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by Sara Foss

Thinking It Through

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Remembering “The Princess Bride”

By Sara Foss
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
| 1 comment

I saw “The Princess Bride” for my 12th birthday, and thought it was the greatest movie ever.

But time has passed.

The movie was released in 1987. Do kids still watch it and think it’s great? Does it stand the test of time?

Based on the recent feedback I got from a 10-year-old boy and his 15-year-old sister, both of whom viewed “The Princess Bride” for the first time about a month ago, the answer is an emphatic yes. The siblings kept quoting key lines from the movie and describing their favorite scenes, which is what my friends and I did on the car ride home from the movie theater when I was 12. In fact, this is the basic reaction most people have after watching the film for the first time. And if you mention the film to someone who watched it years ago, they often react this way, too. In any case, listening to (and encouraging) the siblings got me thinking about what a great movie “The Princess Bride” is, and what an excellent script is has. Here are some of the best lines:

Inigo Montoya: Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.

Inigo Montoya: That Vizzini, he can fuss.
Fezzik: Fuss, fuss ... I think he like to scream at us.
Inigo Montoya: Probably he means no harm.
Fezzik: He’s really very short on charm.
Inigo Montoya: You have a great gift for rhyme.
Fezzik: Yes, yes, some of the time.
Vizzini: Enough of that.
Inigo Montoya: Fezzik, are there rocks ahead?
Fezzik: If there are, we all be dead.
Vizzini: No more rhymes now, I mean it.
Fezzik: Anybody want a peanut?

This, during a left-handed fencing match:
Inigo Montoya: You are wonderful.
Man in Black: Thank you; I’ve worked hard to become so.
Inigo Montoya: I admit it, you are better than I am.
Man in Black: Then why are you smiling?
Inigo Montoya: Because I know something you don’t know.
Man in Black: And what is that?
Inigo Montoya: I... am not left-handed.
[Moves his sword to his right hand and gains an advantage]
Man in Black: You are amazing.
Inigo Montoya: I ought to be, after 20 years.
Man in Black: Oh, there’s something I ought to tell you.
Inigo Montoya: Tell me.
Man in Black: I’m not left-handed either.

The Impressive Clergyman: Mawage. Mawage is wot bwings us togeder tooday. Mawage, that bwessed awangment, that dweam wifin a dweam...
[cut to Westley, Inigo, and Fezzik]
The Impressive Clergyman: And wuv, tru wuv, will fowow you foweva...
[cut to the trio again]
The Impressive Clergyman: So tweasure your wuv.
Prince Humperdinck: Skip to the end.
The Impressive Clergyman: Have you the wing?
[cut to the trio once more]
The Impressive Clergyman: ...and do you, Pwincess Buwwercup...
Prince Humperdinck: Man and wife. Say man and wife.
The Impressive Clergyman: Man an’ wife.

Credit for this fine script goes to William Goldman, whose memoir about being a Hollywood screenwriter, “Which Lie Did I Tell?”, is highly entertaining. (You can find more quotes here).

Though “The Princess Bride” was only a moderate success at the time of its release, it now seems to be almost universally regarded as a pretty great movie. As Combustible Celluloid’s Jeffrey M. Anderson writes, “The Princess Bride (1987, MGM/UA, $29.98) made only a few top 10 lists in 1987, was only nominated for one Oscar (Best Song), and did not particularly make much money. But it’s become one of the hottest cult videos of the 1980s, and a family classic besides, enjoyed by new generations of youngsters as well as their parents. I’ve seen it some dozen times now, and I wouldn’t change even the smallest detail. Everything in it is nearly perfect, and deliciously alive.”

Wikipedia informs me that the film is number 50 on Bravo’s “100 Funniest Movies” and number 88 on the American Film Institute’s “AFI’s 100 Years ... 1000 Passions,” a list of the 100 greatest film love stories of all time. If you ask me, it should be ranked higher.

Also, why wasn’t Andre the Giant nominated for an Oscar for his performance as Fezzik?

Got a comment? E-mail me at sfoss@dailygazette.net.

 
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comments

August 12, 2010
11:43 a.m.

[ Suggest removal ]
sfoss says...

The Princess Bride has a lot of fans. Some comments from readers:

"The Princess Bride is one of my all-time favorite movies! I used to have a copy and watched it so much that I've almost memorized the whole thing. Now I rent it every couple of years and it's always hilarious. My favorite lines:

[Looking down the cliff, as the Man in Black climbs toward them]
Vizzini: He's gaining on us? Inconceivable!
Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

"Just showed it to our church youth group kids tonight. It's a classic."

"This is my fiancé's ALL TIME favorite movie. One of our favorites "lines" is the simple 'INCONCEIVABLE' that Vizzini would utter and every once in a while my fiancé will repeat this with the lisp and all and usually only he and I are in on the 'joke.'"

"We love the princess bride so much! We love too many parts to say. but if we had to pick one line it might be 'stop it, I mean it. anybody want a peanut?' It gets said here a lot like that. We know that's not how it goes really but that's how it goes here. almost everyday somebody says something from it."

 

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