The Princess Bride (1987)
September 30, 2017 10:51 AM - Subscribe

While home sick in bed, a young boy's grandfather reads him a story called The Princess Bride.
posted by ellieBOA (17 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
One of my all time favourite movies! It was available on a recent flight back from a conference, and it holds up fairly well (aside from Buttercup pining away, "riding her horse," and waiting to be rescued...).

The casting, I feel, was a home run.

Huh. It won a Hugo. And a Grammy! Only nominated for an Atrios (casting), and an Oscar (Best Music, Original Song).
posted by porpoise at 11:07 AM on September 30 [1 favorite]

I remember seeing this in the theater when it was released and at the end looking at the friend I'd gone with and we both delighted at each other "THEY DIDN'T FUCK IT UP."
posted by rmd1023 at 11:28 AM on September 30 [4 favorites]

I just watched this for the VERY FIRST TIME about six months ago and it was GREAT. As good as I wanted it to be and it lived up to the hype. My only regret is that I missed out on decades of more subtle quotes and references than "that word..."

I should read the book now.
posted by rhizome at 11:53 AM on September 30

(aside from Buttercup pining away, "riding her horse," and waiting to be rescued...).

She leveled up.
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:09 PM on September 30 [12 favorites]

There's simply too much I could say about this one. I got to see it during TIFF back in 1987, and it's been one of my favourites ever since. It's sometimes hard to convince someone to see it because no description really does it justice, but it never fails to charm a wide variety of people.

The lines, the brief asides, the little bits, there's just no part I don't enjoy (although it would have been nice not to have Buttercup go full damsel in distress). Look for the sword hand pass by the Man in Black during the swordfight with Inigo - just magic.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 12:16 PM on September 30

Of course I enjoyed this as a kid. I did not think I would, having had the whole plot recited at me by a cousin in the backseat, but I did. And, even today, after all the Monty-Python-level dead-horse beating of quotes from the movie, I love it.

Westley scared me, though. I remember flinching a bit when he almost hit Buttercup. I didn't like him, but then right after that it turned out he was the good guy after all and so I settled down. After all, the other guy was going to strangle her and that meant Westley had to be the good guy, right? At eight I was not yet woke enough to reject this false dichotomy. I did know, however, that if I had to marry somebody in it, I would have married Inigo.

The book is stranger, sadder, richer, even more misogynist, and a genuine achievement of metafiction. I hate to love it, too.
posted by Countess Elena at 12:32 PM on September 30 [11 favorites]

One of the few times I think the film is better than the book.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:27 PM on September 30 [1 favorite]

Almost hitting Buttercup seems a bit tame compared to the evidence he provides himself that he seems to have spent his offscreen time ruthlessly killing piracy victims.
posted by biffa at 2:34 PM on September 30 [1 favorite]

The almost-hitting bit; since the first time that I saw it, I read it as "men are expected to behave in a particular way" and Westley plays along with it long enough to say... wait, this behaviour is stupid.

As for piracy, historically it was relatively egalitarian and merciful. Being a sailor was hard enough already, doing it in the face of sons of bitches, it's harder. See marooning instead just just killing and dumping overboard, and slave freeing and crew incorporation.
posted by porpoise at 8:01 PM on September 30 [1 favorite]

No comment that starts "I don't want to defend misogyny, but..." is going to end well, so instead I'll just say this: It's been proven that people canwrite a fairy tale that doesn't rely on the misogynist tropes endemic to traditional fairy tales. This is not one of those fairy tales, and if it had avoided those tropes it would be a very different story.

Anyway, as I hear it the original book (that the novel was adapted from) was significantly more misogynist, so we should probably just consider ourselves lucky.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 9:50 PM on September 30

The book is a different beast from the movie, far more cynical and weird, but it is a brilliant and funny book. The meta craziness of it, the self-loathing and unreliability of the narrator and the internal references to fiction, all of it combine with the Hollywood storylines to become just very clever.

For years I genuinely believed there was an epilogue available from the postscript.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 10:53 PM on September 30 [3 favorites]

This is going to be in theaters this month, y'all.
posted by ftm at 9:14 AM on October 1

I was a 12 year old girl when this movie came out. On VHS, it featured at every slumber party I went to for at least 2 years. Along with Labyrinth and Legend, it's part of the triumvirate of most beloved fantasy films of my early adolescence. Up against those other two, it's misogyny bush league.
posted by soren_lorensen at 4:26 PM on October 1 [3 favorites]

You think so? I would say Labyrinth is pretty good for girls, considering. Sarah doesn't fall for Jareth's nonsense because he's controlling and mean, and she makes good choices as well as mistakes. Legend, though, yeah, that was pretty dumb, although I don't remember much about the plot. Amazing visuals, of course.
posted by Countess Elena at 5:22 PM on October 1 [2 favorites]

As for piracy, historically it was relatively egalitarian and merciful. Being a sailor was hard enough already, doing it in the face of sons of bitches, it's harder. See marooning instead just killing and dumping overboard, and slave freeing and crew incorporation.

Am I misremembering or does the Dread Pirate Roberts not favour the no one left alive model?
posted by biffa at 12:06 PM on October 2

Very good point, biffa. It's a little bit murky...

Roberts goes on to explain that the method works because Roberts' notorious reputation inspires overwhelming fear in sailors. Ships immediately capitulate and surrender their wealth rather than be captured, a fate they imagine to be certain death. A pirate operating under his own name is said to be incapable of such infamy: "No one would surrender to the Dread Pirate Westley."

It reads to me that "Roberts" uses his reputation to avoid bloodshed in the first place, that his victims voluntarily capitulate rather than try to fight and may be captured if they lost (if they didn't die during the fight).
posted by porpoise at 4:33 PM on October 2

The first time I knew I was seeing something special, I saw it during a community Movies in the Park drive-in-style event in 2010 and dressed as the Dread Pirate Roberts. It was not my first time watching the movie (far from it, actually), but it was such a magical movie, and a fantastic experience.

Five years later, I had the chance to see this movie again at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta. Sitting in that gorgeous 20's-style theatre, with 3,000 or so fellow nerds like me, quoting the movie during the best parts, cheering during the dramatic moments, and turning it into a completely immersive experience, made that magical movie even more wonderful.
posted by PearlRose at 9:21 AM on October 4

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