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Overall Rating
4.79

Awesome87.12%
Worth A Look: 7.98%
Average: 3.07%
Pretty Bad: 0.61%
Total Crap: 1.23%

5 reviews, 133 user ratings


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Princess Bride, The
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by Scott Weinberg

"If you have something nasty to say about his one, I'm simply not interested"
5 stars

The Princess Bride is the finest family movie produced since The Wizard of Oz. (OK, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory falls into this very exclusive category also.) Widely adored yet somehow still dismissed as a "cinematic trifle", The Princess Bride is quite simply one of the most entertaining films you're ever likely to see. Nearly every single component of Rob Reiner's movie is a winner, from the picture-perfect casting to the ridiculously beautiful scenery to the sweet-natured and very funny screenplay.

As the film opens, we meet a little boy who has taken to bed with the flu. His gregarious grandfather stops by for a visit and brings with him a book entitled The Princess Bride. Despite some initial reservations, the young boy is soon hypnotized by his grandfather's storytelling. (One of the film's most clever conceits is having the grandson interrupt the movie several times, offering the exact same questions and comments that your kids would come up with!)

The fairy tale tells the story of young Buttercup, a beautiful young maiden and her beloved Westley. As Westley is nothing more than a poor farm boy, he quickly decides to hit the road to seek his fortune, at which time he'll return for his beloved Buttercup. Suffice to say that things don't go as planned. (For a movie this special, I won't even offer "spoilers" that happen 20 minutes into the movie. The beauty is in the surprises, and surprises don't always come at the end of the movie.) If you need more of a plot synopsis than that, just trust me that it involves the following:

Pernicious Princes
Staggering Swordfights
Exciting Escapes
Massive Muskrats
Screaming Sea Slimies
Killer Quicksand
Corrupt Counts
Wacky Wizards
Romantic Rescues
Flying Flames
Gargantuan Giants
Terrible Torture
Vows of Vengeance

and of course

"True Love"

While a relatively bare-bones "mystical adventure quest" plot is the backbone of The Princess Bride, there are more than enough unique and wonderfully original components worth mentioning. Let's start with the cast.

The late Andre the Giant as the massive yet pleasant behemoth known as Fezzik. While it's blatantly obvious that this guy was NOT an actor, he still manages to deliver his (barely understandable) lines in a delightfully sweet style and offers a lovably strange screen presence.

Mandy Patinkin (Alien Nation, Dick Tracy) as a gentlemanly swordsman: "Hello! My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die!" This cry has become one of the most often-repeated (and best-remembered) movie lines of all time. Good thing they got a performer like Patinkin to deliver it.

Billy Crystal (City Slickers, America's Sweethearts) delivers a gloriously funny cameo as Miracle Max. Dismissed by some as a bit too "borscht belt" or hammy, Crystal pops up for a few scenes near the ending and offers some solid belly laughs. (Carol Kane adds a little spice in a tiny part as his wife Valerie.)

Cary Elwes and Robin Wright as the young lovers. When I say the words "perfectly cast", this is what I'm talking about. Looking like a young Errol Flynn, Elwes brings a handsome bravado, a good-natured swagger and some dead-on comic timing to his portrayal of the courageous hero.

I got to take a brief side-step here just to mention how much I enjoy the work of Cary Elwes, not only in The Princess Bride, but in almost all of his performances to follow as well. Bizarrely (but thankfully) relegated to the role of "character actor" throughout his career, Elwes has delivered fantastic turns in movie ranging from very good to not so good. To see what I mean, check out what he does in movies like Shadow of the Vampire, Glory, Liar Liar, Hot Shots, Dracula, Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Kiss the Girls, Twister. His portrayal of John Houseman in The Cradle Will Rock is nothing short of wonderful.

OK, on to the lovely Robin Wright as Buttercup. Yes, she's almost criminally gorgeous, but she's great as the Princess. Robin is another actor I've kept my eye on throughout her career, and I'd venture to say that she's one of America's most underrated actresses. Check out her stuff in Forrest Gump, Moll Flanders or Unbreakable to see what I mean.

