Thirty-five years ago The Princess Bride hit theaters and was left mostly dead at the box office, earning a moderate $30 million off a $16 million budget. As is customary with a majority of classics, the adventure/comedy from Rob Reiner inconceivably endured on home video and has since become one of the defining movies of the 1980s.
To celebrate the anniversary of this terrific film, we thought it’d be fun to list our favorite scenes (in no particular order) from The Princess Bride. Because lists are what bwing us togeder today … Let’s do this!
First, let’s break down the plot of The Princess Bride … No, there is too much, so we’ll summarize: The Princess Bride kicks off with a prologue focusing on the budding love between Westley (Cary Elwes) and Buttercup (Robin Wright). Their story is interrupted when Westley decides to venture out to sea to attain a fortune and is presumably killed by the Dread Pirate Roberts. As such, Buttercup decides to marry Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon), who schemes to start a war by having his bride-to-be kidnapped by a trio of outlaws – namely, Spanish swordsman Iñigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin), friendly giant Fezzik (André the Giant) and the loud-mouthed Vizzini (Wallace Shawn).
RELATED: Reservoir Dogs Sets 4K Blu-ray Release for Crime Drama’s Anniversary
Eventually, our plucky villains are tracked and hunted by a mysterious man in black, who follows them to the Cliffs of Insanity where engages with each man one-on-one. The first confrontation features an exceptionally well-choreographed sword fight between the Man in Black and Iñigo Montoya, a scene that is as funny as it is exciting. No, really, for all its comedic flair, The Princess Bride is actually an incredbly well-made film despite its relatively modest budget.
Later, the Man in Black (who is actually Westley, in case newbies weren’t able to crack the mystery) beats Fezzik and then confronts Vizzini, who challenges him to a game of wits. And, well, it’s great:
The first act gives way to the main plot, which focuses on Humperdinck’s aforementioned scheme, except now he must kill Buttercup (and plan a wedding!) since his first plan failed. He really wants this war. Oh, and he also captures Westley and strings him up for torture in the Pit of Despair, operated by Count Tyrone Rugen, aka the Six-fingered Man (Christopher Guest). There’s a darkly humorous bit where we see Westley’s torture play out as Rugen watches with obvious delight; a scene that allows Guest to display his delectable dry wit:
Eventually, Westley dies — again. Luckily, Iñigo and Fezzik reunite and head off to save Westley, utilizing a bit of magic to find the hidden Pit of Despair:
With Westley in need of help, Iñigo and Fezzik turn to Miracle Max for aid, leading to a terrific cameo by Reiner’s pal Billy Crystal:
Following that exchange, our heroes head to the castle to save Buttercup. En route, they stop to run through their inventory, resulting in one of the funniest exchanges in the entire film:
Meanwhile, Buttercup goes through her marriage ceremony, headed by the greatest clergyman of all time — a scene intercut with Westley, Iñigo, and Fezzik’s siege on the castle that culminates with the famous gate key bit, perhaps the funniest five seconds out of the entire film:
Holy Hell, this is a great flick. I’ve basically posted the entire movie in this article, but I don’t care. Nearly every scene is a got darned treasure.
Anyways, Westley, Iñigo and Fezzik make their way into the castle and bump into the Six-fingered man, who just so happened to kill Iñigo’s father. As such, our Spanish hero confronts the villain with: “Hello, my name is My name is Iñigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” He then braces himself for battle and the Six-fingered man … ah … does this:
Eventually, Iñigo catches up to his nemesis but gets stabbed in the stomach before he can finish his task. No matter, our hero wills himself to keep fighting, resulting in a surprisingly violent confrontation:
Finally, Westley and Humperdinck have their long-awaited match … just not the way you’d expect. See, Westley’s experience in the Pit of Despair has left him temporarily paralyzed. When Humperdinck arrives, he’s still not fully recovered and resorts to hurling insults at his enemy. Honestly, there’s no other way this film could have ended:
There are other incredible moments sprinkled throughout this magnificent film. Hell, we didn’t even cover the whole Grandpa/Grandson storyline featuring Peter Falk and a very young Fred Savage. We’ll leave that up to you to discover or re-discover while we struggle to figure out how to incorporate “As you wish” into this final paragraph.