Saturday, September 25, 2010

Still Storming the Castle

Magnet # 351:  The Princess Bride Still, Plot

Material:  Metal, Paper, Mylar Shell

Purchased By:  Me

Okay, so this magnet may be a bit of a spoiler, but if you haven't seen this film yet, you have no excuse. You see, today marks the 23rd anniversary of the release of The Princess Bride, perhaps the greatest fantasy film of all time. And if you haven't seen this modern day classic by now, that's simply inconceivable. What are you thinking? Jump on Hulu, Netflix, You Tube, or any site of your choosing to view it right now or just head over to the nearest rental store. I'll wait.

Now that we're all caught up on the plot of this delightful film and how it centers around a grandfather reading his sick grandson the story of fairy tale lovers Wesley and Buttercup and their triumphs against adversity, I'll go on.  Yep, The Princess Bride is easily a favorite of mine.  I still remember seeing it for the first time in a theater in 1985 and loving it.  The characters in this film are very original, highly amusing, and rather memorable.  But it's kind of odd - the only character I don't really like is the title character of the Princess Bride, better known as Buttercup.  I could forgive her the somewhat silly name if she weren't so unrespectable herself.  She's a drawback to the damsels-in-distress of old days who can't really fend for themselves.  Sure, she might try on occasion, but she never manages to save herself and when Wesley steps in to do so, she usually hangs back, helpless as he fights.  Geez, she could at least grab his sword or hurl a rock at his adversaries.  I'm not asking that she channel Lara Croft, Tomb Raider, but Buttercup is just too much of a weakling for my tastes.  Personally, I like the supporting character of Inigo Montoya best.  This Spaniard has trained for twenty years to avenge his father's murder at the hands of the six-fingered man, and it's easy to sympathize with his cause.  And when he overcomes all odds and finally defeats the insidious six-fingered man, better known as the vile Count Rugen, I was pretty happy for Inigo.  With great characters like him added to a plot filled with action, romance, and a good dose of humor, this is one film that's tough to top.

The Princess Bride is actually based on a novel written by William Goldman that was published back in 1973.  If you like the film, but haven't read it, I recommend it.  While it started out a little slow, I found that it added plenty to the film.  For years, Goldman tried to get his work turned into a film, only to buy back the rights with his own money when nobody else seemed capable of developing.  Luckily, director Rob Reiner, a longtime fan of the book, was able to come on board, and the film was finally made.  It fared reasonably well at theaters, making back twice more than twice its production costs and getting good reviews, particularly from Siskel and Ebert, who gave it two thumbs up.  But with time, it's become even more beloved as more viewers have come across it on television and future generations have been introduced to it.  And while some fantasy films, like Stardust, have come close to capturing The Princess Bride's magic, it remains at the pinnacle of all fantasy films.  There's been talk of a sequel titled Buttercup's Baby, but I hope none ever comes.  This is one story that's more or less perfect, and there's no point in messing with perfection.


  1. Oh yes, Princess Bride is a real classic. I can watch it over and over again.

  2. I don't know who is my favorite character, but the small part of Mad Max is delightful.

  3. Yes, I've watched it many times and Mad Max is another favorite of mine, as is Vizzini - inconceivable!