The Princess Bride    1987

Director: Rob Reiner

Main Characters/Players:
Carey Elwes: Westley
Robin Wright: Buttercup;
Fred Savage: The Grandson
Peter Falk: The Grandfather
Mandy Patinkin: Inigo Montoya
Chris Sarandon: Prince Humperdink
Peter Cook: The Impressive Clergyman
Billy Crystal: Miracle Max
Carol Kane: Valerie
Andre the Giant: Fezzik
Wallace Shawn: Vizzini
Christopher Guest: Count Rugen
Mel Smith: The Albino

This movie is both a spoof of fairy tales and a delightful fairy tale itself. It is a favorite among many Americans, but the humor may be hard to "translate."

Plot Summary:

A grandfather reads a story to his sick grandson. It begins like this: Once upon a time . . .

There was a girl in the kingdom of Florin whose name was Buttercup. She loved two things: riding her horse, and tormenting the farm boy, Westley. Westley did everything she asked, and always answered "As you wish." One day she discovered that when he said "As you wish," he was really saying "I love you," and she also discovered that she loved him too. Westley had no money, so he went off to seek his fortune so that he could marry Buttercup. Later Buttercup heard that Westley had been attacked by the dreaded Pirate Roberts, and had been killed. She mourned for days.

Five years later Buttercup was chosen by Prince Humperdink to be his bride, and engaged to be married. She was very unhappy because she did not love Humperdink. Prince Humperdink does not, in fact, wish a bride so much as he wishes an excuse for war with the neighboring kingdom. He arranges for thugs from the country of Gilder to capture and kill his fiancée so that he can declare war on Gilder.

Accordingly, Buttercup is kidnapped by three thugs. Prince Humperdink pretends concern and follows, but to his surprise, Buttercup is rescued by a Man in Black, who defeats one thug--Inigo--in a sword fight, one thug--Fezzik--in a wrestling match, and the last thug--Vizzini--in a battle of wits. In the process we learn that Fezzik and Inigo are actually kind-hearted, and that Inigo has been looking for 20 years for a six fingered man who slaughtered his father in order to take revenge.

As Buttercup is dragged off by the Man in Black, she accuses him of being the dread Pirate Roberts. He admits the identity, and she tells him how much she hates him for killing Westley. Roberts replies it is better that he did, because Westley never had a chance to learn that she would have been unfaithful. Upon hearing this, she pushes the Man in Black down a long hill. Tumbling down, he shouts "As you wish!" Recognizing him, she throws herself down after him. They are happily reunited at the bottom. Meanwhile, Prince Humperdink is closing in, and so they retreat into the Fire Swamp.

Westley and Buttercup survive the three terrors of the Fire Swamp (flame spurts, lighting sand and Rodents of Unusual Size), but at the other end they are captured by Prince Humperdink. Westley is dragged off to the Pit of Despair and Buttercup is confined to the castle.

On the day before the wedding Humperdink sends all his guards to empty the Thieves' Forest. Again, he wishes to stage the murder of Buttercup by arranging a distraction for his guards. "My princess must be safe," he says. However, in the process of emptying the Thieve's Forest, the two "thugs" Fezzik and Inigo are reunited, and Fezzik tells Inigo that the Prince's chief henchman, Count Rugen, has six fingers. Together they try to plan revenge, but they decide they cannot make a good plan without the brains of the Man in Black (Westley).

Unfortunately Prince Humperdink has already dealt harshly with Westley. Because Buttercup loves Westley and not himself, has tortured Westley until he is mostly dead. Fortunately, Fezzik and Inigo are able to rescue Westley from the Pit of Despair and take him to Miracle Max for a cure. Together the three heroes make a plan to rescue Buttercup and kill Count Rugen.

At night, just before the wedding, the heroes frighten the guards away from the gates and enter the castle. Inigo fights Count Rugen; Westley defeats the Prince without fighting him, and Fezzik finds four horses. Together Buttercup, Westley, Inigo and Fezzik ride off into the dawn.