The list goes on and on. The brilliant comedian Christopher Guest (Best in Show) gets to play against type as the evil Count Rugen. Chris Sarandon (Dog Day Afternoon, Fright Night) brings a oily nervousness to his despicable Prince Humperdinck and Wallace Shawn as the evil genius Vezzini is the stuff of cinematic ecstasy. (This is an astronomically talented character actor who will ultimately be best remembered for the word "Inconceivable!") In the sweet framing story, Peter Falk (The In-Laws, Made) is warm and enjoyable as the Grandfather while Fred Savage (Vice Versa, Little Monsters) is simply perfect as the sick young boy.

The story is so timelessly entertaining thanks to the witty and light screenplay by William Goldman (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, adapting his own novel here) and the liberal doses of humor and the breathtaking landscapes are courtesy of director Rob Reiner. This was only Reiner's third film (after This is Spinal Tap and The Sure Thing) and it's impressive that he could deliver an instant classic so soon in his career.

It's tough to praise this movie without sounding like the back of the DVD cover, but everything you've heard about this movie is true. Rarely are movies adored as feverishly as The Princess Bride is. While it wasn't a real big moneymaker in its theatrical release, this movie has earned a "video renaissance period" that very few films ever see.

In trying to mix fairy-tale mythology with a decidedly modern sense of humor, Reiner and company have delivered a movie that simply glows with good times. Very few movies are this much innocent fun, and rare is the movie that both kids and parents will want to watch together. Is The Princess Bride a perfect film? No, I don't think there is such a thing as a "perfect film" (and I've seen a lot of 'em), but here's one that comes damn close.

--DVD Details---

Last year, MGM went ahead and released a rather sparse (and non-anamorphic!) DVD version. Sparse as in no extra features and the transfer wasn't as perfect as this movie deserves. But guess what? This week they released an all-new Special Edition. (I wisely ignored the earlier DVD, as I knew a movie of this stature would certainly earn a Special Edition somewhere down the road.) All I can say is that if you love The Princess Bride, then go buy this DVD...the new one. If you already own the older version, give it away as a gift. (You'll make lifelong friends by giving away movies this good!)

The coolest features are:

1. The full-length audio commentary by director Rob Reiner. He's as garrulous and effacing as you remember from his "Meathead" days.

2. The full-length audio commentary by author/screenwriter William Goldman. Although Bill doesn't get much into the technical aspects of the film and this track has a few slow spots, it's evident that he truly loves this movie. It's rare to find a screenwriter so thrilled with how his work turns out.

3. The all-new "As You Wish" documentary, which features interviews with Reiner, Goldman, Elwes, Wright and several other actors from the film. While this isn't the most informative discussion possible, it's still quite nice to see the actors looking back on this film so fondly.

Several other Extra Features include a Cary Elwes "video shoot", several TV and theatrical ads, two 1987 production featurettes, production notes, stills galleries AND a groovy little booklet insert! If you need them, subtitles/captions are available in English, Spanish and French. You can even watch the movie in Spanish if you want, and yes this version is delivered in a gorgeous Widescreen Anamorphic presentation.

It's as if I asked MGM for the perfect DVD for The Princess Bride and their response was "...as you wish".


(OK, that last line is as corny as I'll ever get in a review and I apologize. After this and The Goonies, I really gotta go find some superhuman cinematic swill to skewer. Writing these five-star reviews is difficult!)

