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The Princess Bride (DVD)

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Genre: Action & Adventure / Theatrical Release: 1987 / Director: Rob Reiner / Actors: Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin ... / DVD released 23 July, 2001 at Columbia Tri-Star Home Video / Features of the DVD: Anamorphic, PAL, Widescreen

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    30 Reviews
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      25.03.2013 10:17
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      A great film

      About the film
      The Princess Bride is a romantic comedy/ adventure film that was released in 1987. The film is based on the book of the same name by William Goldman, which was released in 1973. The Princess Bride has a run time of 98 minutes and is rated PG

      Plot
      A young schoolboy is off sick for the day and his Grandpa visits and begins to read him the story of Westley the farm boy and his one true love, Buttercup. Westley doesn't think that he's good enough for Buttercup and as they cannot get married, he sets off in order to find his fortune. However, while on a ship, he is declared dead after pirates attack. With Westley gone, Buttercup is forced to become engaged to the evil Prince Humperdinck even though she pines for Westley every day.

      Westley is far from dead though and comes back, wanting Buttercup back and to know that she really does love him. On his way to rescue his one true love, and to get her back, he meets a strange band of travellers whom he must first defeat. There are many trials that stand in the way of Westley and Buttercup's happiness but unlikely characters are there along the way to help out.

      Cast
      Cary Elwes as Westley
      Robin Wright as Buttercup
      Chris Sarandon as Prince Humperdinck
      Christopher Guest as Count Tyrone Rugen
      Mandy Patinkin as Inigo Montoya.
      André the Giant as Fezzik
      Wallace Shawn as Vizzini
      Billy Crystal as Miracle Max
      Peter Cook as The Impressive Clergyman
      Mel Smith as The Albino
      Margery Mason as The Ancient Booer
      Willoughby Gray as The King
      Anne Dyson as The Queen
      Peter Falk as Grandpa/Narrator.
      Fred Savage as The Grandson.
      Betsy Brantley as The Mother.

      What I thought
      The Princess Bride is one of those films that I must have watched a million times as a child - it was my sister's absolute favourite film. However, until recently, I hadn't watched it for ages and could barely remember what actually happened in the film.

      Cary Elwes stars as Westley. I can remember watching this film for the first time and thinking that he was beautiful, probably my first crush from a film. To begin with, Westley is a wonderfully sweet character, showing nothing but love for Buttercup who is played by Robin Wright. He wants to do what is best for them both and wants to be able to provide for them and their future which is why he leaves in order to make something better of his life. There were so many sighs coming from me while watching this film again as I remembered what a sweetheart Westley is. Buttercup on the other hand, is a character who I never really liked. Wright is good enough in the role but the film was all about Westley for me at this point.

      I loved Westley even more when he returned, dressed all in black and looking very much like Zorro. The change in appearance makes Westley incredibly sexy and the sighs quite possibly changed to drool. When the man in black appears, it is not known that this is actually Westley but the costume is not so good that you cannot tell who it is. From here, the The Princess Bride really becomes a fantastic film. Westley meets a trio of adventurers, Inigo Montoya, Fezzik and Vizzini the giant. All three of these characters are extremely unique and wonderful to watch. Fezzik is probably better known for his famous line; 'inconceivable!' which is said many, many times throughout the film. Inigo Montoya is my favourite of the three though, with his ideas of revenge and his mission to avenge his father's murderer. While Fezzik has his own repeated line, so does Montoya. With his mission in hand, he prepares a speech for when he finally meets the man he wants to kill - "Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die." I love this line every single time it is said.

      The Princess Bride is an absolutely magical adventure film and I don't think my childhood would have been quite the same without it. The plot is exciting without being too over the top (well, not for the '80s anyway) and it manages to be funny at the same time. However, this is a film now quite dated due to the cheap looking sets and scenery. I know that some of this was film in places in the UK but cannot for the life of me remember where. When watching this recently, I commented quite a few times to my boyfriend about just how bad the sets looked. Can you imagine this being re-done now? I'm sure everything would be much fancier and more extravagant but that would take away some of the magic of the original film.

      Somehow, I never actually knew that this film came from a book. Now that I do though, it is one I really want to read. As the Grandpa in the film reads it to his Grandson, I can imagine reading it to my children one day and them realising what a wonderful story it is.

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        22.05.2012 16:42
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        A brilliant fairy story interpretation for any generation

        ***Film Only Review***

        The Princess Bride is a cult classic film that you either get or you don't; those who get it tend to love it for the rest of their lives, and I'm firmly in that camp ever since my mother introduced it to me when I was young and ill once, years ago.

        So, as I seem to have been taken down by yet another bout of a recurring illness I just can't shake, I decided to save myself from the monotonous torture of daytime TV and treat myself to a viewing.

        Based on a fabulous, and funny, book by William Goldman, the film opens not as you would expect for a fantasy tale, immediately in a woodland or other mystical place, but in the bedroom of a young boy who is housebound, ill himself. His mother interrupts his computer game to tell him that his grandfather had come to visit while he was ill, and in walks Columbo - er, Peter Falk. The boy in question - Fred Savage from The Wonder Years - had initially asked his mother to tell him to leave him alone, being a typical child and dreading being forced to spend time with his older relative, but it was too late, his grandfather wasn't taking no for an answer...and he had brought with him a book which he insisted upon reading to his grandson.

        So we become introduced to the fairy story that is The Princess Bride - with sword fights, monsters, royalty, potions and tales of revenge and love, focusing around the most beautiful girl in all the land and the boy who loves her - as Peter Falk begins to read the book and narrate the story.

        ***THE BACKGROUND***
        Buttercup, for all beautiful, was the spoilt daughter of farmers who had living on their land a farm boy called Westley. Buttercup never lowered herself to speak his name, calling him just "Farm Boy" and ordering him around relentlessly.

        But, as it so often does in reality as much as fairy stories, one day Buttercup came to realise that the answer she always received from Westley - "as you wish" - was his way of saying that he loved her. And she came to realise that she loved him too.

        Promising to return to her - "this is true love - do you think this happens every day?", asks Cary Elwes, in one of the asides that reflect the humour of the original book and also allow his acting range and character to indulge in a little sly humour that breaks through the saccharine tale, a key ingredient to making this story one that is loved by adults and kids alike - he leaves Buttercup to find his fortune so that they could marry, leaving Buttercup morose and then, ultimately, devastated, as news reached home that Westley's ship had been taken by the Dread Pirate Roberts, an infamous pirate known for never taking prisoners and leaving no victim alive. Devastated, Buttercup vows that she will never love again, and it seems that the young story of true love is over.

