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The Princess Bride (1987)

tomatometer

97

Average Rating: 8.2/10
Reviews Counted: 61
Fresh: 59 | Rotten: 2

A delightfully postmodern fairy tale, The Princess Bride is a deft, intelligent mix of swashbuckling, romance, and comedy that takes an age-old damsel-in-distress story and makes it fresh.

85

Average Rating: 7.1/10
Critic Reviews: 13
Fresh: 11 | Rotten: 2

A delightfully postmodern fairy tale, The Princess Bride is a deft, intelligent mix of swashbuckling, romance, and comedy that takes an age-old damsel-in-distress story and makes it fresh.

audience

95

liked it
Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 520,544

My Rating

Movie Info

Based on William Goldman's novel of the same name, The Princess Bride is staged as a book read by grandfather (Peter Falk) to his ill grandson (Fred Savage). Falk's character assures a romance-weary Savage that the book has much more to deliver than a simpering love story, including but not limited to fencing, fighting, torture, death, true love, giants, and pirates. Indeed, The Princess Bride offers a tongue-in-cheek fairy tale depicting stable boy-turned-pirate Westley's journey to rescue

Jan 26, 1999

20th Century Fox - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (61) | Top Critics (13) | Fresh (59) | Rotten (2) | DVD (41)

As you watch this enchanting fantasy, feel free to be thrilled or to giggle, as you wish.

June 28, 2013 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Patinkin, the most dazzling movie swordsman since Errol Flynn, steals the movie with his athletic grace and delivery of lines like: "My name is Inigo Montoya! Prepare to die!"

June 28, 2013 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

For parents who have felt as if they were approaching the Cliffs of Insanity while enduring the inanities of standard kiddie pictures, The Princess Bride may be a godsend.

June 28, 2013 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Heroic fantasies, we often feel, should be lighter than air, hot as dragon fire, fast as a sword in sunlight. And that's mostly what we get from the delightful The Princess Bride -- along with some bracing humor and foolery.

June 28, 2013 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film works well enough, providing its fair share of laughs and thrills, and in technical terms it is by far Reiner`s most professional job of direction.

June 28, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Based on William Goldman's novel, this is a post-modern fairy tale that challenges and affirms the conventions of a genre that may not be flexible enough to support such horseplay.

August 13, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety | Comments (32)
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

...somehow spoofs the conventions of fantasy romance without teetering into irony.

November 13, 2013 Full Review Source: LarsenOnFilm
LarsenOnFilm

In spirit The Princess Bride recalls The Neverending Story, which also was about a contemporary boy`s fantastic adventure. Reiner's film is likely to please adults more than kids and to last in memory more than most films this fall.

June 28, 2013 Full Review Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Mandy Patinkin, as Inigo Montoya, deserves special mention. Inigo is the one character in the film who contains real emotional depth, and Patinkin plumbs it.

June 28, 2013 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Daily News
Philadelphia Daily News

Patinkin's performance is especially touching. He can say, "My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die" -- and make you laugh, cry and cheer at the same time. The movie, two hours of pure enchantment, has the same effect.

June 28, 2013 Full Review Source: People Magazine
People Magazine

It's as good as you remember.

June 28, 2013 Full Review Source: Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
Metro Times (Detroit, MI)

Action and laughs blend deliciously in this fairy-tale spoof about true lovers who must defeat all sorts of villains to reach true happiness.

June 28, 2013 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor

An unexpected delight for all the family.

March 8, 2013 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

Shall we re-wind and give it another spin? As you wish...

March 7, 2013 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
Little White Lies

A witty, even clever-clever, exercise in deconstructing fairytales that became something of a cult with fans of its ironic/comic charms.

April 4, 2012 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

Witty, winsome fairy tale for the whole family.

January 1, 2011 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

An inordinately smart and sly motion picture, one that has enough simple pleasures to succeed as one of the better popcorn movies of its decade.

May 25, 2010 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

There is so much to latch onto in this movie, so much for each member of a family that watches it together to love.

May 13, 2009 Full Review Source: Screen It!
Screen It!

A film of remarkable forwardness, honesty, and humor, built, like all fairy tales, around one message, summed up late in the script: "True love is the greatest thing in the world."

November 13, 2007 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

One of Reiner's most entertaining films, effective as a swashbuckling epic, romantic fable, and satire of these genres.

November 5, 2007 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

One of the hottest cult videos of the 1980s, and a family classic besides, enjoyed by new generations of youngsters as well as their parents.

August 18, 2007 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Audience Reviews for The Princess Bride

You can clearly see this is a Rob Reiner film in every sense. The whole production has that silly visual humour that most would associate with Mel Brooks...although not as strong. When the film came out it had moderate success and has since gone on to be become a bit of a cult, yet I'm not entirely sure why in all honesty.

