'The Princess Bride': The cast and director share the story behind the beloved fantasy

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REINER: I saw Cary in a movie called Lady Jane, and he was perfect. He looked like a young Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. He was the only person I could imagine doing it with. I didn’t have anyone else.

WRIGHT: Cary was gorgeous! He was the blonde 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?”

CARY ELWES, Westley: I first met Robin at Shepperton Studios [in England] during a costume fitting. I knew immediately that she was perfect. She had done [the soap opera] Santa Barbara. When you’ve done a lot of television, you become very seasoned very quickly. She was a pro.

CHRIS SARANDON, Prince Humperdinck: Robin always had a very strong sense of herself and yet there was always a sense of mystery about her as well. I’m sure everybody fell a little bit in love with Robin on the shoot, whether we were attached or not. And Cary is a very funny guy. Despite those drop-dead matinee idol looks, he was a brilliant mimic and he does amazing accents and fabulous characters. So there was an interesting sort of balance there.

MANDY PATINKIN, Inigo Montoya: The moment I read the script, I loved the part of Inigo Montoya. That character just spoke to me profoundly. I had lost my own father — he died at 53 years old from pancreatic cancer in 1972. I didn’t think about it consciously, but I think that there was a part of me that thought, If I get that man in black, my father will come back. I talked to my dad all the time during filming, and it was very healing for me.

ELWES: The tone that Bill Goldman set was very clear from the word “go,” with the narrative device of Peter Falk telling this story to Fred Savage. Once you cast Peter Falk, there’s your tone right there!

NEXT: Vizzini could have been played by…


Comments (48 total) Add your comment
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  • Templar

    Praise and accolades galore to Goldman and Reiner. In my top 5 of all time. I never heard of anyone who doesn’t love it.

    • Nathan

      You have now.

      • luck223

        My best friend has just announced her wedding with a great man who is a cele+brity!
        They met-via { millionaireluv.с`σ_м }
        It is nice club for rich men or pretty girls mate.
        You do not need to be wealthy or famous, but you can meet your true love, it’s worthy a try.

      • Michelle

        Then why are you here?

  • Javadude54

    A truly unique and wonderful movie. I never get tired of watching it.

  • Andrea Bianchi

    It was the first movie I bought in iTunes, showed it to my husband (an allien who had never heard of it), and my 8 year old twins. It is the first movie in our travel library, and the first for sick stay under the covers w/mom movies. I LOVED IT from the firs moment I saw it. Thank you all, for giving it to us!

  • Rebecca Mitchell

    My all-time favorite movie!! Watch it to lift my spirits, watch it to celebrate good times. My kids all love it. Best movie EVER!!

  • April

    My most favorite movie ever. Makes me happy just thinking about it. Thanks to everyone who had a part in it.

    Have fun stormin’ the castle!!!!

  • Steve

    Saw this headline and wanted to read the article, but on the couch, with my wife. There doesn’t seem to be any ‘print’ link that would allow me to view the full article, without needing to load a new page every three paragraphs or so.

    So, I’m not reading it, and blowing off EW.com.

    You guys ought to remedy that aspect of your site.

    • kate

      Yes you’re right how awful is it for a magazine thats actually offering to let you read one of it’s articles for free online, not provide printing facilities, shame on EW

    • @Steve

      Yes, the agony of having to rip your hands away from that bucket of chicken in order to click the mouse must be devastating.

    • @ Steve

      You have the time to write an unbelievably stupid post, but not the time to click your left mouse button 7 times?!? I guess it’s hard to get good help these days. I think I speak on behalf of ew.com that they’re not going to miss you as a “reader”.

  • georgialei

    My whole family loved the book of Princess Bride. When we heard that they were making a movie of it, we all thought there was no way it could do the book justice. Well, we were wrong. Yes, there are still things from the book that I wish were in the movie, but it’s pretty perfect as it is. Many thanks to everyone involved!

    • MLL

      All time favorite book. Read it when I was a teen no-less. The movie is great, but the book provides so much more back story, and the enjoyment lasts longer. Fell in love with William Goldman’s writing from then on.

  • Judy Holley

    What a great article and a great movie! All the actors were perfectly cast and learned to be expert swordsmen and equestrians. It makes me laugh every time. I watch it over and over. I hope they never remake it, it’s perfect the way it is. Great job to all who were involved!

  • Joan Oldale-LaPoint

    I saw the Princess Bride when it came out at the theaters while in college. I laughed so hard and so often the people in front of us moved. When I got home on summer vacation i INSISTED my entire family go and see it as a second run theater. It has been one of our most beloved movies ever since. My youngest brother had me read a collection of lines from it during his wedding.

  • Sue1

    For years I would say, “Have fun storming the castle” to my kids when they’d take off for one thing or another, in fact I still do. One of my family’s favorite movies, and one of those I can watch over and over…and over again.

  • tom

    One of my top 5 movies of all time. If I meet someone and they either don’t like it or haven’t seen it I am immediately wary of them. Who doesn’t like The Princess Bride. I even bought the book but the movie is much better.

    • Strepsi

      Haha true. If they do not like
      The Princess Bride
      A Christmas Story
      The Wizard of Oz
      they have a heart of stone.

      • Michelle

        I like A Christmas Story…TNT just killed it for me.

  • Buttercup

    We were hanging out watching the PB on cable one afternoon, years ago, when a friend stopped by to introduce us to his new, “smart” girlfriend. When we told them what we were watching, Mrs. Einstein sat down on the couch to “explain” something essential to understanding the movie.

    “Now, this movie doesn’t take place in modern England; it’s set during the times of ‘Willow.”

    Can’t tell you how much I’ve wanted to add THAT line to the voiceovers!

    • What?

      It doesn’t take place in England at all. “The timeS of Willow? PluraI? guess I’m not “Smart” because I don’t understand your post at all.

    • Strepsi

      @ What?
      The woman thought she was so mush more intelligent and literate that she had to explain The Princess Bride to the other people watching it.

      But her “explanation” was that the movie was set “during the time of Willow” — which is a Ron Howard fantasy movie, i.e. not a time in history.

      So they all laughed at The Princess Bride, and then they all laughed at their friend’s stupid girlfriend.

      And they all lived happily ever after.

  • Nerwen Aldarion

    As I once read “There are only two kinds of people on this earth: Those who have seen and loved The Princess Bride and those who have not seen it and do not love it yet. No others exist”

  • tracy bluth

    Awww, reading about Andre the Giant just makes me so sad. Their memories of him are so sweet.
    Definitely one of my favorite films ever, no question!!

  • 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.

    • Jeebus Cripes

      If you are a bot/program, then I’m just banging my head against a wall, but seriously, GET A LIFE! You post the same effing thing in every effing article.

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