        Years later, still the most beautiful girl in the land, Buttercup accepts a marriage proposal from Prince Humperdinck, who realises that he must find a bride as his ailing father, the King, will not be alive for much longer. Buttercup has no love for her future husband, still pining in her heart for Westley, but sees no reason not to accept.

        ***THE CHARACTERS***
        After the scene is set, we meet three of the strongest characters in the film, the humorous hired criminals who become part of a plot in which the Princess Bride is to be used as a tool of political conflict by becoming a victim of a kidnap and murder that would be blamed on another country.

        The three hired to execute the plan were the "genius" Vizzini, the drifting Spaniard Inigo Montoya, and the hulking giant Fezzik, a useful took of violence but truly a soft, gentle creature who has felt misunderstood from a young age and who likes to communicate with his only friend, Inigo, in verse.

        These three, led by the arrogant and delusional Vizzini, kidnap Buttercup as she enjoys her one pleasure in life, the daily ride on her horse, and set sail apparently unnoticed. Until Vizzini realises that their vessel seems to be being followed by another ship as they sail through the night.

        The fantasy elements start to come into play here, as Buttercup throws herself into the water and nearly become a victim of the shrieking eels, only to be rescued by one of her abductors, the giant Fezzik - little consolation when she knows their ultimate intention is to kill her. The party make their way to an ominous upright cliff where Fezzik carries all three of his companions up a rope, only to realise that their pursuer, a mysterious figure in black, has made inroads into their lead and will not be dissuaded from chasing them, and Buttercup starts to wonder if she has two people meaning her harm whilst the 'genius' Vizzini leaves his Spaniard swordsman and his giant as obstacles to keep the man in black away from the valuable Princess. Thus the true pursuit of the man in black after the Princess begins, as Prince Humperdinck joins the hunt for the princess and the true reason for her abduction becomes apparent.

        Buttercup remains a slightly spoilt brat but beneath that façade it becomes obvious that her love for Westley had never died, but that what had initially been her brattish arrogance that led her to call him just "Farm Boy" had matured into a broken hearted wall around her, behind which she felt safe enough to enter into a loveless marriage with the odious, arrogant Prince Humperdinck. When she finally encounters the man in black herself, he taunts her swift recovery from her supposed true love and her explosive reaction underlines that her feelings of true love to Westley would never leave her. Believing herself to have been abducted, now for the second time, by the Dread Pirate Roberts, she professes the depth of her love and is mocked as a liar by her captor, who claims to remember the victim she accuses him of killing, and the heartbreak of Buttercup is beautifully and quietly portrayed as he talks of how nobly Westley died.

        Filmed in 1987, this is one of the first significant roles for Robin Wright, briefly known as Robin Wright-Penn when married to Sean Penn, and she plays Buttercup beautifully, in some ways restrained by the character of a female in a fairy story but also showing fire and courage and - whilst her character is a fundamentally quite silly one - Wright's acting ability shows the love she feels for Westley throughout, allowing a subtle humour in the comparison between her character's slightly daftness and the cliché of fairy story heroines.

        I'm torn in reviewing this as it is hard to do so comprehensively without putting in potential fundamental spoilers; therefore if you would like to stop reading now then thank you for your time and I appreciate you reading this.

        Obviously there would be little film here if Westley had truly been lost to pirates, so his returning character, after years of being believed dead, is a stronger, mature, more rounded one, far removed from the Farm Boy he had once been but still beautiful and still completely dedicated to his true love, who he has returned for only to hear that she is imminently to marry the prince. Once he realises that Buttercup never stopped loving him, he pursues rescuing her from the marriage but finds himself tested to the limit, initially by his love's abductors but then from the armies of the Prince. As their love story becomes ever more hopeless, the strength of the author's characterisation (throughout, this is true to the book) and the combined talents of the scripts, sets and the beautiful acting of Cary Elwes makes Westley a dashing, amusing and dry witted hero who you cannot help but want to win out and who ultimately wins the assistance and companionship of the two men left with strict orders to kill him, the Spaniard Inigo and gentle giant Fezzik.

        Inigo is a master swordsman who had dedicated his life to the pursuit and destruction of the man who murdered his father, a brilliant sword maker, stealing his finest work in the process. He studied for years to become a master swordsman but in doing so became jaded and lost hope in his hunt for the man who had six fingers on one hand, turning instead to duelling for money and drinking until recruited at his lowest point to perform the role of a hired criminal for the cowardly "genius" Vizzini. Montoya's friendship with Fezzik, clearly a gentle creature at heart but easily led and in need of constant instruction, who was hired as a criminal 'heavy' to complete Vizzini's team.

        Fezzik is a sweet character who does not belong with Vizzini, although he and Montoya team up again later in the film. Lost without direction from others and a shy soul, he is not cut out for the abuse he takes from Vizzini (who included the phrase "land mass" in his many insults screamed at the loyal giant) but finds the chance for redemption when he allies with others later in the film. The comic chemistry between Mandy Patinkin and Andre the Giant is one of the most charming aspects of this film, and with both characters fairly flawed and daft in their own rights, their subsequent chemistry with the dry, dashing Cary Elwes as Westley is a brilliant mix as they unite against their true enemy and pursue the happy ending required of any fairy story - one that becomes highly unlikely once Westley is finally captured and winds up dead at the hands of Prince Humperdinck, who assures his bride that her love has merely been returned to his ship and, should he return before the wedding night, he, the Prince, would step aside and let love take its course.

        Vizzini, the screaming mad Sicilian criminal who considered himself a genius, is clearly really anything but, a man wrapped up in his own delusion but still a brilliant comic turn from Wallace Shawn. Other star turns are Billy Crystal as Miracle Max, Mel Smith from Smith and Jones, and Peter Cook as "The Impressive Clergyman", while Inigo Montoya is stunned to realise that not only has this mess he has become embroiled in has also finally led him to the man he has pursued since his childhood, Count Rugen, chillingly portrayed by Christopher Guest, and Chris Sarandon does a wonderfully tongue-in-cheek portrayal of the arrogant, boorish, devious Prince.

