The Princess Bride

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From the book The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern’s Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure (The ‘Good Parts’ Version) by William Goldman*

There is no way to describe this plot, but I’ll try: Sword fights. Death. Treachery. Torture. Revenge. Piracy. Kidnapping. Blackmail. Murder. True Love. Friendship. Miracles. Oh, and Rodents of Unusual Size as well…

What a perfect movie. This movie made me feel the same way about fantasy novels that the bar scene in Star Wars did about science fiction: they finally, finally did it RIGHT. There is finally a movie that is showing something I love to read and showing it exactly the way it should be.

This is also an excellent example of changing a story but capturing the spirit of it…the frame story with the sick kid and his grandfather, what a wonderful addition! if it were possible for a movie to improve the book, this would be the instance.

You can tell that I really love this movie. It has EVERYTHING. The only tiny flaw in it (and many people disagree with this) is Wallace Shawn, who plays Vizzini. Not only repugnant in and of himself, but completely wrong for the role. But that is a tiny quibble, when the rest of the movie is so completely wonderful, so funny and romantic and adventurous, with THE two best sword fights EVER, and I could go on for pages and pages but if you haven’t seen this, you just have to. Now. Get off the web and go rent it, you’ll be glad you did.

No, the honey is not Cary Elwes, who is very cute and charming, but Mandy Patinkin (be still my beating heart) who is not only seriously gorgeous in this (I like ’em scruffy) but can also SING. Wow.

*This is the actual title of the book…Goldman wrote it purporting to take it from an older longer classic, and in fact I had a young friend in England who emailed me just before I went on one of my used-book jaunts, asking me to find him a copy of the original, because all he could find was this edited version…I was so sorry to have to disillusion him!

And by the way, when you read it, SKIP THE INTRODUCTION. It has nothing to do with the actual story (it’s mostly about baseball, of all things) and will just bog you down. Trust me, you can go back and give it a go later. But the story itself, oh my what a treat!

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