P.S. I realize that writing a review of this movie is a truly pointless act, as basically every human in the world has seen this movie. It's my hope that I've inspired maybe ONE person who hasn't seen it to go get it.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=1111&reviewer=128
originally posted: 10/10/01 12:21:18
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User Comments

5/19/10 ikkin74 One of my favorites! Great family film! 5 stars
3/02/10 the dork knight I had NO idea those quotes were from this movie. 5 stars
10/07/09 Danny MOVIE MAGIC! I appreciate it more than I did in 87. Best "fantasy" film ever ~ 5 stars
1/14/09 clatz One of my all time favorites 5 stars
10/03/08 PAUL SHORTT AN EFFECTIVE COMEDY, AN INTERESTING BEDTIME TALE AND A BEAUTIFUL FANTASY FULL OF ADVENTURE 5 stars
6/17/08 Johnnyfaye The story of the 6 fingered man is one of the best scenes in film history. 5 stars
3/16/08 Lala ALMOST as good as the book...but the whole family watches & we all recite lines by <3!! 5 stars
2/26/08 pkr is good. i like. 4 stars
2/14/08 kaitlin i absotlutely love this movie!!! 5 stars
12/03/07 Bnorm Guilty pleasure for me; loved it! So freaking funny.... 5 stars
10/20/07 Kathy Amazing!!!!!! 5 stars
7/15/07 the film judge WHAT A FILM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
7/02/07 -marshall. there are commonalities here that parallel life itself. 5 stars
5/27/07 pam an awesome movie. people who dont like it dont have any intelligence or a sense of humour 5 stars
5/05/07 Indychick If youdon't love this movie, someone has sucked a bit of your soul 5 stars
2/15/07 Andrew Only shrek comes anywhere near this film for heart & humour. Basicaly awesome 5 stars
2/01/07 cole i love it. its almost perfect 5 stars
12/04/06 Mandy Quinn It was absolute crap!!!!! so unrealistic 1 stars
10/17/06 AJ Muller our generation's Wizard of Oz - all that you wish 5 stars
10/05/06 Indrid Cold Looks like a made-for-Disney channel crapfest, but actually quite funny and memorable. 4 stars
9/04/06 michelebspy A bit cheezy but still one of my favorites 4 stars
7/11/06 David Cohen A chick flick even guys will love 5 stars
5/26/06 Michele awesome always loved it 5 stars
1/09/06 Jim Great movie 5 stars
10/05/05 Jesse Taylor One of the best of the 80's. Magical how spellbinding this movie is. 5 stars
5/23/05 Nicole Great movie - really surprised to see it in HB's top 20! 5 stars
5/15/05 Alex The only movie I can recite line-for-line. Goldman also wrote "Butch Cassidy..." 5 stars
5/08/05 susan varney great imagination 4 stars
5/07/05 Michelle Gerardot this has been my favorite movie for the past 15 years, I love it!! 5 stars
5/04/05 Greg Plank The only "chick-flick" worth watching as a guy. Whoever wrote this needs to make movies. 5 stars
5/01/05 tootie1961 good!! 4 stars
4/21/05 Colleen Goldrick A funny timeless movie 5 stars
3/29/05 craig varney great comedic fantasy 5 stars
3/24/05 Holly Dawson full of funny one liners! my family LOVES this movie! 5 stars
3/04/05 your worst goddamn nightmare such an irresistable, charming movie ***** 5 stars
2/17/05 dbx aburdly fantastic 5 stars
12/13/04 Zofi Daboodoo AMAZING!!!!! Worth watching time and time again. 5 stars
12/11/04 amanda turner great 5 stars
12/09/04 Kristina Williams inconceivable! 5 stars
11/21/04 Kiki Excellent movie. You can't just see it once. You are guaranteed to watch it over and over. 5 stars
11/21/04 Zeus I give it a 5 just because it has Andre the Giant 5 stars
7/27/04 DM Anyone who doesn't love this movie sucks monkey cock 5 stars
6/08/04 Melissa it was fantastic i watched it for english but ended up hiring it causse i loved it 5 stars
