One of my all-time favorite movies, and books, is The Princess Bride by William Goldman. I thought it would be appropriate to write about this book, since for my birthday a couple weeks ago, my older brother and his wife got me the movie on Blue Ray disc.
For those of you unfamiliar with this book or movie, here’s the description off of Goodreads:
Once upon a time came a story so full of high adventure and true love that it became an instant classic and won the hearts of millions. Now in hardcover in America for the first time since 1973, this special edition of The Princess Bride is a true keepsake for devoted fans as well as those lucky enough to discover it for the first time. What reader can forget or resist such colorful characters as
Westley . . . handsome farm boy who risks death and much, much worse for the woman he loves; Inigo . . . the Spanish swordsman who lives only to avenge his father’s death; Fezzik . . . the Turk, the gentlest giant ever to have uprooted a tree with his bare hands; Vizzini . . . the evil Sicilian, with a mind so keen he’s foiled by his own perfect logic; Prince Humperdinck . . . the eviler ruler of Florin, who has an equally insatiable thirst for war and the beauteous Buttercup; Count Rugen . . . the evilest man of all, who thrives on the excruciating pain of others; Miracle Max. . . the King’s ex-Miracle Man, who can raise the dead (kind of); The Dread Pirate Roberts . . . supreme looter and plunderer of the high seas; and, of course, Buttercup . . . the princess bride, the most perfect, beautiful woman in the history of the world.
S. Morgenstern’s timeless tale – discovered and wonderfully abridged by William Goldman – pits country against country, good against evil, love against hate. From the Cliffs of Insanity through the Fire Swamp and down into the Zoo of Death, this incredible journey and brilliant tale is peppered with strange beasties monstrous and gentle, and memorable surprises both terrible and sublime.
I love both the book and the movie. I saw the movie first, with Cary Elwes and Mandy Patinkin, a long time ago. My parents and I loved the movie, so whenever it was on TV, we would watch it. (The first time I watched a Criminal Minds episode – the first season – with Mandy Patinkin, I was like, “Hold on. That’s Inigo Montoya!”) There’s so many good elements to this story. The only thing I didn’t like was that Buttercup was one of those helpless females that you shudder to think about; she can’t do anything without the hero having to save her. Still, since that is the classic telling of the princess being rescued and she loves Westley so much, I let it slide. And don’t get me started on the Impressive Clergyman (actual name of the character) who goes to marry Prince Humperdinck and Buttercup near the end before Westley comes and saves her … “Mawage. Mawage is wot bwings us togeder tooday. Mawage, that bwessed awangment, that dweam wifin a dweam…” A friend of mine getting married next year was thinking about either buying or registering for cups that have lines from the movie on them, including this quote. Also, don’t forget Fred Savage as the sick kid whose grandfather, played by Peter Falk, is reading the story to him.
I got the book my senior year of high school, and I loved it. It was abridged by William Goldman, but there are parts in italic where he tells you what he took out, like several pages describing the clothes and hats of the courtiers. I even enjoyed reading those descriptions. The movie stuck so well to the book that there were parts of it where I was reading and could see the movie playing my head. One example is the part where Buttercup pushes the Dread Pirate Roberts down the hill, and he yells back, “As you wish!” as he’s falling down the hill… I won’t say any more, since if you haven’t seen the movie or read the book, that would be too much of a spoiler.
And if you haven’t seen the movie or read the book, do! It would be the perfect Christmas break book. It’s a little thick, but it’s definitely worth it. Both the book and the movie are classics and deserve to grace shelves everywhere.