        ***THE FILM***
        Throughout the story there are interludes from Peter Falk and his grandson, with the child initially dreading being read a love story, but as these asides progress and Peter Falk tries to leave the child to rest, he begs his grandfather to continue and they bond through the telling of the tale. This use of a modern approach to the story adds to the humour and stops the film from being a flat-out, saccharine fairy tale, and also puts it in a similar vein to films such as Labyrinth with a modern, real-world contrast.

        Back to the tale itself. One day I will have to review the book as it is a wonderful, wonderful tale and it's brilliantly, humorously written. One thing I love is that this film, apart from the asides with the modern boy and his grandfather, is very true to the book, something I find important in film adaptations.

        The story itself is both simple - one of true love, ever so slightly sending up the genre whilst still being fond and loyal to it - whilst also involving all you would want - deception, revenge, love, loss, betrayal and impossible obstacles to true love. All the actors play their roles with brilliance and abandon, enjoying the slightly irreverent sarcasm in the humour of the script (this is a subtle send up, not a modern abomination like Team America or similar!) which makes this watchable by all the family without being too sappy for an adult audience. There are some quite dark tones in it although nowhere near as dark as something such as Legend, so kids could happily watch this. I loved it as a child and have adored how, as I have viewed it again and again, I have not been disappointed, merely found new subtleties to the humour and been able to appreciate it in an entirely new way.

        The characterisation is strong and whilst there are some clichés - the revenge-driven swordsman, the evil count and corrupt prince - these again fit with the fact that this film is meant to be fun, enjoyable and amusing, not redefine a genre.

        Patinkin and Andre the Giant were inspired casting, the former a hot-headed reactionary Spanish cliché but still with gravitas and depth from the actor and Andre the Giant, a true giant and not just someone made to appear so with clever filming and CGI, brings a lumbering gentleness that could not be created by special effects. Their friendship is touching, and their mutual reliance on one another gives the impression of a lifelong comradeship.

        Elwes is brilliant as Westley, dashing and gorgeous, funny and dry in his wit and brave, whilst Buttercup is fabulously portrayed by Wright, allowing her character occasional descents into borderline stupidity and 'girliness' without being a character you could resent and the chemistry between the two is perfect - she is a bit daft and hopelessly female, although not irritatingly so, and Westley is the capable, brave man who adores her. Their characters bounce off one another brilliantly, as does Westley's strength and indefatigable humour against the sometimes hopeless erratic character of Montoya and the gentle sweet, bumbling nature of the giant.

        Prince Humperdinck is thoroughly unlikeable but amusing, and as his true nature becomes apparently it adds another level to the plot of the film, one in which Count Rugen, the murderer of Montoya's father and the man with six fingers on his right hand, in heavily involved. The scene sets itself for the showdown between good and evil, and the script throughout is humorous, lightly sarcastic at times and despite this loses nothing in the way of the overall plot in pursuit of cheap laughs.

        ***WHERE TO GET A COPY?***
        £4.37 on DVD via Amazon. Blueray also available and this can also be found in multi-pack DVD collections (such as one including Legend and Willow).

        ***MY OPINION***
        I love this film and look forward to the day that I can introduce my own children to it. They may well hate it - and I have tried to introduce it to others before but at the end of the day, if this isn't your thing then it isn't. But I find anyone who likes this film grows to love it, and it's enduring popularity is something that I hope will not end with my generation. I also dearly hope that this never becomes victim of a dreaded modern remake, because the performances by all involved are so impossible to improve upon that I think any such attempt would ruin the magic to which I have become so fond.

        A credit also to Mark Knopfler of Dire Straights fame, who was responsible for a flawless soundtrack true to fairy tales but also gorgeous to listen to.

        I recommend this wholeheartedly for anyone, and hope you love it as much as I do.

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          15.06.2010 21:10
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          Want cheering up? Watch this film.

          ****Plot****

          A young boy, sick in bed is visited by his grandfather who reads to him the story of 'The Princess Bride'... When the beautiful Buttercup (played by Robin Wright, in her first role) hears of the death of her beloved Westley, murdered by pirates, she accepts the proposal of Prince Humperdinck, despite not loving him. When Buttercup is kidnapped by an unlikely trio, they find themselves pursued by the mysterious man in black, who also has his eye on the princess. A fairytale with a twist, 'The Princess Bride' includes pirates, giants, torture, fencing, cliffs of insanity, a 6 fingered man, revenge, true love, and much to the grandson's chagrin, a bit of kissing.

          ****Cast****

          Cary Elwes ~ Westley
          Robin Wright ~ Buttercup
          Mandy Patinkin ~ Inigo
          Wallace Shawn ~ Vizzini
          André the Giant ~ Fezzik
          Chris Sarandon ~ Prince Humperdinck
          Christopher Guest ~ Count Rugen
          Fred Savage ~ The Grandson
          Peter Falk ~ The Grandfather/Narrator

          ****Background****

          'The Princess Bride', directed by Rob Reiner (Misery, When Harry Met Sally) came out in 1987, the year after I was born. It didn't set the box office alight but word of mouth meant it was very popular on video. I've grown up with this film, so it holds a very special place in my heart but it is genuinely one of those films that you can enjoy as a child and as an adult. The novel was written by William Goldman in the 70's, and there were several attempts for the film to get made, with talks of Arnold Schwarzenegger(!) to play Fezzik. Now, I am a big fan of the first 2 Terminator films, but personally I think that would have been horrendous. Thank goodness for James Cameron then, as by the time the film got made in the mid 80's, Arnie was far too famous to play the role. The novel is great fun but this is one of those rare times when the film is miles better than the book. (The character of Buttercup for example is pretty stupid and whiney in the book, whereas she is intelligent and feisty in the film)

          ****Characters/acting*****

          One of the many strengths of 'The Princess Bride' is the characters and the superb acting. Rob Reiner, an actor himself is a real 'actor's director' - he always gets great performances out of his cast. Andre the giant is one of the few wrestlers who can inject real heart into a performance, sometimes his thick accent can be difficult to understand but I loved his character Fezzik as a child and oddly I love it even more now. There is a genuine warmth in his performance and he has great chemistry with Mandy Patinkin, who plays Inigo. Robin Wright is utterly charming as Buttercup and Cary Elwes has never been more dashing as Westley, (Think Errol Flynn). Chris Sarandon is suitably slimy and Christopher Guest is wonderfully sinister as the villain Count Rugen. The guest stars are all brilliant too, with wonderful turns from Billy Crystal as Miracle Max, Mel Smith as the Albino and possibly the greatest cameo of all time from Peter Cook as the impressive Clergyman. Fred Savage is suitably doe eyed and engaging and Peter Falk is wonderfully charming and sarcastic as the grandfather.