5/24/04 R.W. Welch Fractured fairy tale has sharp writing, clever schtick. Nearly awesome. 4 stars
4/30/04 Gray charming and fun 5 stars
4/13/04 Mr X One of the few movies that's better than the book version 5 stars
3/08/04 Blain Wolfe I so toally loved it ya it was so awsome especially when this guy kissed this girl 5 stars
1/25/04 KTB Simply perfect! 5 stars
1/24/04 CC Great Fantasy...Better than LOTR 5 stars
1/21/04 Betty White Nothing special really. Good ensemble & nice music, but that's all. 3 stars
1/16/04 Dean an unfortunate title for a great movie 5 stars
12/21/03 Matt One of my all-time favorite films. 5 stars
11/29/03 john a perfect adventure - a perfect romance and a delightful comedy 5 stars
10/11/03 Cat I'll just say that this is probably my favorite movie of all time. It's incredible. 5 stars
8/06/03 Double G great movie 5 stars
7/20/03 Nicole One of my all time favorite of the fantasy/fairytale genre! 5 stars
7/09/03 natasha_theobald everything you want from a fairy tale and so much more 5 stars
6/29/03 Persephone AWESOME 5 stars
5/11/03 Blutarski Charming, a work of art 5 stars
5/02/03 Dan_A My favorite, since I've been 6 5 stars
4/30/03 Neil Sedaka More euphoric than sniffing N2O on Am. Idol, more memorable than "Build Me Up Buttercup." 5 stars
4/09/03 JL This is one of the greatest movies EVER! Worth more than 5 stars! 5 stars
3/14/03 Pat Some people love this movie others hate it i loved it 5 stars
1/07/03 Vince "No more rhymes now, I mean it!" "... anybody wanna peanut?" 5 stars
12/28/02 Emma I've loved this movie since I was a kid :-) 5 stars
12/11/02 Andrew it rocks 5 stars
12/10/02 Caitlin This is one of my all time favorite movies. 5 stars
11/10/02 Jay Classic! One of the best movies ever! 5 stars
10/18/02 Charles Tatum Treacly, cutesy, headache inducing crap 1 stars
10/03/02 Gizzy pretty damn disappointing 2 stars
9/28/02 Movie guy A GREAT FILM 5 stars
9/23/02 Justin A classic fairy tale movie! 5 stars
9/03/02 Shannon Sorry, but all the quotes from this one drive me nuts! 3 stars
7/29/02 Captain Midol If you have a pulse, you'll be laughing. This from the most jaded, cynical broad around. 5 stars
4/04/02 cat really great movie! Robin & Cary are great together. 5 stars
3/18/02 Danie The princess bride is the best movie ever. 5 stars
2/26/02 Butterbean I made panty pudding while watching Elwes. A wonderful fairy tale 5 stars
2/20/02 Xaver Hey...it's good rollicking fun. 4 stars
2/17/02 Clarance way to go mr fred savage!---but stick to wonder years my friend..you were soo money 3 stars
1/29/02 MF We used the theme song as the processional for our wedding. Need I say more? 5 stars
1/25/02 murat great one of the greatest adventure,comedy love movie of all time.An all time high 5 stars
1/11/02 max zhang Girls put out with added effort after watching this baby 5 stars
1/06/02 Dan A Loved it the first time and the 50th time 5 stars
12/26/01 Phil M. Afficianado It didn't do much for me. Sorry, as I know you all love it. I'll see it again to be sure. 3 stars
11/28/01 ferring had to watch it for school, i can't remember being impressed, xcept for elwes, mmmmmmmmmmmm 3 stars
11/23/01 Will Diamond How could anyone not like this movie? 4 stars
11/14/01 Zizzerzazzerzuzz I love this damn movie. Read the book! 5 stars
11/13/01 Thee_Guitar_God He went off to war? Did you even watch this movie asshole? 4 stars
11/13/01 Robert Just gets better with age 5 stars
11/04/01 CV Tharp Good movie, but the book is genius 4 stars
10/30/01 mr. Pink A funny zany fairytale 4 stars
10/23/01 Soggy Bottom Boy Classic humorous heroic quest, acting is right on the money. A modern-day fairy tale. 5 stars
