplays should pay strict attention as Goldman is the master of the art. (Some of his previous adaptations, include Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid, Marathon Man, and The Ghost and the Darkness.) This perfect date movie was directed flawless by Rob Reiner, son of comedian legend Carl Reiner and a talent who has become a force for directional skill and artistry in his own right.
Reiner cast the film perfectly, Carey Elwes as Westley, Mandy Patinkin as Inigo Montoya, and Andre the Giant as Fezzik the Giant. (in fact Goldman tells us that the role of Fezzik was written with Andre The Giant in mind so it truly was perfect casting.)
After suffering through The Mist as last weekend’s Sunday Night Movie, I knew I wanted to watch a film that would make me feel good about life and love and dreams. Something to cleanse my palate, my mind, and my soul of the foul taste that wretched film left behind. It was down to my favorite — emotionally speaking – film of all time, The Princess Bride.
Despite suffering from a headache all day Sunday (one that plagues me even now even as I write this on Monday night) The Princess Bride lifted my spirits, brought joy to my heart, and laughter to my lips. I also had a spot of inspiration into the ending fight for my novel Cawdor. It will sort of be the inverse of the final fight between Inigo and Count Rugen – The Six Fingered Man. The hero will say nothing all during the fight. She will be an implacable force for vengeance.
This film is medicine for the soul. It washes away cynicism and helps reveal a better heart.