          As you can probably tell, the cast is littered with superb comedians, so yes The Princess Bride is a funny film. Wait, it's an *immensely* funny film. But it isn't a light, throwaway parody of fairy tales either. It's got real heart without being mushy, it's got humour without being a pastiche - it's one of those rare things, it's a romantic comedy that is both funny and romantic and although it's a fairytale it has devastating moments of truth: "Life is pain, highness. Anyone who says otherwise is selling something." It's not the kind of line you'd expect to hear in a fairytale. And yet it brings you hope as well "death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while" There is far more than meets the eye in 'The Princess Bride'.

          ****My rambling thoughts****

          Whenever I'm feeling miserable, this is the film I always put on and it will instantly lift my spirits. It's a warm hug of a film, and the best thing is it appeals to all ages. It's a PG but it isn't just a kids film. As I said earlier, I've grown up watching this film and as cynical as I am now it still puts a smile on my face. It's probably the best, smartest family film there is. It isn't just the fairytale part that cheers me, either. The relationship between the grandson and his grandfather is so heartwarming without being schmaltzy. At the beginning the grandson doesn't want to have his grandfather read him a 'kissing book' yet as the story unfolds, the grandson starts to get into the story and it brings him closer to his grandfather. (I defy anyone to hear that last line from the grandfather and not well up. In fact, if you don't get 'something in your eye' you must be dead inside).

          If I had to pick a favourite scene, I'd really struggle. There are so many classic scenes I'd have to narrow it down to a top three; the battle of wits, to the pain and, of course, "mawwage" (it'll make sense when you see it). However, I cannot write a review of this film and not mention *that* duel scene between the man in black and Inigo. This has to be one of the greatest sword fights committed to screen. And I'm not just saying that because I'm a massive fangirl. (Honest, I'm not!). The actors trained hard for the scene and there is only one moment in the duel where a stunt man was used - and you should see these blokes switch hands fluidly mid duel - they fight with left and right hands, it really is impressive.

          It's endlessly quotable too. I often annoy people with Princess Bride quotes. "I think that's the worst thing I've ever heard...how marvellous" and of course there are the more famous quotes; "Inconceivable!"; "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father, prepare to die".

          Although it pokes fun at fairytales, it does so with a lot of love and films like Shrek and Stardust owe an awful lot to The Princess Bride. Fellas, if you're thinking the title is a bit girly and what with it being a romantic comedy you'll hate it, give it a chance. Because this is not a typical chick flick at all. Note to parents: The reason this is a PG and not a U I suspect is because of a scene towards the end of the film where there is a stand off and it might not be suitable for very small children (the phrase 'son of a bitch' is uttered with venom!) so if you're worried I'd recommend watching it first and then making a judgement call. But I've been watching this for as long as I can remember and I'm perfectly normal! *twitches*

          I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "surely this film can't be perfect, as perfection is impossible." Well, if I was forced at gunpoint to say any vaguely negative about the film, it would be that a couple of matte paintings and effects do date the film slightly, but it kind of adds to the charm and for me it hasn't dated in the way that bad CGI can instantly date a film (I'm looking at you, The Mummy Returns). I promise you'll be far too entertained to care anyway. There are reasons why this always turns up on those '1000 films to see before you die' lists. So if you've wandered through this life without watching this, I insist, nay, demand you watch it immediately.

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            03.06.2010 19:06
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            Worth a watch

            Somehow, despite loving fantasy films all my life, I have managed to avoid seeing The Princess Bride - at least until yesterday. In fact, until a few years ago I had never heard of it. Last year I read the book and thought it was great, so it was one of my first choices to rent when I reactivated my Lovefilm subscription.

            The film was directed by Rob Reiner and the screenplay was written by William Goldman, the book's author. The film is framed by the story of an old man (Peter Falk) reading the book 'The Princess Bride' to his sick grandson (Fred Savage), thereby preserving the original structure of the book. It is funny to watch the little boy's excitement and engagement with the story gradually overcome his indifference and even his horror of kissing!

            The story proper begins with Buttercup (Robin Wright), a beautiful young woman who lives on a farm, and the farmhand Westley (Cary Elwes). He will only answer "As you wish" to her numerous requests and orders, and eventually Buttercup realises not only that he loves her, but that she loves him. Westley leaves to seek his fortune so they can marry, but his ship is captured by the Dread Pirate Roberts and Westley is presumed dead. After five years, Buttercup reluctantly agrees to marry Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon), but is captured before the wedding by three outlaws. However, following Buttercup and her kidnappers is a masked man in black...

            The Princess Bride is a swashbuckling romp of a movie that moves from towering Cliffs of Insanity to a dangerous Fire Swamp and to a rather swish castle. I thought it was funny, although not laugh out loud funny. The plot is very exciting and never lets up, with some bizarre characters and events. I particularly liked Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin), who is bent on avenging his murdered father and plans to confront the killer with a speech. "Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die". The acting in the film is great, just the right side of being OTT. I didn't recognise any of the actors, except Robin Wright, and I only know her for being married to Sean Penn. It makes me wonder if they have been in anything else.

            The scenery in the film is magnificent, with parts being filmed in Ireland, Buckinghamshire, and two locations close to me - Castleton and Haddon Hall in Derbyshire. I must get out on some day trips! The special effects are pretty impressive considering the film was made in 1987.

            The one thing I didn't like about the film was the love story. In the book, I always thought Westley was a bit of a wuss - a man who does whatever you tell him to isn't very appealing to me, even if his character does change somewhat later on! In the film he isn't so bad, but even so I found the romance part a bit silly. I'm not sure why as I enjoy films like Moulin Rouge and even The Mummy which have romance aspects to them (especially the former!) and I quite like them. Perhaps it's Westley's awful moustache!

            Overall, I really liked this film and would recommend it to children as well as the 'young at heart'! It was fun and adventurous and a great watch.

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              09.03.2010 10:52
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              Overall, a great fairy tale

              I love all types of action/adventure movies so when someone recommended The Princess Bride to me and said it was well worth watching I got it on DVD for around £10. I thought it was really good fun and a classic film.

