As you wish: 'Princess Bride' cast and director talk inconceivable(!) cult hit -- VIDEO

Princess-Bride

Image Credit: 20th Century Fox Film Corp/Everett Collection

It wasn’t a major hit at the box office. It didn’t spawn any sequels or TV spin-offs. It didn’t have any huge stars — unless you count the seven-foot-plus wrestler André the Giant. And yet, surprisingly — you might even say inconceivably — since its release in 1987, director Rob Reiner’s wryly comic fairy tale The Princess Bride, a fable about true love featuring swashbuckling adventure, a six-fingered villain, and Rodents of Unusual Size, has gone on to become one of the most beloved films in recent Hollywood history. Millions of fans can quote their favorite lines by heart: “My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” “Have fun storming the castle.” “Mawage, that bwessed awangement… “

For EW’s annual Reunions issue, the stars of The Princess Bride — Robin Wright, Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Billy Crystal, Christopher Guest, Carol Kane, Chris Sarandon, and Wallace Shawn — gathered together for the first time in nearly 25 years for a reunion photo shoot (see our behind-the-scenes video below and the reunited cast photo here). They also shared their memories of the making of The Princess Bride for an in-depth oral history. Here are a few highlights (for the entire oral history and to see our Princess Bride photos — as well as pictures from our Fatal Attraction and Aliens reunions and more — check out the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands today):

Billy Crystal, Miracle Max: We ad libbed a lot of stuff: “Have fun storming the castle.” “Don’t go swimming for an hour — a good hour.” There was a lot of really funny stuff that never made it into the movie: “Don’t bother me, sonny. I had a bad day — I found my nephew with a sheep.” “True love is the greatest thing in the world — except for a good BM.” I remember the only trouble with the scene was Cary trying not to laugh while he was laying on the slab, because he’s supposed to be mostly dead but slightly alive.

Christopher Guest, Count Rugen: I don’t know if you know this about [André the Giant], but he was very large. I couldn’t wait every morning to shake his hand because that feeling was like a guy with five catcher’s mitts. Your hand would just disappear into his.

Robin Wright, Princess Buttercup: Cary was gorgeous! He was the blond Zorro. We hit it off right away. We had the same sense of humor. I was the baby and the novice around all the veterans. Inside I was trembling, of course: “Can I pull this off?”

Wallace Shawn, Vizzini: I was not the first person they wanted [for the part]. Unfortunately, my agent at that time believed that it would be helpful for me to know who they actually wanted, so he told me — it was Danny DeVito. Looking back on it, it didn’t help. Danny is inimitable. Each scene we did, I pictured how he would have done it and I knew I could never possibly have done it the way he could have done it. It made it challenging. I’ve mentioned it to Danny since. I said, “You know, of everything that I have ever done since birth, the thing that is most well-known is a part I had because you were unavailable.” He might have laughed nervously when I said that.

Rob Reiner, director: The studio never knew how to market it. We literally never had a trailer. They tried to sell it like a zany comedy. I remember having this conversation with Barry Diller, who was the head of Fox at the time. I was screaming at him. I said, “Barry, I don’t want to have a Wizard of Oz!” Because when The Wizard of Oz came out, it was a disaster — nobody liked it and it didn’t do well. I’ll never forget what he said to me. He said, “Rob, don’t let anybody ever hear you say that. You’d be so happy to have a Wizard of Oz!” He was right, of course.

Cary Elwes, Westley: The movie has an incredible life from generation to generation. People have told me they’ve named their kids Westley and Buttercup, that they were married dressed as Westley and Buttercup. I met a girl just a few weeks ago who has “As You Wish” tattooed on her neck.

Read more:
This Week’s Cover: The Reunions Issue
EW’s ‘Princess Bride’ cast reunion photo. This one’s the real deal. How marvelous!

Comments (241 total) Add your comment
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  • KS

    no more rhymes, now, i mean it!

