The Princess Bride (1987) / Fantasy-Romance
MPAA Rated: PG for sensuality, violence, and mild language
Running Time: 98 min.
Cast: Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Chris Sarandon, Christopher Guest, Wallace Shawn, Andre the Giant, Fred Savage, Robin Wright, Peter Falk, Peter Cook, Mel Smith, Carol Kane, Billy Crystal
Director: Rob Reiner
Screenplay: William Goldman (based on his book)
Review published August 11, 1998
A sick young boy (Savage, Vice Versa) gets a visit from his grandfather (Falk, Vibes), who reads the young lad one of his favorite books, 'The Princess Bride'. The book is of a princess named Buttercup (Wright, State of Grace), who has a romance with her stable boy, Westley (Elwes, Days of Thunder) but the evil Prince Humperdinck (Sarandon, Fright Night) has plans to marry the beautiful young woman so he kidnaps her, leaving Buttercup to think Westley dead. Westley assumes the role of the Dread Pirate Roberts and makes his return to save the princess before the marriage, but the task appears a bit more difficult than he planned.
A highly enjoyable romantic fairy tale comedy, with a terrific supporting cast and many memorable scenes and quotes. Director Rob Reiner (Stand by Me, The Sure Thing) does a masterful job at balancing the fine line between comedy and drama, never losing the lighthearted tone even when people die. Mandy Patinkin (Alien Nation, Dick Tracy) is outstanding as the vengeful Inigo Montoya, who's main mission in life is to avenge the death of his father at the hands of a six-fingered assassin. It's not all great, with a little too much emphasis on Jewish characterizations that we've seen too many times to still laugh at, but the film is still quite entertaining and young children will probably love it.
©1998 Vince Leo