The Princess Bride

Rob Reiner
Running Time
98 mins

An absolutely terrific blend of fairytale and knowing, comic swashbuckler that doesn’t put a foot wrong and is certain to entertain adults and kids alike. An ailing nipper is read the eponymous story on his sickbed by kindly grandpa Peter Falk, initially objecting to its girliness but slowly getting drawn in by all the adventuring.

In a magical, mediaeval fantasy world, handsome stableboy Cary Elwes falls for the beautiful Buttercup (Robin Wright), but then disappears on a mission and is presumed lost at sea. Poor lovelorn Buttercup eventually becomes betrothed to dastardly, scheming Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon). But she’s promptly kidnapped by sneaky Wallace Shawn and his sidekicks: hairy swordsman Mandy Patinkin and kindly Andre the Giant. But – hurrah! – our Cary turns out to be still alive, rescues Buttercup and recruits Patinkin and Andre to defeat the baddies.

Filled with monsters, swordplay and fantastic, Pythonesque dangers, this is a great tongue-in-cheek romp. The heroes may be a little bland but the villains more than make up for that by being truly villainous. Famously, screenwriter William Goldman once wrote that “Nobody knows anything”; the fact that this script from his own novel remained unfilmed for 14 years is eloquent testament to the truth of that statement.

By robin askew, Saturday Sep 23, 2017


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