The Princess Bride

500 Days Of Film Reviews The Princess Bride And Finds The Perfect Family Film


A young boy (Fred Savage) is ill in bed at home when his grandfather (Peter Falk) visits.


His grandfather wants to read him a story - a story called The Princess Bride. 


Initially skeptical that this story is just a boring “kissing” book, the boy is soon gripped by the truly exciting adventure that lies within the pages.

Is It Any Good?

I just love The Princess Bride and have seen it many times. I was so excited to watch it with my own children and to find that they love this movie just as much.


On Sunday, I saw The Princess Bride on the “big screen” at the BFI with my parents, husband and kids. It was amazing to watch this film in a cinema alongside many other fans of the film. It reminded me just how communal a film can be, how unifying. 


It also made me think about The Princess Bride itself and why it is, for me, the perfect family movie. So far I have come up with ten reasons… I am sure that you can think of many more (and if you do, I’d love to read them in the comments box below this post!).


10 Reasons Why The Princess Bride Is The Perfect Family Movie

1. Wonderful Origins

The Princess Bride is a perfect family movie because it was created for a family. It was not born of a need to make money. No, this story was created by William Goldman to satisfy the bedtime story demands of his two daughters. One wanted a story about a princess, one a tale about a bride - hence the title.

 

Goldman then added all of the elements that he had enjoyed in stories as a child. As a result, the narrative grew and soon became so important to Goldman that he refused to hand over the film making rights until he was sure that he had found the perfect director (Rob Reiner).

 

2. Genius Casting

I can’t imagine anyone else playing any of the central roles in The Princess Bride. They are all just perfect choices. However, the casting process was not always easy. For example, Rob Reiner auditioned over 500 women for the role of Buttercup before Robin Wright was offered the part.

 

However, Reiner offered Mandy Patinkin any role that he wanted in the film. And, yes, that is him from Homeland.

 

3. Fabulous Storytelling

The Princess Bride’s storytelling is wonderful. There is never a dull moment and the story moves at a cracking pace.


Crucially, everyone - from the youngest to the oldest viewer - can keep up with the narrative.

 

4. Adorable Romance

The kiss between Wesley and Buttercup is still one of my favourite onscreen smooches and even my son (who was just as skeptical as the grandson in the film itself at first) really doesn’t mind the romance.


5. Exciting Action

The action in this film comes thick and it comes fast. Thankfully because (as I mentioned above) my son was not sure about this film (mainly because of its title).


Give it a chance, I pleaded. He did and now loves this movie as much as me! 

 

6. Comedy Cameos

The cameos in this film are all superb. For example, Billy Crystal is on top form as Miracle Max and Peter Cook is fantastic in his role. Both have precious little screen time but both pull of brilliant and memorable performances.  


7. Perfect  Score

Mark Knopfler, of Dire Straits, wrote the wonderful music for The Princess Bride. According to reports, Knopfler only agreed to do this if Reiner himself agreed to put a reference to Spinal Tap into the film (a hat, which is hanging in the grandson’s room).

 

8. Gloriously Quotable Lines

A great part of the sheer fun of this movie is repeating its key lines afterwards.


I love “inconceivable!” but my favourite is “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die”.

 

According to a Buzzfeed article about the film, Reiner met mob boss, John Gotti, and six of his men on a street in New York. One of the men quoted this line at him and then they burst out laughing.     


9. An Awesome Sword Fight

I just love the sword fight between Inigo and The Dread Pirate Roberts.


This complicated swashbuckling scene works so well because you can see that it is the two actors who are fighting and not a couple of stunt doubles. As a result, this key part of the film manages to be both hilarious and exciting.

 

10. Staying Power

Although it was no box office smash when first released, The Princess Bride has become a much loved favourite in the intervening years. I can’t think of many other films that could captivate and entertain three generations of one family so well. 


Random Observations

Have you seen The Princess Bride? Do you love it as much as me? 


Can you add to this list? 


Let me know by leaving me a comment in the section below!


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