Saturday, March 12, 2011

Watching Again...and again...The Princess Bride

Elaine Golden is back to chat about a true classic - who can't resist pirates, princesses, villians, and...twoo wuv?

I’m not a huge videophile (probably because I’d much rather bury my nose in a good book) but there are some movies that are worth watching over and over because they stand the test of time. They touch all the right spots.

One of those movies for me is The Princess Bride, which I first watched at the theatre during its original release in 1987. Not only was it a blast then, it’s become a classic in our household as one of the most quotable movies ever.

And why is that? What makes a story stand up to the test of time? Well, it’s certainly not the framing story, of a grandfather reading a story to his reluctant and sick grandson.

Grandson: A book?

Grandpa: That’s right. When I was your age, television was called books. And this is a special book. It was the book my father used to read me when I was sick, and I used to read it to your father. And today I’m going to read it to you.

Grandson: Has it got any sports in it?

…and later….

Grandson: Hold it, hold it. What is this? Are you trying to trick me? Where’s the sports? [suspiciously] Is this a kissing book?

Grandpa: Wait, just wait.

But it doesn’t take very long before all of the things that Grandpa promises in the story –fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles –all come to life. And it’s a magical experience.

For the romance lover in me, there’s the nature of true love. Of separated lovers Buttercup and Westley, reunited years later. Under the dark cloud of Westley’s supposed death, Buttercup agreed to marry the local prince, only to find Westley had returned in the guise of the Dread Pirate Roberts and wasn’t very happy to find she’d ‘forsaken’ him.

Westley: I told you I would always come for you. Why didn’t you wait for me?

Buttercup: Well… you were dead.

Westley: Death can never stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while.

Which Westley goes on to prove later in the story. After Buttercup’s evil fiancé prince kills Westley, Miracle Max is able to bring him back to life because of true love.

Miracle Max: What’s so important? What’s here worth coming back for?

Westley: Trooooo..luuuuuuv

Inigo Montoya: True love! You heard him! You could not ask for a more noble cause than that.

Miracle Max: Sonny, true love is the greatest thing in the world. Except for a nice MLT: mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich, where the mutton is nice and lean and the tomato is ripe. They’re so perky, I love that.

But there’s also the revenge subplot, of Inigo Montoya, who has searched his life for the six-fingered man who murdered his father when he was a boy. He is driven, consumed with this quest, then pushed to the very edge of failure.

Inigo Montoya: Hello! My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die!

Count Rugen (the six-fingered man): Will you stop saying that!

And so much more! It truly delivers on all of the promises Grandpa gives his grandson. It’s a movie that we’ve come back to over and over through the years, and never fails to entertain.

Have you seen The Princess Bride? Who’s your favorite character? What’s your favorite quotable quote?

Elaine’s release this month is A Disgraceful Miss available from Harlequin Historical Undone! It’s book two of the Fortney Follies series, a Regency romance.

Julian Kenneway, Earl of Vinedale, has a secret: he is in love with innocent debutante Angelica Fortney. She's the one thing he desires more than the tenuous peace he has regained since returning from India. Yet everyone, including Julian, believes he's unsuitable for her—and seducing her could ruin both their lives.

But when a rival for Angelica's affections arrives, Julian realizes he can't lose her—and can no longer control his passion for her....


  1. "AS YOU WISH"

    This one of my very, very favorite movies! I love the theme song as much as th movie. I haven't read the book, but I will! Everyone in the movie was spot on! The film gets better each time you see it because you realize how truly clever and droll it is!

    "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

    Miracle Max: See, there's a big difference between mostly dead, and all dead. Now, mostly dead: he's slightly alive. All dead: well, with all dead, there's usually only one thing that you can do.
    Inigo: What's that?
    Miracle Max: Go through his clothes and look for loose change.

    My love is like a storybook story....

  2. Defintiely a classic! Lines worth quoting:

    "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."


    "Have fun storming the Castle!"

  3. Love this film! Had a copy of the novel and someone borrowed it and never returned it. Grr!