              The movie is essentially a fairy tale which is told by a grandpa who is played by Peter Falk. He is telling the story to his grandson played by Fred Savage. His grandson is sick so he tells him this story. And naturally this story he tells comes to life before our eyes which is the film itself. Cary Elwes is the hero of the story. He is a young farm worker who braves all in order to be with the woman he loves.

              The story itself is set in a far away land where are beautiful girl by the name of Buttercup played by Robin Wright lives. She loves to torment the family servant Westley who is played as mentioned by Cary Elwes. They eventually fall in love and he sets off to seek his fortune and promises to one day return to her.

              However, this wouldn't be a fairly tale of adventure story without a few twists, and his ship is attacked by Pirates. Three years pass by swiftly and having not seen or heard from Westley in all that time, Buttercup agrees to marry Prince Humperdink played by Chris Sarandon. She doesn't love him but agrees anyway. But on the day they announce their engagement Buttercup is kidnapped by three men who are out to kill her. But they in turn are being followed by a mysterious man in black. Who is he and will he rescue her and what are his motives?

              Sounds confusing but it's not really when you get into it and is really entertaining. I thought there was a large element of humour in the movie and is brilliant as it seems to spoof fairly tales as it goes along. However, it is very subtle unlike alot of spoof movies nowadays that are really in your face from the start.

              I wasn't disappointed either with the action in this movie and didn't get bored as there are sword fights and pirates and even a giant not to mention a host of other things. Obviously parts of it are predictable as you know that certain characters will survive and others may not but is still good fun. It has the right mix of action and romance for both men and women to watch and enjoy.

              The whole movie though is held together by some great acting performances from the cast. I think they were all brilliant in their roles and really brought the whole story to life for the audience.

              If anyone remembers fairy stories they were told as a kid and loved them, they will love this movie too and it's well worth watching as it has a bit of everything.

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              22.02.2010 22:01
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              A great film, and one of the classics of funny fantasy. Watch it if you haven't already

              Fred Savage is ill, coughing all manner of things, and has to stay home from school. So his grandfather (Peter Falk) arrives and gives him a present: a book, called The Princess Bride which he reads to him.

              The book is about beautiful young woman called Buttercup (Robin Wright), who lives on a farm in the fantasy country of Florin, where bosses farmhand Westley (Cary Elwes) around. After a while, she realises he loves her and she admits her love for him as well. Westley leaves the next day so he canf find his fortune, so that can marry, but unfortunately his ship is attacked by the feared Dread Pirate Roberts.

              Five years pass, and Buttercup is now arranged to marry the Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon), heir to to the throne of Florin, believing that her dear Westley has long since perished. However, she is kidnapped by three criminals: Vizzini (Wallace Shawn) - a short, bald Sicilian and the leader of three; a huge wrestler called Fezzick (Andre the Giant); and a Spanish fencing master called Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin), who seeks revenge against the man with six fingers, who killed his father. The criminals are being pursued by not only the prince, but by a masked man in black as well.

              The mysterious man, who manages to fight his way through Inigo and Fezzick, also outwits Vizzini through poisoned cups, and rescues Buttercup, who eventually realizes who he really is. Westley, it turns out, is the Dread Pirate Roberts, and took up the position after the previous one retired. However, they are soon captured by the Prince, and Buttercup is taken back to the castle, and Westley is brought to the Pit of Despair to die. With the Prince's plan to assassinate the Princess and blame it on the neighbouring country, thus starting an all-out war, it's up to Westley with some unexpected help to save her.

              The Princess Bride is often considered a classic among romance, fantasy and comedy films - of which it is all three. The humour is mellow but still hilarious at the same time, often verging on the obscure. A lot of the times the joke seem so weirdly placed that you'd think this was based off of a TV show or anything. This doesn't say anything about the quality of the jokes or how funny they are or anything - the whole thing is really well done I just can't help but think there's a big inside joke we're all missing.

              Aside from that, the story is great and really well told. It works just like a fairy tale, and looks a lot like one too. The events that happen really feel like the Grimm brothers came up with them - after all, there was no reason for the house made of gingerbread as much as there was a reason for the fire swamp (or the huge oversized mole things), but they're both brilliant inventions and made the stories what they are. The Princess Bride works great like that with it's seemingly pointless scenes that really add just a bit more "fairy tale authenticity" to it, and are all prime candidates for loads of jokes.

              I also love the interjections throughout the film by Savage and Falk. They are there to sort of remind you that none of it's true at all, and is just a story. I think it's funny to watch Savage get really into the story as it carries on.

              The acting is great on everyone's behalfs, and has a nice cameo by Billy Crystal, and all in all this film is just a pure joy to watch. It's funny, it's sweet, romantic and it's everything you want and expect from this kind of comedy. It's as the front of the DVD says: "Heroes, giants, wizards, villains, true love. Not just your basic, average, everyday. ordinary, run-of-the-mill, ho-hum fairy tale", and to be honest that sums it up probably better than I did.

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              19.01.2010 15:03
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              "Rodents Of Unusual Size......I don't think they exist"

              Before I saw this movie it was being raved about at my school, it wasn't new by the time I was at school, in fact it was already 4 years old (which I knew because we had a video shop when I was a kid) When I first saw this movie I had heard nothing about it apart from "this is funny you have to watch it" people tried to explain it and even try to do some of the jokes, but it wasn't helping the movie, I really wasn't that eager to see it, but as the movie went on I was finding myself immersed in the story, what started as a simple giggle here and there turned into roars of laughter


              The movie opens with a grandfather tucking in his sick grandson who wants to hear a story before he goes to sleep.

              A beautiful girl named buttercup who lives on a farm falls in love with her farm helper Westley.
              When ever she orders him to do something he always answers with "as you wish".
              Shortly after they both confess that they love one another and Westley leaves the farm to
              "Seek my fortune" so he can wed Buttercup.
              but his ship is attacked by the Dread Pirate Roberts.


              Five years later after Buttercup believes Westley is dead, she reluctantly agrees to marry prince Humperdinck.
              But before anything can happen she is kidnapped by three outlaws.
              As they get away with the princess-to-be they know that they will be pursued by the prince and his guards but to their surprise they see a lone man in black gaining on there ship and one of the outlaws believes it to be the Dread Pirate Robert.

