Princess Bride, The

A mixture of an Errol Flynn swashbuckler and Monty Python spoof, “The Princess Bride” was a popular film that audiences embraced for its love story, adventure, and satirical elements.

Directed by Rob Reiner (“When Harry Met Sally,” “Stand By Me”) and executive produced by Norman Lear, “Princess Bride,” based on the book by William Goldman (two-time Oscar-winner for best screenplay, “All the President's Men,” “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”), is a timeless tale of true love that combines romance, action, adventure and comedy, a family favorite that continues to captivate audiences of all ages.

A sick boy (Fred Savage) is visited by his grandfather (Peter Falk), who reads him “The Princess Bride,” a “kissing” tale set in a medieval make-believe land, where the beautiful Buttercup (Robin Weright Penn) reluctantly becomes engaged to a prince (Chris Sarandon), when her true love, Westley (Cary Elwes) disappears.

Later on, she is kidnapped by a crafty Sicilian (Wallace Shawn, miscast) and his hirelings, Spanish swordsman Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin) and gargantuan Fezzik (Andre the Giant). Buttercup is then rescued by a mysterious man in black, who tiurns out to be (surprise!) Westley.

But after surviving the Dreaded Fireswamp, they are apprehended by the prince. Buttercup agrees to marry the prince when he promises to free Westley, but the dashing
Guy is tortured to death. With the help of a miracle maker (Billy Crystal), Inigo and Fezzik join forces with Westley to fight the forces of evil.

The movie is directed by Reiner in tongue-and cheek style that's also heartfelt (and sentimental in the right places). This fairytale boasts some dazzling adventures that are particularly suitable for very young viewers, and yet is satirical overtones offer pleasure to adult viewers who are familiar with the generic conventions.

Due to the film's popularity with kids and adults, it's hard to believe that it took scripter Goldman over a decade to sell his screenplay, which is based on his novel, to an interested studio.

Oscar Alert

The movie was nominated for the Best Original Song, “Storybook Love,” by Willy DeVille.

MPAA Rating: PG
Running Time: 98 minutes