Humperdinck! Humperdinck! Humperdinck!
I had a movie to review for you guys. It was very much “meh” worthy what with its convoluted story, bad writing, so-so acting, and reckless disregard for the laws of space and time. But no worries. I’ll deliver that one next week. This week, I’m going to celebrate a film that is in my Top 5 of favorite movies. [Aside: I don’t know about you, but I can never answer the “what is your favorite movie” question without giving some sort of essay-length answer that satisfies neither the requestor nor me. So instead, I keep a top 5 that allows for regular movie rotations.]
This week’s blog entry shall celebrate what I consider to be the most quotable movie this side of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The movie I speak of has something for everyone: “Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles…”
It’s The Princess Bride, and it just turned 25!!! [Insert Kermit the Frog freak out here] That’s right, my little R.O.U.Ses! The greatest fairy tale of all time just had a milestone anniversary, and I wanted to take part in the celebration. So walk with me into (or out of) the Fire Swamp as I gush and swoon over this, my Top 5 favorite film of all time. Here’s the trailer, and I have no idea why there is smooth jazz playing in the background. Makes no sense.
TPB came out in 1987. I don’t remember seeing it in theaters, but I do remember watching it on video. I must have been in 5th or 6th grade at the time. It’s not important. What’s important was that I totally fell in love with that movie. I cheered for Westley and Buttercup. I booed Prince Humperdinck and Count Rugen. And how can I go on without mentioning the hilarious band of outlaws: ringleader Vizzini; Inigo Montoya, the Spanish swordfighter who seeks to avenge his father’s death; and the late, great Andre the Giant as the strong and lovable Fezzik? He is the Brute Squad!
At some point in high school, I had recorded TPB off of Showtime or HBO or some channel. It was one of the movies my friends and I would put into heavy rotation at sleepovers or for movie nights at each other’s houses. At one point, I lent my beloved VHS recording to a friend of mine who kept it for almost two years. Those were cold and painful years without my movie, and let the record show that I never let him borrow a movie from me ever again.
By the time I went to college, TPB and I had taken a bit of a breather. I spent more and more time with other, newer movies while TPB remained sitting on the shelf with an ever-growing layer of dust on its worn-out VHS cover. It wasn’t until 2001 when the Special Edition DVD was released, that I replaced that old VHS tape. And that’s also when TPB once again, became a movie night mainstay. It’s been 11 years, and I still have that DVD. When it’s not in use, it rests in the place of honor on the top shelf of my DVD tower next to Lord of the Rings and Star Wars.
As I mentioned earlier, TPB has so many good lines. I’ll just list a few of my favorites for you below, and you can toss me a comment if I’ve missed any that you love.
- “You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous of which is ‘never get involved in a land war in Asia.”
- “True love is the greatest thing in the world. Except for a nice MLT: a mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich, where the mutton is nice and lean and the tomato is ripe. They’re so perky, I love that.”
- “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”
- “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
- “No more rhymes now, I mean it! (Anybody want a peanut?)”
- “As you wish” [duh!]
- “Drop. Your. Sword.”
- “My brains, his steel, and your strength against sixty men, and you think a little head-jiggle is supposed to make me happy?”
You might find it strange that I’m able to recount my entire history with this one movie. I can honestly say that there is no other movie on my shelf whose history I can remember any clearer. The Princess Bride is just one of those movies that’s always there for you. You can go years without watching it, but once the story begins, it’s like visiting an old friend. Like Star Wars and The Wizard of Oz, The Princess Bride never seems dated. Anyways, I just wanted to profess my love for a movie that I’ve always enjoyed and I hope some of you feel the same way. Actually, I’ve never met anyone who didn’t like the movie, and only a few people who have never even seen it. I won’t be loaning them my copy though. I’m not that crazy.
PS: Here’s what’s more crazy. I haven’t even discussed the Cliffs of Insanity or how cool Cary Elwes was as Westley or how much I adore the Impressive Clergyman. I haven’t gone over the benefits of building an immunity to iocane powder or how ingenious the whole Dread Pirate Roberts scheme is. There’s been no mention of Peter Falk as the Grandfather or little Fred Savage as the Grandson. I left out all the sword fighting! That’s a whole other blog entry on its own. But that’s a story for another day.