              The man in black catches up to them on the Cliffs Of Insanity where he meets the first of the three outlaws.
              After besting each one in there field of expertise, the first sword play, second brute strength and the third cunningness, he saves the princess and reveals to her that he is the Dread Pirate Roberts, she gets so angry at believing this man killed her Westley that she pushes him into the gorge and as he is tumbling down he replies to her "AS YOU WISH" and she realises that this is her Westley and throws her self after him.

              As you can probably tell there are lots of twists and turns in this story, just as long as you keep in the back of your mind this is like a fairy tale you should slip straight in.

              The affects for this movie was done back in 1987 so for example the "rodents of unusual size" are not that great, but being a fairy tale it fits right in there.

              The acting for the movie was performed almost like a pantomime but not as cheesy.
              My favourite character (of course) was Cary Elwes (westley) he is great in this movie, his comedy timing is second to non But Mandi Patinkin (Inigo Montoya, out law, Sword play) Comes up a close second.

              As long as you like comedy, in some places slap stick comedy you will love this movie, even though it is dated now it is still remembered as one of the greats.

              Cast

              Cary Elwes as Westley

              Mandi Patinkin as Inigo Montoya

              Chris Saradon as Prince Humperdink

              Robin Wright Penn as Buttercup

              Peter Falk as The Grandfather

              Fred Savage as The Grandson



              It has a king, a prince, princess(to-be), the hero, the villains, giants, sword play, romance, one big love story.
              Who could ask for anything more.

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                10.01.2010 13:24
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                A lovely story for all

                When a grandson is stuck in bed feeling ill, his grandfather decides to cheer him up with a story, the story his father used to tell him when he was sick, and he told his son. But the young grandson starts off feeling quite sceptical "Is this a KISSING book?!?" but he gets hooked into the story about pirates, and torture and love, and friendship...

                Rob Reiner (of Spinal Tap fame) directs this, potentially the ultimate fantasy film and introduces us to a rare cast of characters. It has many tongue in cheek elements that are reminiscent of the humour from This is Spinal Tap and some great little cameo's from the likes of Mel Smith as the Albino and Wallace Shawn (I remember him from Clueless) as Vizzinni, the man hired to start a war by kidnapping Princess Buttercup.

                One of my favourite small roles in this film is from Peter Cook, as the clergyman! "mawwiage!" he declares "Mawwiage is the weason we are hewe today" - it makes me giggle anyway.

                The film follows the fortunes of Princess Buttercup as she waits for Westley, her one true love to save her, with the help of Fezzik the gentle, sensitibve giant, and Inigo Montoya, the spaniard who seeks revenge from the six fingered murderer of his father.

                A truly lovely and funny story, its quotable (Inconcievable!) and memorable (My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die!) and will make the adults laugh along with the children. Do yourself a favour and watch it"

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                  05.11.2009 13:31
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                  Buttercup is to become the Princess Bride

                  This film is a fairytale in every aspect of the word: Pirates, kings, giants, fencing...and of course the age-old depiction of eternal love. Despite the simplistic and extremely predictable storyline, I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed watching this film. It had everything that I usually look for in a romantic story, plus I think that the acting and mild suspense added a special touch to the movie as a whole. While the two lead actors were great, I extremely appreciated the performance delivered by the other two secondary actors.


                  Plot:
                  A kindly old grandfather reads to his sick grandson. The story takes place years before upon a farm where a young girl called Buttercup and a farm boy called Westley met and fall in love. When Westley decides to go and seek his fortune before their wedding, a series of tragic circumstances cause his death. Devastated, Buttercup agrees to marry the Prince...


                  The very first element that struck me in this film was the endearing atmosphere that lingered all throughout. Even during these scenes where most of the action took place, there was quite a charm that surrounded the film. I also loved the dialogue all throughout- granted, it was overly-exaggerated at times, but it somehow seemed to fit well with the whole timeframe, setting and costumes. I love the theatre and watching this film was not quite unlike watching a play: The words danced like poetry and the actors delivered their lines in characteristically dramatic fashion, with the high pauses and exaggerated intonations, and this helped into captivating the element of fantasy that exists in the movie.


                  The on-screen chemistry between Westley and his beloved could have been a little forced at time, but they managed to act their screen love quite well. I have seen better on-screen chemistry in other films, but you can see that these two actors are trying hard in this one. In fact, the lack, or somewhat forced attempts at duplicating the love between the characters is the element that put me a little off the romantic side of the film. That was the only downfall of Princess Bride, if you ask me. It was even more disappointing because this film is quite popular because of the romanticism included within. While the chemistry was not that evident, the backdrop and message of eternal love did give a romantic touch to the film. I will still remove one star because after having heard rave reviews about the love story in Princess Bride, the blatant lack of chemistry was really a let-down for me.


                  However, as mentioned above, even if the scenes that included the two main actors did not impress me, I personally found their acting quite good in separate scenes. In addition, I think that the actors chosen were quite appropriate for the timeframe and setting of the film- Buttercup as the typical long wavy blond girl and Westley looked quite devilish in his prince-charming like appearance. It was extremely enthralling to watch a non-animated feature that so closely resembled a fairytale. I also particularly loved the magnificent places where the film was shot. I will not give any spoilers away but trust me when I saw that there are some truly beautiful and dramatic picturesque places that are extremely very relatable to the whole story.


                  Like every true fairytale, there is the plot and the occasional break that consisted of happenings in the subplot. I believe that this really served into adding yet another emotional dimension to the story, and if you ask me, without this subplot, this film would really not have been suitable for such a wide range of audience. In fact, I tried to imagine The Princess Bride without the secondary story looming in the background and I think that this would have limited the film only to a range of young girls as target audience. But this film is so captivating with the numerous happenings that this is one that I would recommend to both a male and female audience, of varying age ranges.


                  Cast List:
                  * Cary Elwes
                  * Mandy Patinkin
                  * Chris Sarandon
                  * Christopher Guest
                  * Wallance Shawn
                  * Fred Savage
                  * Robin Wright Penn


                  DVD Extras:
                  * Two commentary tracks
                  * "As you Wish" Featurette
                  * Interviews
                  * Trailers


                  I liked all the features but the one that I would particularly recommend is the Featurette. I will not divulge any details about this feature- but watch it, it really is something else!


                  Overall, quite certainly a film to recommend! While it is a love story, just do not expect too much out of the on-screen chemistry. But apart from that particular element, this is something that I am sure everyone will enjoy!


