For some of us, that just might be the greatest line in literature AND the greatest movie line of all time! If you have never heard that line, then I have to say that I feel really sorry for you. But fear not, for I have come to rescue you from your bleak existence, just as Wesley rescued Buttercup from the evil clutches of Prince Humperdinck!
William Goldman wrote both the book and the screenplay for the movie. Goldman has won two academy awards for best screenplay for the movies Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and All The President’s Men. So this guy knows how to write, and he does a charming and witty job with both the book and the screenplay for The Princess Bride.
The movie was masterfully directed by Rob Reiner and stars Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, Mandy Patinkin, Chris Sarandon, Christopher Guest, Wallace Shawn, André the Giant, Peter Falk, Fred Savage, and Billy Crystal. The enchanting music is by Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits fame. In my opinion, the film was perfectly cast and all the actors gave beautiful performances. My two favorite, however, are Wallace Shawn as the impossibly brilliant Sicilian mercenary, Vizzini; and Billy Crystal as the cynical, depressed, aging, and un-employed Miracle Max.
What is the story about? To answer that question I will quote some classic lines from the book and movie. The movie opens with the grandfather of a sick boy coming to read him a story handed down from father to son: The Princess Bride. The unimpressed boy asks:
“Has it got any sports in it?”
“Fencing. Fighting. Torture. Poison. True love. Hate. Revenge. Giants. Hunters. Bad men. Good men. Beautifulist ladies. Snakes. Spiders. Beasts of all natures and descriptions. Pain. Death. Brave men. Coward men. Strongest men. Chases. Escapes. Lies. Truths. Passion. Miracles.”
“Sounds okay,” the boy says. ”I’ll do my best to stay awake…”
Of course the boy does stay awake and gets waaaaaayyyyy into the story. You will, too, regardless of whether you read the book or watch the movie. I strongly encourage you do both!