    • kc

      Anybody want a peanut!

      • jack

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    • Lorinda

      Does anybody want a peanut?!?!?!

  • tracy bluth

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE The Princess Bride!!! It’s one of those films that seems to get better every time I watch it. I will probably always have a crush on Cary Elwes, even though he looks pretty bad now, because he played Wesley.
    Anybody want a peanut?

    • tracy bluth

      *Westley

    • gataroo

      where is Inigo????

      • sethwolffe

        Inigo Montoya is still around! Mandy Patinkin, the genius behind Inigo is currently on Criminal Minds laying FBI agent Jason Gideon.

      • Kat

        He hasn’t been on Criminal Minds for years know – and the show has suffered ever since he left – Check his IMDB

      • Tornadojoe

        He is currently on the new Showtime series Homeland.

      • Tra

        I think he’s the one standing by the horse

      • sven

        No, he’s sitting in the chair next to Robin, reading the paper.

    • Shemale

      Bummer he was really cute.

      • Sandy

        yeah he didnt age well..just like Val Kilmer…I had such a crush on both of them :)

    • moonbeam

      I think he still looks great.

      • AMmom628

        Mandy is sitting in the chair, reading the paper, and eating grapes out of Robin’s hand. I think he’s aged just fine. But I like my man with a good bit of whiskers.

  • PrincessBride

    As you can tell from my name, this is a very special movie for me :) I have to say I was glad when I finally could watch it on video (later DVD). I never was able to understand some of Andre the Giant’s lines until I could replay them a few times.
    @KS – Anybody want a peanut?

  • Andrei

    My favorite Princess Bride story comes from a Rob Reiner interview – he was eating in a NY restaurant when John Gotti comes in with his entourage. When he was leaving, one of Gotti’s goons got up, came over to him, and said “You killed my father…prepare to die”. Reiner said he was ****-ing his pants, when the goon went on, “…Princess Bride, I LOVE that movie!”

    One of my all-time favorites!

    • MiaS

      OMG-I can’t stop laughing!
      I can’t even imagine how Rob pulled himself together after that.
      We say that line all the time at work but not with the same effect.

    • Kisha

      I love that story .The expression on Reiner’s face must have been priceless.

  • orville

    Thank you so much for this. I agree that it’s the rare movie that just gets better every time you watch it. I’d even buy it for the 3rd time if they released all of those outtakes they were talking about in the video. Kind of missed Fred Savage in the reunion though.

    • Sage

      And Peter Falk,

      • orville

        Considering that Peter Falk is dead, his inclusion would have been miraculous. Ditto Andre the Giant and Peter Cook. But Mandy Patinkin and Mel Smith would have been great to see again.

    • Stevex

      They should have brought Mark Knopfler in for some background music.

    • lady

      Mandy Patinkin is in the photo. He’s sitting near Robin Wright holding out some grapes to her – or stealing some from her. Yes, it would have been great to see Fred Savage.

      • Sefanur

        Hi Jill & BobLove you red velvet cekcapus from the Preakness! Incredible!!!! Beautiful cakes!!!! I want to order a high school graduation cake from you for our daughter Lindsey. We are having a party on Sunday, June 26th but I would pick it up on Saturday, 25th. I will give you a call tomorrow .for more details!!! Shari Warner

  • Paris Jade

    Cary Elwes should have joined the A-list years ago and should have only been doing movies that got a theatrical release. Unfortunately, he has remained a straight to DVD king but he is an underrated actor. So, I hope that he does more mainstream movies, tries to reach his full potential as an actor and tries to win an Oscar.

    • Tiffany

      He’s so talented. LOVE this movie!

    • Sunny

      I love Cary! I expecilly love the guest spots hes done recently done on Psych.

      • abadstroller

        Cary Elwes is so great as Pierre Despereaux in “Psych”. So charming and so slick…I hope he’ll be back to challenge Gus and Shawn again!