                  Thanks for reading!

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                  30.09.2009 22:38
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                  Childrens film

                  The Princess Bride was a film that was made in the late eighties and is one of the classic all time great kids films. It is an excellent action adventure film and stars Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin and Robin Wright Penn.

                  The storyline focuses on a young lady called Buttercup who has lost the love of her life when he is kidnapped by an evil pirate by the name of Roberts and after a period of mourning she is selected, against her wishes to marry and evil prince by the name of Humperdink however shortly before the wedding she is kidnapped herself by three men only to be saved by a mysterious saviour dressed completely in black who has a conetion to her life before she was betrothed to the evil prince.

                  This is a lovely fairytale story which is wonderfully told and is also visually spectacular. I love the fact that it is a film that I enjoyed when I was a child and now it is a film that my little niece loves even though we have both seen it enough times to be able to do most of the dialogue.

                  This film is an hour and a half of pure entertainment and fantasy fun, there is a delightful innocent quality to the film and it is a wonderful family film to enjoy.

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                    24.09.2009 12:12
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                    Great Family Film

                    This is one of the best kids films I have ever seen. I loved it as a kid and still love it now! It really is a classic.

                    The Princess Bride came out way back in 1987. At the time it was not really that big a hit, it got a few awards but nothing special. It's only in more recent years that it has really gained cult status! Adults and kids alike now love this film.

                    The film stars Cary Elwes and Robin Wright Penn, and there are also some good cameos from Peter Falk and a very young looking Fred Savage. The acting isn't really anything special but it gets by and the characters really make the story come to life and make it all very believable.

                    The plot is nothing to complicated. A young lady called Buttercup looses her true love when he is taken away by the Dread Pirate Roberts. She assumes he is dead and mourns her loss. A few years later the evil Prince Humperdink chooses Buttercup to be his wife. She has no say in the matter and has to go along with the whole thing. However a few days before the wedding the Princess is captured by three hired men and stolen away. But then a mysterious man in black shows up and steals the Princess away. Who is the man in black, and why does the Princess think he seems strangely familiar? The story really moves on from there.

                    As I said, I love this film. It was one I watched many times as a child and I have seen it many times in later life. I never get bored of it, there is just so much in the film to entertain you. I think my favourite character is Visini, I love his little quotes, he keeps saying 'inconceivable', even though he does not seem to know what it means.

                    The film has everything a good old fashioned fairy tale should, goodies, badies, sword fights, love and comedy. It really is packed with entertainment from start to finish.

                    The film runs for 98 minutes, which really fly by. I could have sat there for another half hour quite happily.

                    The film is rated PG. There is nothing I can think of in this film that should really upset anyone. Its a kids film and a very tame one at that.

                    The DVD itself has a few extras but nothing to really get excited about. If you buy this DVD it should be for the film itself and not the extra bits on the DVD.

                    Overall this is a wonderful film. Its one I have seen so many times and would quite happily see it many more. If you have never seen this film you should really put it on your to do list! A classic film!

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                      02.09.2009 14:55

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                      One of the best of its genre

                      note: also appears in part on The Student Room and Flixster

                      The Princess Bride is one of the most beloved and acclaimed fantasy films ever made - with likeable, imaginative characters, a daring, off-the-wall plot, and some lucious set design, there's a lot of reasons to like this spellbinding adventure. The film is presented as a classic piece of fiction, with an opening portion between a sick young boy in bed (Fred Savage) and his grandfather (Peter Falk - yes, Columbo himself!) reading the story to help him get to sleep.

                      The story opens as a beautiful woman named Buttercup (Robin Wright) is living on a farm and takes something of a shine to her noble farm hand Westley (Cary Elwes, in arguably his best role). However, when leaving to find a fortune so that he can marry her, he is presumed dead after five years of being away and having apparently fought some of the most vile and foul creatures that the world has to offer. Thus, she accepts the proposal of Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon), but is soon enough kidknapped by a trio of bandits, consisting of Vizzini (Wallace Shawn), a hilariously egotistical fencer named Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin), and a huge brute named Fezzik (André the Giant). Thus, Humperdink and his men come after Buttercup, whilst a mysterious man in black does so also - who will get to her first?

                      It's a really supremely crafted fantasy thanks to a sense of humour that is far and beyond that you'll typically find in fantasy films - it is sophisticated beyond its genre, and owes a lot to the superb collection of performers, notably Andre The Giant as Fezzik, considering very few actually had any hopes for his role being a particularly good one. Twenty years later, it still stands as one of the greatest, most heart-warming and thigh-slapping fantasies ever made.

                      An endearinng and charming fantasy film that survives on the strength of its stellar performances and clever script.

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                      14.06.2009 00:58
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                      One of my favourites : )

                      Who doesn't just love this film?! I am a great fan of 1980s films (The Goonies, The Lost Boys, Stand By Me - they really don't make films that are that good anymore!) and surprisingly, I only found out about this little gem a couple of years ago; how could I have missed it?! It's now up there on my list of favourites!

                      Based on the novel of the same name by William Goldman, the film is directed by the fantastic Rob Reiner (Stand By Me, Spinal Tap, etc), and I just fell in love with it! It's swashbuckling with pirates and the legendary 'Dread Pirate Roberts', romantic, funny, emotional, meaningful; it has everything and that's why it's such an adored classic.

                      Westley, played by Cary Elwes, is simply a classic hero; charming, handsom, swashbuckling and funny too, while Princess Buttercup is his perfect princess bride! Together, along with the help of funny and lovable Inigo Montoya and Fezzik, they must overcome the villains (obviously) in the shape of Prince Humperdinck and Count Tyrone Rugen.

                      The film really is sooooo funny; the comic timing is just amazing and the script perfect, but so touching as well; it's really about friendship, fighting for the right cause and 'wuv true wuv'.

                      The special edition dvd also has extra bonus material, including a behind the scenes tour with Cary Elwes and featurettes including the 'As You Wish' documentary.

                      The film is full of memorable quotes and so it's great for groups of friends to watch together; hours of entertainment in quoting to each other all week! And it's a pg, so it's great for families too!

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                      08.02.2009 14:41
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                      The Princess Bride comes hand in hand with films like 'Willow and 'Labyrinth'

                      Considering the genre this film belongs to, I didn't see it until I was in my mid teens, and was shocked even then I hadn't heard of it. When you hear about The Princess Bride, it normally comes hand in hand with films like 'Willow', 'Labyrinth', and 'Legend'.