Based on a novel of the same name the story is the quintessential fairytale fable. A young dashing hero who was thought to be dead must save his true love from an evil Prince in his castle. There are sidekicks, magicians, evil henchmen, knights, places of peril and the odd oversized creatures.

The unique element in this rudimentary idea is the comedy factor, a combination of spoof and slapstick both verbally and visually. In short you could say this was an early live action version of the Shrek franchise but not as 'out there' with the fantasy. Every typical fairytale scenario has been slightly twisted and lampooned just enough to make it funny but not as an outright spoof. There is still a solid plot here despite the fact its predictable as hell. The other unique angle is the fact the whole film is being narrated by Columbo to Kevin Arnold in the real world, a story within a story, so you're never completely sure if things will pan out as you'd expect...(but they do).

Now while I can't deny the film is a nice gentle old fashioned type of yarn it is extremely basic and largely unimpressive visually. I realise its more of a character piece than effects extravaganza but there really isn't much to soak up fantasy wise. It doesn't help me especially because some locations they filmed at the start, and the castle, are not far from my folks so it didn't give me any sense of wonder. There are some nice locations most definitely but it all looks too real if you get me, not much like a fantasy realm.

The film works mainly because of the characters, well some of them. Elwes is the perfect well spoken Flynn-esque hero without a doubt, he has good comedic timing and spoofs the classical silver screen hero very well. He virtually plays this character again in that Mel Brooks Robin Hood film. Wright is the perfect blonde fairytale Princess, utterly stunning! Sarandon does the slimy evil Prince to a tee and for me the best of all was Wallace Shawn as the low down crafty 'Vizzini'. Such a shame that Shawn's character dies so early on as he's the best thing going on in the film laughs wise. There are various other famous names in here too but for me they felt forced. Peter Cook's silly clergyman lisp just fell flat on its face, Mel Smith's Albino dungeon keeper felt out of place and not particularly funny whilst Billy Crystal was clearly Billy Crystal in makeup and not in the slightest bit amusing.

Had this come out now I don't think it would do too well, or any better than it did back in 87. The whole idea has been done and drained by a certain green orge plus other animated flicks. Back in the day the idea of a spoof fantasy was a bit more original but even then it didn't fare that well and I'm not really surprised. I can see how this might not have appeared very enticing to cinema goers at the time.

There is little to no violence so its perfect for the younger viewer whilst adults can enjoy the soft satire. Even though this is the epitome of a true fairytale I can't really say its a rich magical experience because there isn't much of that going on. Its a pleasant cozy ride that will relax you and not put any pressure on the brain. A pure organic tale but also rather underwhelming.

'Inconceivable!!'
March 10, 2014
phubbs1

Super Reviewer

What makes The Princess Bride so enjoyable is Rob Reiner's ability to send-up traditional fables without descending into acerbity. Novelist and screenwriter William Goldman brilliantly adapts his own 1973 novel of the same name. It gently pokes fun at the sentimentality of fairy tales while still genuinely capitalizing their innocence. There's a modern sensibility but it never threatens to contaminate the sincerity of the proceedings. Mandy Patinkin's declaration is the most well known, but iconic dialogue abounds. "Inconceivable!" The Cliffs of Insanity, the Pit of Despair, the Fire Swamp where the Rodents of Unusual Size (R.O.U.S.) dwell - each location highlights another hilarious set piece. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll cheer, you'll thrill to every recognizable line and action spectacle. Its one lone Oscar nomination for Best Original Song is a complete headscratcher today. Although it wasn't a huge hit in its day ($61.9 million in today's dollars), the film has since gone on to achieve classic status. I'll choose long term longevity to instant gratification any day. "As you wish."

fastfilmreviews.com
January 16, 2014
hobster1

Super Reviewer

An enchanting storybook love story that has gained the status of cult movie along the years and appeals to both youngsters and adults for its delicious blend of exciting romantic adventure and hilarious comedy - and made even more pleasing by a great cast.
September 22, 2013
blacksheepboy

Super Reviewer

    1. Inigo Montoya: Hey Fezzik, you did something right.
    2. Fezzik: I won't let it go to my head.
    – Submitted by Krisha C (13 months ago)
    1. Inigo Montoya: Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.
    – Submitted by Shandelle K (14 months ago)
    1. Westley: As you wish....
    – Submitted by Shandelle K (14 months ago)
    1. Fezzik: You've been mostly-dead all day.
    – Submitted by Michael B (14 months ago)
    1. Westley: We are men of action. Lies do not become us.
    – Submitted by Bob E (15 months ago)
    1. Prince Humperdinck: It's iocane powder. I swear my life on it!
    – Submitted by Pablo U (15 months ago)
View all quotes (74)

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