      • collins

        my best friend’s mom makes $77 an hour on the computer. She has been out of job for 9 months but last month her check was $7487 just working on the computer for a few hours. Read about it here MakeCash3.com

    • Rica

      Ooh, when he said “Drop….your….sword” my 16-year-old heart just melted. I would’ve dropped anything for him!

      • Liz

        LOL!! Oh yeah!

    • Elizabeth

      My sister and I memorized that whole scene and would act it out. So much fun!

  • Nessa

    Where’s Mandy Patinkin? Is he still looking for the six fingered man?

    • Lana

      Have you even watched this movie? The six-fingered man was Christopher Guest. Mandy Patinkin was Inego Montoya and is one of the best actors/singers of our time. Check your TV Guide, guys. He’s starring in a new series. Tony winner (Che in Evita), Chicago Hope, Criminal Minds. Sheesh! He’s all over the place. My kid & grandkid can quote almost every line in the movie – well, so can I, for that matter.

    • ol

      Lana, Nessa is asking where Mandy is in this photoshoot, not where he is today in entertainment. And Nessa also mentioned “looking for the six-fingered man” because Mandy’s character in the film was “looking for the six-fingered man”. So calm down!

      • Tiffany

        I think the point was that Mandy’s character killed the six fingered man in the movie, so the crack that was made about Mandy still looking for him was a little asinine.

      • Nessa

        Thanks ol – that is exactly what I meant.

      • Quirky

        No Tiffany, the point is that Lana has no sense of humor.

      • Jiminy

        Lana needs to get a freakin’ life.

      • c

        This was one of the first things I checked when i got my EW on Friday. And, happily, Mandy was there for the photo shoot and is included in the EW print mag photos/story. What an overall fun issue!

    • sethwolffe

      He currently stars in Criminal Minds as FBI agent Jason Gideon

      • Di

        I’m sorry. He does not. Mandy Patinkin was on the first two seasons of Criminal Minds. He’s a new show that I don’t remember the name of with Damien Lewis and Claire Danes and Morena Baccarin. Seriously, he hasn’t been on CM for years.

      • Tornadojoe

        Homeland on Showtime.

  • Beebop

    One of the best movies ever – watched it with my kids and now my grandkids – I think I have four versions of it! I LMAO every time I watch the ‘mostly dead’ scene – they don’t make em like this anymore

    • Sage

      You think the movie is funny, read the book. There was so much that they couldn’t put in the film due to time constraints. I still have my well worn paperback.

      • eyeheartnyc

        The book is HILARIOUS! I loved it. Man, I think I’m going to go read it again for the millionth time.

      • @ Sage

        The book is virtually identical to the movie – so much so I thought it was the screenplay. What on earth are you talking about?

      • elena

        To @ Sage: William Goldman, who wrote the book of The Princess Bride, also wrote the screenplay for the movie…so that could be why they’re identical. But I agree with Sage, there are a lot of subplots and fleshing characters out and hilarious old-world-book satire that isn’t in the movie.

      • Ava

        The book overall is great. But I hated the ending after loving the movie. Did anyone else follow up on the missing chapter? I did when I first read the book over 10 years ago. It worked! If you don’t know what I’m talking about, read the book.

      • Ava

        Never mind. I just Googled it. The missing chapter is now included in recent prints. At one point in older prints of the book Goldman described how he and the publisher disagreed about a chapter. He then says that if you want to read the chapter to send a self addressed stamped envelope to the publisher. I did. And I got the chapter! I couldn’t believe that it was someone’s job to fill those requests. It was originally published in 1973. So for at least 20… 30 years someone there had to send out the missing chapter. :D

    • Meredith

      Love that scene where Westley is mostly dead, and Miracle Max says “I’ve seen worse.”

      I quoted that just the other day!

  • kaliga

    One of my favorite movies. I am not sure which I quote more this or ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’… Great movie!

