Starting this month, I\’m going to be celebrating some famous actors\’ (and directors\’) birthdays by examining some of their work. March 6th is actor/director Rob Reiner\’s birthday so he seemed like a great first honoree.
Rob was born in 1945, the son of the great Carl Reiner, and has a pretty incredible resume. Whether you know him as \”Meathead\” from All in the Family, Jay in Sleepless in Seattle, or Jess Day\’s Dad in New Girl, Rob\’s definitely a household name.
Today, I wanted to take a look at one of my absolute favorite films of all time: The Princess Bride! Thankfully, even thoughts of a remake were squelched pretty quickly… the original is just that perfect. Rob actually directed the film that was based on an equally enchanting book by William Goldman.
Why It\’s Great: If you haven\’t seen the film in a while (I\’m hoping that you\’ve actually seen this classic), you know that it\’s just a gem. Clever dialogue and a truly All-Star cast make it a memorable work. And you actually feel Rob Reiner\’s touch from behind the camera. His influence on comedic timing, for instance, is very apparent.
It definitely helped that both Cary Elwes and Rob Reiner were fans of the book even before they began production. Staying true to the story contributes to a lot of the magic!
The Story: The strikingly beautiful Buttercup (Robin Wright) lives on a remote farm with only a handsome \”farm boy\” named Westley (Cary Elwes) for company. As it happens, she\’s very fond of playing boss-lady to Elwes\’ character while he simply replies \”As you wish.\” (Code for \”I love you\” in this universe.)
Soon, Westley is off to find his fortune and eventually presumed dead at the hands of the infamous Dread Pirate Roberts. Buttercup is swept up into the clutches of Prince Humperdinck (no relation to Englebert) who wants her for his bride. He\’s not the best catch per se but beautiful farm maidens whose true loves are lost at sea can\’t afford to be choosey. Besides, the guy has a steady job with his own castle…
As it happens, three kidnappers (Mandy Patinkin, Wallace Shawn and Andre the Giant) thwart any wedding plans by absconding with the bride herself. Then the Dread Pirate Roberts rears his masked head and gives chase with Humperdinck and posse bringing up the rear.
The princess is eventually rescued (some might say kidnapped a second time) by the pirate himself only to suffer the perils of the fire swamp and R.O.U.S. (rodents of unusual size). Surprisingly, the Dread Pirate Roberts helps her to survive only to be captured by Humperdinck\’s men.
Add secret identities, vendettas, an evil plot, and a romance to the mix and you\’ve got a great story. There\’s also comedy heavy-hitters Billy Crystal and Carol Kane to contend with.
By the way: I failed to mention that the whole thing is being narrated by Peter Falk who is reading the book to his grandson played by Fred Savage. Like I told you, they pulled out all the stops casting this thing!
Most Quotable Quotes: In addition to \”Inconceivable!\” and \”My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.\” this film is beyond quotable. Favorites among my family members include \”He\’s been mostly dead all day.\” and \”Never go up against a Sicilian when death is on the line.\” There\’s also \”Mawiage is what bwings us togthwa…\”
Fantastic, right? Have a wonderful day, everyone, and be sure to share your favorite quote from The Princess Bride below!