favorite movies: The Princess Bride (1987)

I saw The Princess Bride this afternoon in the theater. I think my family discovered this movie on HBO back in the late 80s as I have a vague memory of a BETA tape with a hand-written “Princess Bride” sticker on the side of it, so this was my first time seeing it on the big screen.

It’s still good. It is just a FUN movie, through and through. Yeah, these are not Oscar award winning performances or effects or anything but it’s just 100% FUN.

Oh, and did I mention quotable? My mom will refer to a love interest in a movie as the character’s “to blave” and who can resist saying “mae-widge” any time a wedding scene appears? It’s inconceivable! And you know you’re among fellow geeks when you can start Inigo’s rhyming game and have someone else in the room do Fezzik’s lines.

I remember that the torture scene freaked me out as a kid. When Humperdink pushed the lever up to 50, I would cover my ears and close my eyes. It was only for a moment, but something about that moment really bothered me.

This is also one of the few situations where the movie might be better than the book, or at least on par with, probably because William Goldman wrote both the novel and the script. It’s worth picking up the book though so you can understand all of Inigo’s and Fezzik’s lines.

And, like Last Unicorn, I feel like the story manages to find this happy balance of all the fairy tale stories you love as a child with the snark and cynicism of adulthood, which is why it is still so watchable almost 30 years later. We are both the Grandson, hanging on every word, wanting to know how the story will end, and the Grandfather, knowing how it must all end, how it might not be fair but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a happy ending. And that we all enjoy “kissing books” every now and then.

Do you have a favorite Princess Bride quote that you use all the time? Or a memory of seeing the movie for the first time (or the fifth)?


  1. It’s not original, but I just love saying, ” Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die.”


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