    • Shar

      hehe, yeah, same boat for my husband and me. Can quote both movies almost completely. Trading Places might be a close third. Might have to watch Princess Bride again this weekend. You can’t help but smile when you think about it, not many movies can do that anymore.

    • Sage

      If you love Monty Python and the Holy Grail, buy the computer game of the same name. Absolutely addictive.

    • js

      “someday all this will be yours”. “The curtains?” I agree, Princess Bride and Monty Python and the Holy Grail-great quotes from both. “My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die.”

  • Em

    This is in my top 10 favorite movies of all time. It’s the perfect movie for all ages! I can’t wait to share it with my kids one day.

    • Andrei

      I already have – they love it as much as I do!

  • simpsonite

    This is one of my “stranded on an island” movies. I never tire of watching it. My favorite line changes but now it’s “let me splain, no there is too much, let me sum up….”

    • Deb N

      Also on of my island movies. Too many great lines to quote, Even my kids (ages 24 and 11) can recite the movie. Still watch it everytime it comes on!!

  • Jen

    Love, love Mandy Patinkin in this: I must use my left hand or I cannot be satisfied!!

    • Arjay

      LOL! I never noticed that double meaning before. Another great quotable movie for me is Young Frankenstein: “put – the candle – back!”

  • MiaS

    I always wanted to have the priest do my wedding.
    How fun it would have been to have him say “Loove, Truuue love.”
    Now, that is a wedding ceremony!

    • ol

      It would be funnier if he said “Wuv, twue wuv” instead!

    • llevinso

      It’s more like “Wuve, true wuve…”

    • Jean

      I actually DID have our pastor start our wedding ceremony that way. :)

    • abadstroller

      “As you wish….”

    • Bonnie

      My honey and I always say “Marriage” with that horribly hilareous-self-important accent Archbishop of Cantebury Peter Cook mimics to perfection EVERY TIME WE SEE ANY RELIGIOUS PERSON.

    • Rica

      Peter Cook was hilarious. I nearly fell out of my seat laughing just at 1 word: Mawwiage.

      • amanda

        My husband and I just celebrated our tenth anniversary. At our wedding rehearsal, the bridal party was acting silly and horsing around, and our officiant said, ok, let’s do this or we’ll miss our dinner reservation! We all pulled ourselves together and paid attention. She took a deep breath, and said, “Marriage,” and instantly, in unison, three groomsmen, two bridesmaids, and one groom said, “is what bwings us togevver, today.”

      • Orazio

        Texas de Brazil was an amazing terrausant. First of all their food was excellent the steak was very juicy and tender, for dessert we had cheese cake that was out of this world. We also had great service, the waiters were all pleasent and friendly. If you are looking for a great terrausant with great service in the Schaumburg area this is the place to go. We loved Texas De Brazil and can’t wait to go back!

    • Heather P

      My mom did that when she got remarried last year. The whole room had a really hard time keeping a straight face. The guy she got to do it was great too. He was totally dead-panning it.

  • bhm1304

    If anyone tries to re-make this movie, they should be taken out back and beaten mericlessly until changing their mind.

    • Mrs T

      Agreed.

    • Catt

      They should be subjected to the machine!

      • wowsey

        Catt, your idea made me laugh out loud. I completely agree with you!

    • Rin

      AMEN!

    • grant

      they remade Conan… so anything is possible!!!!

      • Riley

        Wow Amy Rebecca! The photo of the veil flowing and sublah the face of the glowing bride .. Well let’s just suffice to say it is STUNNING! Your talent is breath-taking!

  • buttercup

    `”Life is pain princess. Anyone who says otherwise is selling something.”

    • elena

      SUCH a good quote. There are too many…

    • Liz

      That was a good one.

      • Liinnddssaayy

        Natalie Tessier – Oh my gosh, she is gorgeous!!!! We had so much fun with you both again, thank you so much for neplihg us capture precious moments of her life.Nat, Steve and Addy

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