Thursday, April 13, 2006

Do you love The Princess Bride? I do. I've loved it since the first time I saw it, around the age of 10 or 11, sitting on the living room floor in my aunt and uncle's log cabin and eating a weird dessert with a crumbly topping that reminded me of the Lightning Sand. My favorite cousin had made the dessert, and he watched the movie with me and Johnnycake even tho he's two years older than me and therefore seven years older than Johnnycake. No wonder he's my favorite cousin, right? We loved the movie so much that a couple years later we named our new puppy 'Westley' after the main character. And I remember that on the drive back from the log cabin after seeing The Princess Bride for the first time, I heard the Supremes song "Stop! In the Name of Love" on the radio for the first time, so every time I hear that song, I think of this movie and weird crumbly-topped dessert.

Anyway, I just watched The Princess Bride on dvd with the commentary by the author and screenwriter William Goldman. It's marvelous! Almost on par with a Joss Whedon commentary, full of funny stories and insights about the writing and a little about the filming and casting. He did tend to go off track a little; there was one point when he was talking about casting his movie Misery where I got impatient and wanted him to get back to talking about this intead. But on the whole, it was a good commentary. I liked how he would suddenly say, "Oh, I love this part!" and stop talking for a little while. Or how he'd chuckle at a line and then half the time say, "I didn't write that, so-and-so threw that in." It seems Billy Crystal ad-libbed a great deal, as you might expect.

This dvd also has commentary by Rob Reiner, but I haven't watched that yet. But if you like this movie and you like commentaries, I totally recommend this one. I think Goldman's most insightful comment was this: "Nothing moves me as much on earth as stupid courage." I totally relate.BTW, this is a picture of me with my sweet Westley taken when I was 18 and he was 6. Wasn't he huge? I miss him a lot. (And yeah, I still have that much hair.)


  1. Did you ever read the book? It's quite fun too. My fencing instructor had my first class read it because all the fencing descriptions are very accurate.

  2. My friend Floppsy gave me the book for Christmas my first year in college. I read it in the plane on the way home. Love it love it love it! Was very confused at first as to whether or not Goldman had actually taken some other person's book and chopped bits out of it, took me a while to figure out that's just the conceit of the book...but once you know, it's so fun!

    BTW, Cary Elwes and Mandy Patinkin did their entire swordfight themselves, except for the two acrobatic flips! They were going to have doubles do the scene, with them just in close-ups, but Elwes and Patinkin spent every spare moment off-camera practicing with each other and an instructer. They got good enough that they didn't need the doubles!

  3. Yeah, I love that they did it themselves. So much more fun to watch! It was really fun to analyze the fights, try and call the moves as if it were a competition (very very hard for me to do... I always hated being the director, blech.). And I always love in the end of the movie, in the castle, there's a move Patinkin does, where he drops back and down unexpectedly, extending his sword, and his opponent just runs onto the blade. It's such a useful move, and there's nothing quite like watching your opponent impale themselves while you do nothing but drop out of the way of their attacking blade. And when you can catch your instructor that way and make him swear... heh-heh, even better.

    Man, this is making me want to fence so badly.

  4. I just read the book and both the book and the movie are so excellent! It would be cool to watch the commentary version!

    Oh! What a beautiful dog! Westley suits him very nicely.

    1. MC, I agree! They are excellent. I'm reading Cary Elwes' memoir of filming, As You Wish, and it is such fun!

      And thanks :-) My sweet Westley was the kindest, happiest dog. I miss him!

    2. My older sister read that and she loved it! I guess I will have to read it too! ;D


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