9/01/01 Butterbean I want to fuck Cary Elwes. That white boy makes me moist 5 stars
6/11/01 Mulie I like Falk. Take it to the House. 5 stars
6/07/01 Kim Guignard The best movie ever made for the young at heart 5 stars
5/24/01 moose It's fantastic!! 5 stars
5/23/01 Cara The best movie!!! The most quotable and funny. 5 stars
5/22/01 Francois Asselin French version is very funny 5 stars
5/17/01 kristi sandgren It rocks! i love the whole story. 5 stars
5/05/01 The Chosen One Hil-fuckin'-larious 5 stars
5/03/01 Gracy Lionheart The movie has everything!!! YAY!!! 5 stars
4/23/01 *~Danielle*Ophelia~* (formerly KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi) Utterly magnificent. Humor, action, romance, fantasy...what's not to like?? 5 stars
3/23/01 Inigo Montoya There's something you should know, I am not really left handed. 5 stars
2/23/01 Steve in Prague GRAET flick..."my love is like a storybook story" best love song next to "The Rose" 5 stars
2/20/01 Fleur Rapmund It is so awesome I'm writing a "mémoire" on it!! 5 stars
2/19/01 The Bomb 69 funny stuff, witty and charming 5 stars
12/29/00 EvilDead-Ash A Fantasy classic alongside The Dark Crystal, Last Unicorn, Heavy Metal and Labyrinth. 5 stars
11/11/00 Creeper R.I.P., Andre. 5 stars
10/01/00 Lance The most tolerable chick-flick ever... to put it another way, this movie is GREAT. 5 stars
8/20/00 InigoChick Wondeful beyond imagining. 5 stars
7/29/00 Jinx If you think this movie is only OK, you're not paying attention. 5 stars
5/30/00 perverted pixie This movie, along with "Labyrinth" and "The Goonies", was a firm childhood favourite. 5 stars
3/01/00 Ionicera practically a cult classic 5 stars
12/08/99 michael harari its the best movie that ive ever seen 5 stars
10/21/99 Catt Hall Mmm,if you repress the images of that pansy of a pigtail that Westley 'wears',IT KICKS ASS 5 stars
10/17/99 Tom Jasper Full of wonder and awe for adults and children alike 5 stars
10/08/99 Mike Henderson The Second Greatest Story Ever Told 5 stars
10/07/99 sophia962 Perfect balance of wit and heart. Disney wishes it could make a movie this cool and sweet. 5 stars
7/16/99 Kevin One of my 3 favorite Line movies. Truly inventive-I've seen it way too many times. 5 stars
7/11/99 Daria Very funny and romantic. 4 stars
7/09/99 The Frog Do NOT miss this movie. period. 5 stars
6/25/99 David Keech A great fairy tale, and a satire on the same. Funny shit. Inspired casting too. 5 stars
6/22/99 Elizaveta I love Mandy! 5 stars
5/04/99 Big Dog Stop ryhming and I mean it, does anyone have a peanut? 5 stars
4/21/99 lucas jackson This was an outstanding family movie,especially Andre the Giant 5 stars
4/18/99 Sykokat My favorite move of all time. Enchanting and Hilarious! 5 stars
3/04/99 Czarina I drooled through the whole thing and I've seen it about 5000 times 5 stars
1/24/99 donkey_dew One of the few videos that deserved a place in my video library. awesome. 5 stars
11/23/98 Peter Guys, Girls..No matter how old you are, if you do NOT like this movie you should get help ! 5 stars
11/17/98 Jules I loved the book and, gasp, I loved the movie too... 4 stars
11/06/98 Lord Of The Dunce I really epected to hate this film, but fuck me if it wasn't funny as hell. Great movie. 5 stars
10/31/98 Silent Rob Pure magic, created by pure hearts, filmed with a pure eye. 'Anybody want a peanut?' 5 stars
10/10/98 {{{OZ}}} Was made to watch this by a girl, but I have to admit it was funny as hell. Loved it. 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  02-Feb-1988 (PG)
  DVD: 13-Jun-2006

UK
  N/A

Australia
  02-Jul-1988 (G)




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