                      Set in the make-believe land of Florin, The Princess Bride tells a tale of love, hate, adventure, monsters, sword fighting, revenge, and above all, big laughs, as Westley, a great adventurer, and his true love, Buttercup (who happens to be the most beautiful woman in the world), battle to be together and defeat the bumbling Prince Humperdink.
                      This is the avant-garde fairy tale that came long before Shrek, and although it is a low budget film, a wonderful cast of characters, brought to the screen by names including Mel Smith, Billy Crystal, as well as Cary Ewels and Robyn Wright taking leads, this is a film that relies on its heart to make a big impression, and thankfully, it has a lot of heart to give.

                      Although I don't think this movie is everyone's cup of tea, for those who do love it, they will find it quotable from start to finish. Scripted by William Goldman based on his book (also fabulous) it is laden with little gems of humour, and a gang of characters who kids among anyone else cannot fail to love.

                      Above all charming, you will need to look below the surface to see this film for the joy it really is, but once you take the time to sample it, you will find it really is up there with the other fantasy classics of the day, rivalling 'The Never-ending Story' and 'Ladyhawk' with full throttle!

                      This film was also finished off with an unusual instrumental soundtrack and title song by none other than the great Mark Knoffler himself...yet another hidden delight!

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                        11.11.2008 23:32
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                        Fantastic family entertainment for all ages...

                        Once upon a time......

                        If there were ever a story which you were told as a child, then passed down to your child and so on and so on...this would be the perfect one to tell.
                        This film has to rate as one of my all time favourites. Last Sunday, for the first time, I passed it down to my children for them to do likewise in future years.
                        Not so much of a fairy tale, more of an adventure tale...

                        Everything and more...

                        This story has the lot, kings, queens, princesses, fairytale castle, sword fighting, love, miracles etc etc etc...not to mention the beasts of the forest, enchantment, giants dwarves and a cast of gigantic proportions (and that's just the cameo roles).

                        As you wish...

                        The story centers on a young girl and her farm hand - Buttercup and Westley. They fall in love, he leaves to find them fame and fortune overseas, and that's when the fun begins...oh and the kissing too!
                        Told through the imagination of a young boy on his sick bed being read a story by his grandfather (the brilliant Peter Falk), the story unfolds through the voice of Columbo (if you are of an age you'll know...) and moves in and out of the film to tie in with the story being read.

                        Across the sea to danger...

                        Westley sets off on his epic quest, but is dealt a cruel blow very early on in the film. Buttercup learns of Westleys untimely demise and mourns her loss, only to find some comfort in the arms of another - Humperdinck. Humperdinck is the local Prince, in line to the throne of Florin (bet you can't guess what's coming next?), he takes a fancy to Buttercup and the rest (you think) is history...

                        True Love...

                        Of course, being an adventure - fairy tale, marriage and happily ever after were not meant to be for Humperdinck, especially not with Buttercup.
                        They say the path of True Love never runs smoothly, well in this tale they were right. Round about now is where we meet the band of good for nothing antagonist chancers
                        Otherwise known as a giant, a dwarf (of sorts) and a drunken swordsman.
                        These characters kidnap the fair maiden, using her demise as a leverage to begin a war with the neighboring country.

                        Swashbuckling swordplay...

                        Our hero enters the fray, a character in a black mask, by the guise of "The Dread Pirate Roberts". The hero outwits, outfights and outmaneuvers our band of thugs, bumping into Humperdinck and again declaring his True Love for our now betrothed Princess... It can't be, Westley alive!

                        Treachery and torture...

                        Poor Westley is back under the cosh, captured by Humperdinck, he is jailed and tortured by the fabulous (Mel Smith) before being raised from the dead with a little help of sorcery and a miracle, performed by the oddest magical double act of husband (Billy Crystal) and his loving wife.

                        Twue Wove and Mawwiage (true Love and marriage)...

                        On the eve of the wedding, a half dead Westley plans to take back his beloved from Humperdinck, who, aided by the lisping priest (Peter Cook) bumbles the ceremony. A swordfight ensues and battles are raged with acts of cunning and the vernacular.

                        Happy Ever After?..

                        What happens at the end is only for those who watch this incredible movie. 20 odd years old now, some of the effects are dated, but htisd story will live on for the next generation of Sunday Afternoon Viewers to enjoy. Buy the DVD now and put your feet up for 94 minutes of escapist pleasure.

                        After watching this film, you'll see where Shrek get's it's double themed humor and plot, adults and kids joined by a common bond, Fun and Laughter.

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                      • Product Details

                        Director Rob Reiner's The Princess Bride is a gently amusing, affectionate pastiche of a medieval fairytale adventure, offering a similar blend of warm, literate humour as his Stand By Me (1985) and When Harry Met Sally (1989). Adapted from his own novel, William Goldman's script plays with the conventions of such 1980s fantasies as Ladyhawke and Legend (both 1985), and with the budget never allowing for spectacle, sensibly concentrates on creating a gallery of memorable characters. Robin Wright makes a delightful Princess Buttercup, Cary Elwes is splendid as Westley and "Dread Pirate Roberts", while Mandy Patinkin makes fine Spanish avenger. With winning support from Mel Smith, Peter Cook, Billy Crystal and Carol Kane there is sometimes a Terry Gilliam/Monty Python feel to the proceedings, and the whole film is beautifully shot, with a memorably romantic main theme by Mark Knopfler. Occasionally interrupted by Peter Falk as a grandfather reading the story to his grandson, The Princess Bride is an elegant post-modern family fable about storytelling itself; a theme found in other 1980s films The Neverending Story (1984) and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988). A modest, small-scale work that manages to be both cynically modern and genuinely romantic all at once. As charming as you wish. On the DVD: The 1.77:1 anamorphic transfer is strong, if not quite as detailed as it might be. Colours lack just a little solidity and some scenes evidence a fair amount of grain. Released theatrically in Dolby stereo, the Dolby Digital 5.1 remix spreads the sound effectively across the front speakers but makes very little use of the rear channels indeed. Extras are limited to filmographies of five of the leading actors, and a 4:3 presentation of the theatrical trailer, which gives far too many of the film's surprises away.--Gary S Dalkin